Settlement In State Pension Case Could Be Announced As Early As Thursday

Apr 2, 2015

A settlement to Rhode Island's pension conflict may be announced Thursday.

A settlement over the state's 2011 pension overhaul could be reached Thursday.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said through his spokesman that a settlement may be at hand. The state has offered modest improvements on a settlement offer rejected last year in an attempt to end the pension dispute. Hanging in the balance is $4 billion in savings for the state pension plan.

Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter is expected to continue a review of motions that began last week. In the absence of a settlement, the dispute over the 2011 overhaul of Rhode Island’s pension system is scheduled to go to to trial April 20th.

A series of public-employee unions sued in response to the overhaul. They argued it was unconstitutional for the state to make unilateral changes to pension benefits they were already promised.

A former state Supreme Court justice working as a special master in the pension dispute has urged retirees and public employees to accept a settlement. Further details remain scarce due to how Judge Taft-Carter imposed a gag order on parties in the case.

Without a settlement, the dispute is slated to go to trial April 20th.

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