RI state pensions worse than expected

Providence, RI – Rhode Island taxpayers could face a higher tab next year for funding state pensions. That will be the case unless new cuts are made to the pension system.

The unfunded liability for the pension fund has been generally estimated in the area of five billion dollars. But actuaries told the state Retirement Board yesterday that the figure is closer to six-point-eight billion dollars.

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo says the General Assembly faces the responsibility for deciding through the budget how the state will respond to its growing long-term pension obligations.

She says the Retirement Board took a step in the right direction by lowering the pension fund's expected rate of return, from eight and a quarter percent to seven-point-five percent. "My primary job is to protect the fiscal and financial integrity of the system," she said, "and what we did did that, because the assumptions we use to value the liability more accurately reflect reality."

Raimondo expects to complete her own analysis of the pension system within a few weeks.

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