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City of Pawtucket and Public Safety Retirees settle on Pension Case

Pawtucket – The genesis of the Pension Case began in Two-Thousand and Twelve when the State mandated cities and towns to institute a Financial Improvement Plan (FIP). The Administration and City Council adopted this plan in Two-Thousand and Thirteen after many public hearings and outreach to those individuals in the plan. The goals of the plan were to make sure the City of Pawtucket complied with state law but, more importantly, to ensure the protection of those in the pension system and the long-term stability of the pension plan. In January 2015, the Pawtucket Public Safety Retirees Association filed a class action suit challenging the City’s plan.

On Thursday, August 15, 2019, Judge John J. McConnell Jr., approved a class action settlement which protects the Pensioners, the taxpayers of Pawtucket and the long-term stability of the plan.

“I am pleased with the outcome of this case on behalf of all parties involved. These are difficult situations to deal with, on the one hand you want to protect the taxpayers and the stability of the pension plan and on the other hand, we need to be fair to the dedicated and hard-working retirees who certainly earned their benefits. I firmly believe that this Agreement achieves those goals,” said Mayor Donald R. Grebien.

This settlement memorializes an agreement between the parties which allows for 50% of the lost COLA from July 1, 2013 to July 1, 2019, and restores the retirees’ monthly pension to 65% of the lost COLA benefit from July 1, 2019 forward.

“As a steward of the City’s finances, the Council and I have a responsibility to honor our financial obligations in a fiscally responsible manner and certainly, an agreement of this magnitude will provide predictable stability for our residents of Pawtucket for years to come,” said Council President David Moran.

This settlement was only possible because all sides worked together for the common good and future financial security of the residents and the pension system.

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"The birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution, Pawtucket is poised to undergo a 21st century evolution into Rhode Island's premier arts and cultural destination, an ideal community to live, work, play, start a business and raise a family."

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