Retiring senators propose more generous RI pension benefitsMay 7th, 2012 at 5:35 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
Just months after the new pension law passed, two lame-duck senators want to boost some retirees’ benefits.
A proposal [pdf] put forward by state Sen. John Tassoni, D-Smithfield, would create a special defined-benefit pension only for employees in the Departments of Corrections and Children, Youth and Families. The new pension would spike in value after 30 years of employment, maxing out at 80% of salary.
In addition to probation and parole officers, Tassoni’s proposed special pension would also be available to clerk secretaries, typists, internship/volunteer coordinators and others who work in the two departments.
Another proposal [pdf], this one put forth by state Sen. Bea Lanzi, D-Cranston, would scrap the requirement that municipal police officers and firefighters wait until age 55 to become eligible for a pension, allowing them to collect one at any age. Both bills were introduced Thursday and referred to the Senate Finance Committee.
Treasurer Gina Raimondo has urged lawmakers not to tinker with the state pension system after last fall’s changes. “I urge you to give RIRSA a chance to work before considering changes that might weaken its impact,” she wrote in March about another bill.
Tassoni and Frank Ciccone, D-Providence, were the only two senators who voted against the pension law last November. Lanzi voted to approve it. Neither Tassoni nor Lanzi is running for reelection.