Fung set to unilaterally suspend, cap Cranston pension COLAs

It hasn’t gotten a lot of attention, but another Rhode Island pension battle is brewing in Cranston, where Mayor Allan Fung is pushing the city’s finance committee to take unilateral action on its underfunded, closed pension plan for pre-1995 firefighters, Paul Davis reports for The Providence Journal:

Now Fung wants the city’s Finance Committee to approve his cuts to benefits at a special Oct. 25 meeting. …

Cranston, he says, can no longer afford the locally administered plan, which costs more than $20 million a year — nearly 20 percent of the city’s budget, excluding school costs.

In a bid to save money, the mayor wants the city’s retirees to forgo an annual cost-of-living increase for the next 10 years.

He also wants to cap all cost-of-living adjustments, or COLAs, at 3 percent after the 10-year freeze. Retirees now get a minimum 3-percent increase but can earn more if current employees get more.

• Related: Slideshow: Mayor Fung’s warning to pensioners in Cranston (Sept. 18)

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