Moody’s Praises Fung Settlement Cutting Cranston Pensions

An article written by WPRI reporter Ted Nesi on January 20, 2014 for your reading please.

Moody Article

Pension News Update – Settlement Finalized by RI Superior Court

CPDRA Pension News 13Dec2014

Updated Pension News (November 15, 2013)

Attached is the most current information regarding the status of the “Proposed Settlement” with the city regarding our COLA:

 Court Decision Letter 15 Nov 2013

Johnston Mayor Seeks Police, Fire Pension Changes Through Council-Approved Ordinance – June 14, 2013

In the face of emotional opposition from the town’s police and firefighters, Mayor Joseph Polisena is asking the Town Council to back his plan to rescue the troubled pension system by curtailing certain pension benefits long established in union contracts.

According to the proposed ordinance by the mayor, it would freeze cost-of-living escalators (COLAs) over a period of 20 years for all retirees.  At that point, any retirees receiving pensions greater than 150 percent of the Rhode Island mean income, which is about $29,277 in 2011, would remain ineligible for any cost-of-living increases.

To read the entire Providence Journal article, go to http://www.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/content/20130614-johnston-mayor-seeks-police-fire-pension-changes-through-council-approved-ordinance.ece

Pension Update – June 19, 2013

 Dear Pension Recipient,

     I would like to begin this letter by thanking all of you who sent funds to support our legal defense.   While this was not an easy decision by the new officers and board members to make, it was necessary due to limited funds within the Cranston Police Retiree Association (CPDRA) for hiring a lawyer with extensive civil law experience to represent all retirees and widows during this legal process regarding our pension.  Since our goal was to have this be a one-time request of funds, those that have not contributed are respectfully requested to reconsider our request.  In the event you cannot afford the one hundred dollars for retirees and fifty dollars for widows, any amount of money you send will be greatly appreciated.  Those that simply cannot afford it due to their financial situation will still be represented by the CPDRA lawyer during this process. In the event there is money left in our legal fund once this process has concluded, a special CPDRA meeting will be held for all of those who donated for determining its fate.   For those that contributed and live out of state, an email will be sent to you for your feedback.  As a reminder, checks can be made out to CPDRA and mailed to Mark Sepe, C/O CPDRA, 33 Highwood Terrace, Cranston, Rhode Island 02920.

     As an update, our lawyer recently went to Superior Court on a motion to certify us as a class and for him to be appointed as class counsel, which the judge granted.  He now will be working on the settlement motion that will be presented to the court, which the court will schedule for a hearing sometime in August.  Assuming that the judge approves the settlement after hearing arguments both for and against this settlement, the court will set a deadline for persons to opt out if they choose to do so.  It is my understanding that probably the city will be responsible for sending all of us a notice to either accept or opt out of this settlement.  To date, CPDRA has paid out a total of $2,278.75 for legal fees.  This does not include the approximately $207.03 it costs the association each time it sends out a correspondence to all retirees and widows to keep them informed of this situation.

     Although not addressed in any other CPDRA correspondence, please allow me a few extra minutes of your time to address another issue that bothers me deeply.  Despite everything we have been through and sacrificed as police officers, it took an issue like this to divide us.  Believe me when I say that NO ONE LIKES what is happening with our pension.  However, I can only hope that once this issue is resolved, one way or another, we can place our differences aside and build on the sacrifices and hard work of our previous CPDRA officers and board members.  As J. K. Rowley eloquently stated “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”

     While we do not expect to conduct another meeting until sometime after the proposed hearing in August, I certainly hope that everyone (retirees and widows) will be able to attend our next scheduled meeting.   Remember, this association is as only as good as its members who provide it with feedback and ideas for continual growth and prosperity.

     In closing, I hope this letter finds you and your family safe and well.  In the event you have any questions or concerns regarding anything, please email them to cpdrari@yahoo.com and someone will get back to you as soon as possible. Since the CPDRA will have its web site up and running in the very near future, please ensure we have your email so we can notify you when it is operational.

Sincerely,

Peter J. Sepe, President

Cranston Police Department Retiree Association

Be Informed: CPDRA Pension Reform Presentation

Cranston Police Department Retirees Association

Pension Reform Presentation

March 19, 2013

See / Download / Print the fill presentation here (.pdf)

Providence Pension Deal Cost $972k in Legal Fees – April 29, 2013

According to WPRI.com reporter Dan McGow, the landmark pension reform settlement reached between the Providence police, fire, and public employee unions cost the city nearly $1 million in lawyer fees over the last two fiscal years, WPRI.com has learned.

The majority of legal fees paid out by the city went to William Dolan, the Brown-Rudnick lawyer who helped negotiate the deal on behalf of the city.  Mr. Dolan is the same lawyer that the city of Cranston has retained regarding our proposed pension settlement.

To read the entire article, visit http://www.wpri.com/dpp/news/local_news/mcgowan/providence-pension-deal-cost-972k-in-legal-fees.

Judge Rules Providence Pension Settlement Fair – March 11, 2013

Providence – Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter has issued a ruling that Providence’s pension settlement is “fair, reasonable and adequate,” according to a statement released today by Providence Mayor Angel Taveras.

The settlement is expected to save the city $18.5 million in the 2013 fiscal year and reduce unfunded liability by at least $170 million through a 10-year suspension of annual cost-of-living (COLA) pension, along with other measures.

For more info, refer to http://pbn.com/Judge-rules-Providence-pension-settlement-fair,86986 article.