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State Leaders Call for Action on Pension Reform

PROVIDENCE, RI - Today, Rhode Island General Treasurer Gina M. Raimondo, along with Governor Lincoln D. Chafee, called for action in tackling the state’s $6.8 billion pension crisis – a crisis decades in the making that must be solved to preserve public vital services, and grow the state’s economy.

Raimondo also released her Truth in Numbers report, which outlines the main reasons for the state’s pension challenges, explains the implications of inaction for all Rhode Islanders, and offers a set of guidelines and a framework for solutions for stakeholders to consider as the state moves toward comprehensive pension reform.

Lastly, Raimondo announced the launch of Secure Path RI, an initiative dedicated to putting Rhode Island on a path toward economic stability and growth. The first goal of this initiative is to promote a common understanding of the state’s current pension system challenges and foster a lively debate among all stakeholders who have a responsibility to develop a workable retirement system solution.

“The time to act is now. It is time to fix the cracks in our state’s foundation, and have honest conversations about the tough choices facing our state,” Raimondo said. “Today’s report is about providing a framework for solutions and beginning the discussion about what a fair, equitable, secure and sustainable retirement system looks like for taxpayers, employees and retirees.”

“Immediately after we were elected, General Treasurer Raimondo and I established a close partnership to address the pension challenges confronting the state and our cities and towns,” Chafee said. “We share a commitment to address the unfunded liability of our pension system. The Treasurer and I work well together and I look forward to continuing to collaborate with her and other interested parties to develop a secure pension solution that is affordable for Rhode Island.”

By using honest, accurate and realistic data the state must move towards creating a retirement system that is secure and sustainable which:

• Attracts quality employees • Provides for its retirees • Preserves funding for public services • Protects taxpayers

“To properly tackle the challenges facing the state, it is important to have a clear understanding of the reasons we are in this mess,” Raimondo continued. “The state will be successful if it leaves the divisive rhetoric behind, deals with honest data and accurately defines the problem in an effort to find workable solutions.”

Truth in Numbers is organized around four objectives:

• Estimating the price tag for past service for both retirees and current employees • Diagnosing the primary drivers of the structural pension deficit • Understanding the implications of inaction • Providing a framework for solutions

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Related links

Department or agency: RI Office of the General Treasurer

Online: http://www.treasury.ri.gov/

Release date: 05-23-2011

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