May 22, 2012

Warwick Police & Fire Pensions Only 22% Funded

Monique Chartier

... according to actuary results released a couple of hours ago by Councilman Joseph Solomon.

According to the city’s professional actuaries, Warwick’s largest pension plan is just 22.3 percent funded and, as of June 30, 2011, had a staggering liability of $242,127,650.

Police and Fire I is not the city’s only pension plan, but it is by far the largest pension plan in the city. The other three pension plans are relatively well-funded, but when liabilities and assets are combined with Police and Fire I, the city’s four pension plans are average funded at just 51.2 percent.

Not sure what the councilman means by this allusion to the governor.

“Like many of our neighbors, we in the city of Warwick face some serious liabilities. Time is running out. Warwick city leaders need to stop downplaying our significant financial challenges and start getting behind solutions,” said Solomon, an accountant and lawyer.

Solomon continued: “I would hate to think Governor Chafee was misled. I will continue to deliver the truth about Warwick’s financial condition as information becomes available to me from our actuaries and CPA auditors—even though it may not be pleasant.”

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Solomon likes to hear himself talk. Everybody who has paid attention for three seconds knows Police & Fire I are underfunded and the City is in the middle of a 40 year payment plan to fund these two pensions. Funny how he doesn't mention the Municipal Employees Pension Plan is 71% funded. But I guess that wouldn't be a headline now would it?

Posted by: What A Boob... at May 22, 2012 9:00 PM

Oh, I forgot to ask in my previous post. Since when is Solomon an accountant? Lawyer, politican and used car salesman, yes, but accountant? That's a first. But hey, I could be wrong.

Posted by: What A Boob at May 22, 2012 9:02 PM

Look! Another politician looking for political capital in other communities financial plights! The city of Warwick and its unions recognized almost 20 years ago that there was an issue with its pension plan. The unions and the city came together, closed one pension fund and agreed to start 2 more, with all new employees entering these new plans. The city and those employees in the initial plans have been adhering faithfully to the 40 year plan to make the fund solvent. So, in essence, this was a story 18 years ago. All current pension plans are exceptionally well funded compared to nearly all other RI communities and Mayor Avedesian and the council recently enacted pension reforms for all new hires after July 1, 2012. To my knowledge, the unions are not contesting those changes.

Solomon is planning a run at a new office. He's looking to piggyback off the drama and fear (real fear, agreed) in other communities but Warwick isn't Providence, Central Falls or Woonsocket. It pays it's bills and has a better plan than nearly any other RI community to meet its obligations.

Posted by: Rich at May 22, 2012 11:24 PM

Anytime Fey Scotty is interviewed he carefully states that "all of our pension plans except one are in great shape".
The "one" of course is the largest and better than a billion in the red when OBEP are added in.
It is Scotty's best "otherwise how was the play Mrs. Lincoln" moment.

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at May 23, 2012 3:11 PM
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