A veteran union activist traveled to Washington on Thursday to slam Treasurer Gina Raimondo and other Rhode Island leaders for taking away the annual cost-of-living adjustment to her pension.
“I’m angry. Yes, I am angry,” Dolores Bresette, a 37-year state employee who is now retired, said during a panel with other officials and economist Dean Baker at the National Press Club. “I’m angry that something like this could happen after I worked all of these years and planned for my future.”
Bresette retired on Sept. 27, 2008, and received $2,305.54 a month as of June 30, records show. ”My pension is my life savings,” she said. “The politicians in Rhode Island simply took it from me. On the news, I saw them celebrating. It’s upsetting that they could do this to us. They don’t see us as people. They see us as a number.”
North Carolina Treasurer Janet Cowell, who spoke before Bresette, countered that her state does not grant automatic COLAs and sets its pension fund’s investment return forecast at 7.25%, still lower than Rhode Island’s revised 7.5%. North Carolina has made its full pension contribution in 69 of the past 70 years, Cowell said.