In a scene that is going to play out in scores of cities across the nation, unions are going to come to grips with the fact that pensions are not sacrosanct. Please consider Rhode Island city asks retirees to cut their pensions
As cities across the United States struggle to keep their finances afloat, Central Falls, Rhode Island, is taking a novel approach to try to avoid bankruptcy.Simple Rule
The city is asking police and firefighter retirees to give up 50% of their pension.
On Tuesday, a state-appointed receiver, Judge Robert Flanders, met with constituents to discuss options that will prevent the city from filing for bankruptcy, but the choices seemed limited: either volunteer for the pension cut, or risk losing it all.
Each of the 141 city retirees will receive a voting ballot and a packet by the end of the week, showing how much of their pensions will be slashed if they agree to volunteer for the benefits cut.
With August set as the deadline for further decisions on the financial future of the city, Flanders hopes to find out residents' decisions by the end of the month.
Though the measures seem drastic, residents are being told that it's a far better choice than "being at the mercy of the bankruptcy court."
"It was a very difficult meeting, there was a lot of concern and anger," said Trainor of Tuesday's event.
Flanders "hopes, in the case of the retirees, that they would agree," Trainor said.
"Better to accept his proposal than taking a chance with the bankruptcy court," he added.
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