State workers object to increase in pension contributions

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Governor Lincoln Chafee's plan to make state workers and teachers contribute more toward their pensions remains unpopular with labor leaders. Michael Downey, president of AFSCME's Council 94, was among the union officials who attended a House Finance Committee hearing Tuesday to oppose Chafee's plan.

State workers currently pay about nine percent of their pay toward their pensions. Downey says Chafee's proposed three percent increase would boost a contribution already among the highest in the nation.

Rhode Island's pension system has an unfunded liability thought to be greater than $5 billion. State Treasurer Gina Raimondo is trying to determine the exact amount of the unfunded liability.

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