Cranston pension limits upheld by court

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — The office of Mayor Allan Fung announced Friday afternoon the city’s decision to rein in pensions for its police and firefighters has been upheld and deemed “reasonable and necessary” by Rhode Island Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter.

Due to an under-funded pension system that was considered one of the worst in the state, Fung had asked labor unions and participants in the city’s pension system to accept caps on COLAs, or cost-of-living adjustments, to the pension payments. Fung has said the city is saving six million dollars a year due to the concessions, and it’s keeping the retirement fund solvent.

Mayor Fung stated, “this is a historic day and I am extremely pleased with the decision, which has been a long time coming. I am proud that we were the first government entity in Rhode Island to reform our troubled pension and have our actions withstand a legal challenge after trial.”

The majority of the unions and pension participants — numbering nearly five hundred — approved the concessions, but according to the Providence Journal, a group of 76 of them, who became known as the Cranston Police Retirees Action Committee, sued to try and quash the limits; they claimed they illegally withheld hard-earned benefits.

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