Pension committee holds latest meeting

PROVIDENCE, RI – The pension advisory committee for General Treasurer Gina Raimondo held its latest meeting, this time in East Providence.

The session was meant to identify possible solutions for Rhode Island's $7-billion in unfunded pension liability. But the best way forward remains in dispute.

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, a committee member, says the problem is so severe the state needs to rethink pension cost of living adjustments (COLAs).

"Suspension of the COLAs or even more drastic, because we saw from the charts different variables, consideration of even elimination of the COLAs have to be on the table," says Fung. "You can't just reject outright any of the discussions."

Another committee member, Robert Walsh of the National Education Association, says suspending pension cost of living adjustments is a bad idea. He says that's because COLAs are meant to help retirees compensate for the effect of inflation.

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