Curious Developments in Pension Politics
For whatever it’s worth, the “study commission” looking at pensions for the Rhode Island House approved a plan to increase the minimum retirement age to 65, and although it didn’t vote to eliminate cost of living adjustments (COLAs), it did suggest tying them to inflation data.
The curious result came during the vote to apply changes to current employees who are vested, but not yet eligible to retire (emphasis added):
The union leaders, predictably, were in the minority on each vote taken last night, arguing throughout that no one who has put in the minimum 10 years of service that entitles them to a pension — also known as vesting — should be touched by any mid-career changes in the retirement package they have for years been led to expect. On many of the votes, they were joined by Rep. John Loughlin, a Tiverton Republican who has signaled some interest in running for Rhode Island Democrat Patrick Kennedy’s 1st District Congressional seat.
What to make of a panel on which Rep. Timothy Williamson (D-West Warwick) and Rep. Timothy Williamson (D-West Warwick) vote for a stronger line than Mr. Loughlin?