Oklahoma pension reformers should be encouraged by R.I. primary result
by The Oklahoman Editorial Board

NORMALLY the outcome of a Democratic gubernatorial primary in Rhode Island would have little bearing on Oklahoma politics. This year’s race is an exception.

In the Rhode Island primary on Tuesday, state Treasurer Gina Raimondo won the Democratic gubernatorial nod, defeating two others. This is notable because Raimondo championed public pension reform in 2011 that Wall Street Journal editorial writer Allysia Finley declared “may be the country’s boldest …”

Among other things, Raimondo supported ending cost-of-living adjustments for retirees until pension funds become 80 percent solvent. She supported increasing the retirement age from 62 to 67. Aside from public safety employees, all other state workers were shifted to hybrid plans that include a modest annuity and a defined-contribution component. And most changes applied not only to future workers, but also to current retirees.

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