House, Senate Finance Committees approve amended pension bill

STATE HOUSE – The House and Senate Finance Committees today approved an amended version of the pension reform bill submitted by Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee and Treasurer Gina Raimondo, allowing for the possibility of intermittent cost-of-living adjustments every five years until the plan is 80 percent funded, moving most employees to hybrid pension plans, increasing the retirement age for those not currently eligible to retire and beginning the effort to move municipal plans toward solvency. The House Finance Committee voted 13 to 2. The vote was 10 to 1 in the Senate Finance Committee.

The bill will now be forwarded to the full House and Senate, which are expected to return to session Thursday, Nov. 17, to debate the bill (
2011-H 6319A/2, 2011-S 1111A/2). The House is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. and the Senate at 4 p.m.

Passage by the committees follows nearly 29 hours of testimony by fiscal advisors, municipal leaders, union representatives, retirees and citizens over the legislation that aims to stabilize the state pension system.