Already struggling with a stagnant economy, massive unresolved budget problems, an alarming lack of transparency, and growing scandals involving her administration, Rhode Island Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo enters 2018 facing yet another major challenge, fueling further doubts about her ability to effectively govern. The Providence Journal reports that Rhode Island’s unfunded pension liability for state workers and teachers grew by nearly $700 million last year alone, putting the state in an increasingly difficult position with combined unfunded liability now totaling over $5.3 billion. As Rhode Island’s problems continue to pile up under Raimondo’s failed management, the state finds itself desperate for responsible leadership.
The Providence Journal has more:
Rhode Island’s unfunded pension liability for state workers and teachers grew by a combined $699 million to $5.33 billion in the fiscal year that ended June 30, according to figures released by the state’s actuary Friday.
The larger deficit between the assets in the state’s $8.3 billion pension fund and the future retirement benefits promised current and former employees was the result of a number of factors including lowered expectations for public employee wage growth, inflation and investment returns. Last fall the State Retirement Board lowered the assumed investment return from 7.5 percent to 7 percent.
Reflecting the growing unfunded liability, the pension’s funded ratio for state workers slipped from 56 percent as of June 30, 2016 to 52.9 percent at the same point this year, according to the report from Gabriel Roeder Smith & Company. The funded ratio for teachers slipped from 58.3 percent last year to 54.8 percent this year.