Judge rules Providence pension settlement fair

SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE SARAH TAFT-CARTER has ruled the pension settlement between Providence and the city's firefighters, police and current retirees "fair."
Posted 3/11/13

PROVIDENCE - Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter has issued a ruling that Providence’s pension settlement is “fair, reasonable and adequate,” according to a statement released today by Providence Mayor Angel Taveras.

The package of pension and retirement benefit changes for the city’s firefighters, police and current retirees included in the settlement is expected to save the city $18.5 million in the 2013 fiscal year and reduce unfunded pension liability by at least $170 million through a 10-year suspension of annual cost-of-living pension, along with other measures.

“Today’s decision by Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter clears the way for Providence’s pension reforms to move forward and marks an important milestone on the road to putting Rhode Island’s capital city on a fiscally sustainable path,” Taveras said. “I am thankful that Judge Taft-Carter agrees our pension settlement is a laudable example for other municipalities to follow.”

Taveras also described Taft-Carter’s ruling as “a significant step” in the legal process to finalize the city’s pension agreement.

He thanked the city council for its support of pension reform and said that the city owes “a tremendous debt of gratitude” to its employees, police officers, firefighters and retirees.

According to Taveras, the court has scheduled a final hearing on April 12 and is expected to enter a final consent judgment at that time.

Since the ruling was made from the bench, a transcript was not immediately available.

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