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Monday, December 10, 2018

Pension links

Posted by Lou on May 5, 2016

Brothers and Sisters,

There have been a bunch of links to articles about pensions be sent around among our membership lately, so it makes sense to post them here.

It looks like one of the nation’s largest pension funds could be cutting benefits for retirees. The part of this article that really hit home with me was:

For many workers, the promise of a [pension] — a benefit now nearly extinct for younger generations — was at times strong enough to convince them to sacrifice pay raises or other job opportunities.

Locally, Ted Siedle takes the Governor to task regarding investment returns from her former employer’s hedge fund, Point Judith Capital in a recent article on Forbes.com. And GoLocalProv.com posts a brief article talking about how the pension fund lost money by investing with Point Judith Capital, while the Governor continues to earn her share of management fees paid to the fund.

How does this make you feel? What should union members be doing to combat these issues? Let us know in the comments below.

Thanks!

Interesting articles related to pension funds

Posted by Lou on June 28, 2015

There have been some interesting articles regarding pension funds over the last few weeks. Take a look and tell us what you think in the comments below! Or better yet, share some of your favorite articles with your union brothers and sisters!

International Business Times: For Rhode Island Taxpayers, Alternative Investments Have High Cost

Wall Street Journal: Rhode Island’s $2 Billion in ‘Preventable Losses’ in Alternative Assets

New York Times: When Private Investment Firms Give Retirees the Short End

Go Local Prov: INVESTIGATION: Investment Firms Not Sharing Vendor Discounts with RI Pension Fund

Don’t forget to read the investigation into our pension fund performed by Benchmark Financial Services and submit a complaint to the SEC requesting an investigation into potential violations.

Ted Siedle’s pension fund investigation

Posted by Lou on June 7, 2015

Brother’s and sisters,

Ted Siedle’s investigation into the Rhode Island State Employees’ pension fund has been completed and published. Please take the time to read the document and send it to other interested parties, as well as you state Senator and Representative.

Thanks,
Local 2881 Executive Board

Pension Fund Investigation

Posted by Lou on April 29, 2015

Brothers and Sisters,

Today is the last day to donate to Ted Siedle’s crowdfunding of an investigation into the pension fund. Although it has just reached fully funded, Kickstarter takes 10% of the total amount raised. I’ve spent significant time talking to Mr. Siedle over the last 2 days, and he seems like a good and decent person who really wants to help Rhode Islanders get to the bottom of why there are such significant issues with our pension fund. So please, if you are able, donate whatever you can afford to this investigation before 5pm today!

Thanks!

A new investigation of the pension fund

Posted by Lou on April 10, 2015

Brothers and Sisters,

As you may have heard, Ted Siedle has created a crowd funding campaign to raise funds to investigate the state employees’ pension fund. If Mr. Siedle’s effort raises $20,000 before April 29, he will conduct a follow up to his previous forensic investigation, funded by Council 94.

When I inquired about the focus of the investigation with Mr. Siedle, he stated the following:

This investigation will be based upon the most current information and focus upon hidden and excessive investment fees; the cost of any investment underperformance; conflicts of interest and wrongdoing. It will be a follow-up on the prior investigation, updating on past issues but we will also examine any new issues which arise. As before, there will likely be some discussion of actuarial issues and assumptions.

Now is your chance to have a direct impact in proving that is the mismanagement of the pension fund that led us to the underfunded condition it is in. It certainly isn’t our fault, because I know that we’ve contributed 8.75% of our pay everyday, without fail. Meanwhile, partners of past treasurers and hedge fund managers get rich off the excessive fees being paid with our money. Visit the Kickstarter page and donate whatever amount you are able towards getting the answers we deserve.

Thanks
Lou

Ted Siedle’s report

Posted by Lou on October 22, 2013

You’ll remember that Ted Siedle was hired by Council 94 to perform a forensic investigation of the state employees’ retirement fund. The report shares some interesting and maddening findings, which can be found here: http://www.ricouncil94.org/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/Rhode%20Island%20X.pdf.

Local media coverage of this story is found on the Providence Journal website and GoLocalProv.com.

And you can listen to Mr. Siedle discuss his findings with Buddy Cianci on 630 WPRO.

Please read and listen to all of this, educate yourself, and get motivated to get active in fighting this injustice.

June News

Posted by Lou on June 21, 2013

Whoa. What a month! If you’ve missed the flurry of activity, let me get you caught up.

First, Council 94 hired Forbes contributor Ted Seidle to conduct a forensic investigation of the Rhode Island state employees pension system.

Then, the House Finance Committee released and voted on the state budget on the same day. That egregious slight to government transparency included a budget article allowing the General Assembly to forego a $12.9 million contribution to the pension system.

And finally, the Economic Policy Institute issued two articles, with associated papers, about the our pension system. The first was a brief history of the multitude of cuts to our pension benefits since 2005 and the other is an analysis of how the most recent changes drastically reduce our benefit, without providing savings to the system.

Contract negotiations and pension mediation continue, as well. We will keep you posted as new information becomes available.

May Updates

Posted by Lou on May 30, 2013

Unfortunately, we couldn’t get a quorum to our May general membership meeting, but we do have a couple of updates.

– Ted Siedle made another appearance on Buddy Cianci’s radio show last week to talk about Treasurer Raimondo’s shaky investment record.

– Local 2881 is once again giving scholarships this year. Please see the flyer for details. A copy of the flyer will also be included in upcoming paychecks.