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Governor, Treasurer, Plaintiffs Issue Joint Statement Regarding Pension Lawsuit

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Governor Lincoln D. Chafee, General Treasurer Gina M. Raimondo and plaintiffs challenging changes to Rhode Island’s state-administered pension system today issued the following joint statement:

“More than one year ago, Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter ordered the parties involved in numerous pension lawsuits into mediation. With the help of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, the parties to this litigation have worked collaboratively on a proposed resolution.

“The settlement agreement marks an important first step forward, and the beginning of a process that will benefit all Rhode Islanders. It is a proposal that we all support and jointly offer to the General Assembly, members of the retirement system, and to the public.

“Government cannot work without committed and dedicated public servants. Whether they serve our state by keeping us safe, teaching our children, repairing our roads, or in so many of the unheralded roles that keep our government running, they command our respect, and deserve a dignified and secure retirement. At the same time, too many of our cities and towns continue to face financial challenges. The proposal we jointly offer provides certainty and predictability for our public servants and municipalities to appropriately plan for the future.

“This proposal should not be perceived as a victory by one side over another, rather it is a positive first step forward providing for the continued stability and predictability of the retirement system for decades to come. Crucially, this proposal does more than end the risks associated with a costly and protracted litigation. This settlement proposal would resolve six pending lawsuits contesting changes made in 2009, 2010 and 2011. It also demonstrates that our small state can lead the rest of the nation and come together to solve big problems.

“We believe this proposal is fair for our public employees, retirees, taxpayers and cities and towns. We look forward to working together with all concerned as we begin this process.

“We would like to thank the Court and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service for all their efforts in helping the parties to achieve this result.”