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Pension Questions Answered on Treasury Website

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – General Treasurer Gina M. Raimondo today announced the addition of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Rhode Island Retirement Security Act to the Treasury website. The FAQs can be accessed by visiting and clicking the Rhode Island Retirement Security Act of 2011 link.

“It is important that people have access to accurate information about the proposed pension reform and how it will affect them,” Raimondo said. “Re-designing the state pension system is in the interest of every Rhode Islander and is critical to moving toward a thriving economy.”

RIRSA is designed to provide a secure retirement for all 66,000 members of the state retirement system. It also ensures that the pension system is well funded, and that the pension line item in the annual state budget will not jump to unaffordable levels in the future.

This proposed legislation is the culmination of months of thoughtful analysis focused on creating a healthy pension system that is affordable, sustainable and secure for retirees, employees and taxpayers. Check the website often for updates. The current FAQs are based on RIRSA as submitted to the General Assembly as of October 18, 2011.

Passing RIRSA:

• Reduce the unfunded liability of Rhode Island’s pension system by $3 billion and increase its funding status to over 60 percent immediately

• Level taxpayer contributions to the pension system in FY2013 (approximately $300 million)

• Save taxpayers at least $4 billion over the next 25 years

• Save municipalities approximately $100 million next year through decreased contributions to the teacher and MERS pension systems and at least $1 billion over the next decade

• Strengthen and modernize the state-administered pension system to ensure that earned retirement benefits are there for hard-working public employees, and that the state will be able to attract and retain the best and brightest employees

• Could improve the state’s bond rating which would enable the state to invest in other key initiatives


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