Raimondo offers support for revised pension bill
State Treasurer Gina Raimondo offers this statement in response to the revised pension bill rolled out by lawmakers earlier this evening:
After listening to countless hours of public testimony and meeting continually with legislative leaders it remains clear that comprehensive pension reform is in the interest of every Rhode Islander. The pension system currently does not provide for retirement security and is not sustainable for taxpayers.
Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed and House Speaker Gordon Fox understand how important enacting meaningful pension reform is to the future of our state. Their steadfast commitment over the last few months has demonstrated a strong willingness to solve this problem. I remain committed to working with them and to moving this bill to passage.
The Rhode Island Retirement Security Act has been amended to provide a more gradual transition to the new Social Security retirement age and to allow cost-of-living adjustments tied to investment returns to come back once every five years until the system is 80 percent funded.
While there is a cost to all changes, the package, as amended, will keep the pension system on the same path toward healthy funded status as the original proposal as well as keep the pension costs in next year’s budget steady and costs predictable for taxpayers in the decades to come.
In the coming days, I will continue to work with legislative leaders as they move toward final passage. Re-designing the state pension system is critical to moving toward a thriving economy. At this point, I urge caution that further amendments, which could compromise the principles of affordability, sustainability, and security must be avoided.
The revised measure is set for House and Senate Finance votes Thursday evening.