WRNI – Raimondo Says Pensions Can be Cut

WRNI’s Ian Donnis reports:

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo says she doesn’t believe current pension recipients are legally shielded from possible cuts to their pensions. She outlined her view during a taping today of WRNI’s Political Roundtable, which airs tomorrow at 5:40/7:40 am. Scott MacKay asked Raimondo, as a lawyer and financial expert, whether pensioners currently receiving an annual pension of $80,000 or $90,000 have a property right to their pensions. “If push comes to shove, what happens?” MacKay continued. ”Do we go the United Airlines situation, where they take a haircut?” Here’s how Raimondo responded to the question of whether pension recipients have a property right: “I don’t believe so. That hasn’t been established in law, and I don’t believe they do.”
…Raimondo blames a piecemeal approach. “The reason we’re in this mess” she says, “is because every year we chink away at the problem — let’s tweak the COLA a little bit, let’s tweak this, let’s tweak that. We got to do the whole system. This is not about taking benefits away. This is about securing retirement security for everyone . . . . It is a fallacy to think that those benefits will be there if we don’t fix this system. And the system that we have today calls for a billion dollars to come out of the budget in about 10 years to pay these benefits. I cannot look in the eye of a state worker and promise that that will be there.”

This isn’t (or shouldn’t) be about “hating state workers” or whatever, it’s about fiscal reality.

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Monique
Editor
10 years ago

“Here’s how Raimondo responded to the question of whether pension recipients have a property right: “I don’t believe so. That hasn’t been established in law, and I don’t believe they do.””
Holy moses.
“It is a fallacy to think that those benefits will be there if we don’t fix this system.”
Indeed, it is a fallacy.
It cannot be said enough: shame, mega shame on those elected officials who made generous promises which could not be fulfilled (retire and start collecting after 20 years???) and which THEY THEMSELVES FAILED TO FUND.

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

Admitting the problem? Fiscal responsibility? The progressives must be crapping themselves right now for having ever supported her.
If Tom Sgouros had been elected, we’d be discussing which taxes to raise right now to push the problem into the future another 10 years.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
10 years ago

I like “hating the state workers”.

Tommy Cranston
Tommy Cranston
10 years ago

Colorado, amongst a few, has already cut benefits for those already receiving pensions. That is not a misprint. Sleep tight union and crony pigs. From the Wall Street Journal: * Email * Print * Save This ↓ More * o o Twitter Twitter o Digg Digg o + More close o Yahoo! Buzz o MySpace o del.icio.us o Reddit o Facebook o LinkedIn o Fark o Viadeo o Orkut * larger Text smaller By JEANNETTE NEUMANN A showdown is looming over whether commitments made to retirees by government pension funds can be scaled back in dire economic times. Facing shortfalls, some public pension funds are responding by paring back payouts pledged to retired workers. Earlier this year, pension funds in Colorado and Minnesota curtailed annual cost-of-living increases. “No matter how draconian you got on the new hires, you ran out of money” if you didn’t cut benefits to current retirees, said Meredith Williams, chief executive of the Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association, with $34.2 billion in assets. View Full Image PENSION Nathan W. Armes for The Wall Street Journal Retired special education teacher Kathy Ratz is opposed to legislation to reduce the pension benefits to current retirees that was proposed by Brandon Shaffer, the Colorado Senate president. PENSION PENSION In February, Colorado lawmakers passed a bill that reduced the pension system’s cost-of-living adjustment from a fixed 3.5% a year to a maximum of 2%—but possibly less for current and future retirees. The new law also increased contributions from employees and employers. For example, retirees who were expecting a 3.5% increase in cost-of-living adjustments this year will receive no increase. In response, Colorado and Minnesota have been hit by lawsuits filed by retirees, who claim the changes violate state law. Those retirees have “lived up to their end of the bargain,… Read more »

BobN
BobN
10 years ago

This is Raimondo’s first chance to establish her own identity, separate from the party and union hacks who put her in office. If she can rise above the sewage of her party, she stands a chance at a great political career.

bella
bella
10 years ago

I voted for her, and haven’t seen anything yet that would stop me from voting for her again. She could probably get elected governor in ’14 if she goes in that direction (and would get my vote if Chafee screws up).
Of course, the hosannas posted above mine will be forgotten the moment she accepts one penny from Emily’s List. She’s also an SSM supporter, too, by the way.

BobN
BobN
10 years ago

I didn’t say she could be Governor, and she has a long way to go and a lot of cleaning up to do before gets any support from my side.
Like many of my misguided friends, she is smart at business and finance but has never done any serious thinking about the deeper issues of American principles or the proper role of government in society.

Tommy Cranston
Tommy Cranston
10 years ago

Don’t be fooled by this woman.
Her game is to “talk” the talk for 4 years and, like Caprio, accomplish “nothing”.
Then she, like Caprio, will run for Governor touting her “bravery and courage” for empty words. Meanwhile, behind the scenes the unions will be given the “wink and nod” that they won’t be touched. Just like Caprio.

John
John
10 years ago

Look on the bright side: RI provides an endless supply of material for people like Steve Malanga to write about, and lets every other state say, “hey, at least its not as bad here as it is in Rhode Island.”

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
10 years ago

Ohmigod!!bella had a productive thought.
Yes,the minute Raimondo takes penny one from Emily’s List she’s garbage.

bella
bella
10 years ago

Joe, you’ll be glad to know that as an extra added bonus, she’ll win back Democrats who defected to Chafee, too.

Phil
Phil
10 years ago

This isn’t (or shouldn’t) be about “hating state workers” or whatever, it’s about fiscal reality.
This isn’t (or shouldn’t) be about “hating the highest income earners” or whatever, it’s about fiscal reality.
Let’s go back to the 70% tax on the highest income earners in the 50’s when we had a robust middle class. That would be a start towards funding the costly federal education mandates that local property taxpayers have had to shoulder all these years. Let’s not take the easier course of blaming neighbors who are performing the tasks such as teaching, policing, firefighting, emergency medical services, and all the other services that enable private commerce to operate in a safe, reliable and profitable way. Let’s tax those who are taking the lion’s share of wealth out of our economy without contributing to it’s healthy continuation. They too will be better off in the long run. A robust middle class based on saving and not credit is the best buttress against the recessions that are certain to come again and again. Making scapegoats out of labor unions and workers will only divert us from fiscal stability and only help those who have the selfish goals of the very rich and the short term ambition of populist politicians whose names may change, but who are the same snake oil salesmen who have taken advantage of the fearful, the angry, and the stupid.

BobN
BobN
10 years ago

Only a person who has a religious faith in the benevolence and expert competence of government could believe what Phil wrote.
What Phil wants has been tried many times in many countries and has ALWAYS failed.
But some people, blinded by the cult of their ideology, will never learn.

michael
michael
10 years ago

Phil is right.

BobN
BobN
10 years ago

Oh, thanks for setting us all straight, O arbiter of all things true and beautiful (in Lefty-Unionist Bizarroworld).

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