Special pension advisory group meets for first time

PROVIDENCE, RI – Rhode Island General Treasurer Gina Raimondo says the state pension system could run out of money if serious reforms are not undertaken immediately. Her comments came at the first meeting of an advisory group charged with coming up with solutions to the pension crisis.

Raimondo and Governor Lincoln Chafee convened the 12 member pension advisory group. The goal is to develop a package of legislative reforms for the General Assembly to consider at a special session in October.

At its inaugural meeting, Raimondo says that without changes, the state in ten years will have to contribute $1 billion to the pension system which she said would be "devastating" to municipalities which rely on state aid.

"Cities and towns would be crippled by that kind of contribution," says Raimondo.

Noting that Rhode Island has already initiated two rounds of pension changes in recent years, Raimondo says any solution should be the last solution.

"We owe it to folks to say this is the last time we're going to do this' so they can plan," she says.

The group includes leaders from business, labor and government.

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