Igliozzi, Hassett change stance; amendment planned on Providence COLA cut
Three days after the Providence City Council backed an overhaul of city pension plan, Finance chairman John Igliozzi and Ward 12 Councilor Terry Hassett are having some second thoughts:
A news release on behalf of the pair says, “The suspension of cost of living adjustments are too severe and need to be amended.”
According to Hassett, “Pension reform is necessary, without question, but to severely challenge the financial security of police and fire personnel upon their retirement in such a dramatic manner is not what I am willing to permit.” Hassett said that he and Igliozzi have decided that the impact of certain COLA suspensions is not the “fair and equitable solution that must be accomplished for the pension system and those who serve the city.”
The councilmen said that the City Council pension subcommittee worked hard to review and construct changes to protect the system’s future, but not all changes are universally accepted. An amendment to the distribution of COLAs, which seriously impact police and fire personnel, is needed.
“I am acting in what I believe to be a much fairer manner in order to provide enhanced security for retirees while continuing to improve and stabilize the entire pension system,” Igliozzi said.
“A proposed change in the COLA distribution would have maintained the COLA with certain income limits,” Hassett said. “However, that proposal did not arrive in the final ordinance and now it is time to correct what I believe is a disservice to police and fire personnel,” Hassett added.
Igliozzi said he is currently constructing an amendment that will revise the pension ordinance so that the COLA section of law “serves the hard working men and women of public safety while allowing reform to continue.”
Hassett said that the proposed amendment is not yet completed and should be introduced in the next few days.
The move by the councilors comes as Mayor Angel Taveras is out of town for a trip to the White House.