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Pension Reform: Speak Up Online

On Sept. 6, AARP launched an interactive website that will give Rhode Islanders a strong voice in the debate over reforming the state retirement system.

See Also: Pension Plan Retirement Calculator 

According to State Treasurer Gina Raimondo, the state’s $9.4 billion unfunded pension liability poses a threat to Rhode Island’s future. She says her plan to reform the system would ensure its sustainability. However, many retired Rhode Island state workers and teachers are unaware that the Treasurer’s plan includes cuts to benefits of existing retirees.

Concerned about how the pension reform process was unfolding, AARP wrote to Governor Lincoln Chafee, calling to his attention that that many people are unaware of what is at stake and that the public at large is not being properly engaged. The need was clear for AARP to make sure the public became better informed. Part of that effort has been the creation of an informational website, PensionAlertRI.org, which will also serve as an online forum for discussing pension reform.

Of particular concern for AARP is the threat to existing retirees. “On the table” in the discussion is the elimination of annual cost-of-living adjustments for the next 14 years.

“Retired people have planned their lives based on a long-honored principle that they could rely on the pension benefits they worked hard for and contributed to their whole lives,” AARP told the Governor. “Destroying that confidence is a threat to all current and future retirees. It imperils the very concept of planning for retirement security.”

AARP is determined to ensure that the public is fully informed, that the process is transparent and that public hearings are inclusive and accessible.

PensionAlertRI.org provides the latest news, schedules of upcoming presentations and hearings, and an opportunity to comment online as developments unfold.

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