Lawyers ask judge for more time in pension mediation

By Dan McGowan

Lawyers for the state and public-sectors unions have asked a judge for more time to discuss a potential settlement of a lawsuit challenging Rhode Island’s 2011 landmark pension law before it heads to trial.

The lawyers provided R.I. Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter with their sixth update on the mediation talks since February, according to court spokesman Craig Berke. Taft-Carter ordered the two sides to the table in December, six months after the law took effect.

General Treasurer Gina Raimondo, the key architect of the pension overhaul, has said suspending retirees’ cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) until the pension system is 80% funded and moving most current employees into a hybrid pension plan will strengthen to retirement system and save the states billions of dollars.

Berke said attorneys on both sides will provide Taft-Carter with another update on Sept. 5 at Kent County Superior Court, which is where the judge is assigned this fall.

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