Murphy & Williamson Played Hide And Seek With 2009 Pension Analysis – Disclosure Issues? What Disclosure Issues?

Could this be the kind of thing that has brought the SEC to Rhode Island? (H/T WPRO’s John Depetro.)

More than two months have gone by since a pension study commission appointed by House Speaker William J. Murphy took a series of votes aimed at creating a new – and for taxpayers, significantly less expensive – retirement package for 23,700 state employees and public school teachers.
Going beyond what Governor Carcieri proposed, the panel, after a year of study, recommended: instituting a minimum retirement age of 65, limiting annual cost-of-living increases for future retirees, and basing future pensions on an employee’s five-year salary average, instead of the three-year average currently used. For new employees, the proposals were more radical.
But that was March 12 [2009].
The only task that remained for the panel, after a year of hearings, was to obtain from the state’s actuaries a projection of how much the state might save – and then issue a final report.
In the month since, both Murphy and the study-commission chairman Timothy Williamson, D-West Warwick, have rebuffed repeated oral and written requests for a copy of the cost-savings analysis provided to them, in the interim, by the state’s pension consultants at Gabriel Roeder Smith & Co.
On Tuesday, House spokesman Larry Berman acknowledged publicly for the first time that Murphy has the actuary’s report. “I know that it is in his hands,” he said.
But when asked why he has been unwilling to make it public in response to repeated requests, Berman said: “He has the request.”

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Ken
Ken
10 years ago

Monique,
You said; “Going beyond what Governor Carcieri proposed, the panel, after a year of study, recommended: instituting a minimum retirement age of 65, limiting annual cost-of-living increases for future retirees, and basing future pensions on an employee’s five-year salary average, instead of the three-year average currently used. For new employees, the proposals were more radical.”
Those items were instituted and enacted adjusting future and current retiree benefits which generated a financial lawsuit against the state eating up unnecessary state funds!
So what is your complaint or point?
And oh by the way, I’m one of those, your quote; “overly generous pension promises” recipients that was a 100% federal funded positions including all benefits and pension that receives $1,054.79 a month after taxes in retirement and still pays state of RI income taxes even thought I do not burden the state or any city or town for services living out of the state.

Tim
Tim
10 years ago

History will show that former House Speaker Bill Murphy was the single biggest dead weight this state has seen in decades holding the most powerful governmental seat this state has to offer.
The media (aka Democratic party propagandists) have always cast the blame pie on Don Carcieri for the non-production of the General Assembly when it came to meaningful reforms.
Bill Murphy was ALWAYS the anchor weighing down anything meaningful coming out of that body.
Sadly Murphy will never be called to task for his embarrassingly unproductive tenure.
Tiny Timmy Williamson?? ha ha ha ha
Tiny was NOBODY in the State House without “protection” from his boy Murphy. Why do you think “lap dog Timmy” quit when Murphy did?
How sweet would it be that the SEC showed up because Moe and Curley tried to play with the big boys.

Aldo
Aldo
10 years ago

Please don’t forget that Williamson has his sights set on an appointment to the RI Judiciary ala Joe Montalbano…. Murphy’s been quoted in the Projo and Williamson has come right out and stated it himself..
AS for the SEC investigation and the Statehouse, don’t forget the other WW “player” for Senate Finance Chair Steve Alves. The SEC initiated an investigation of the WW Pension Board’s “investment” in Cole REIT III.
If you’ve been paying attention, I think you might find that the first 13 million + of bonding for Shilling’s Studio38 went to Wells Fargo. (At least that’s what I’ve been led to believe.) Didn’t the Projo note that Alves is a Manager for Wells Fargo in the story about the SEC’s investigation of WW’s Cole “investment?”
Gee, isn’t life in RI just wonderful if you’re a political insider?

Patrick
Patrick
10 years ago

Ken,
First, Monique didn’t say anything, it’s all a quote from the article. Second, what the study recommended was never instituted.
The real problem that she’s bringing up is that requests to see the report, financed with public dollars for public officials, was not released to the public, even upon request.

Ken
Ken
10 years ago

Patrick,
You said; “Second, what the study recommended was never instituted.”
I beg to differ and again say what the study recommended was instituted because my $1,054.79 monthly retirement was directly impacted by the rule changes.
Even though the study was paid with public tax dollars, you have to look at the State of RI FOIA laws to understand why the study information has been withheld.
I’m not a big fan of spending money only to have the results withheld from disclosure but I suspect there is a legal right to withhold info under the existing laws as I’ve not heard about anyone suing for the release of information.

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