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October 14, 2016

Event - The Gathering Storm: The Looming Rhode Island Financial Crisis in Public Pensions and Other Post Employment Benefits

Event - The Gathering Storm: The Looming Rhode Island Financial Crisis in Public Pensions and Other Post Employment Benefits

Donoghue Barrett & Singal and The Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns present:

The Gathering Storm: The Looming Rhode Island Financial Crisis in Public Pensions and Other Post Employment Benefits

What

It has been widely reported that the State of Rhode Island has "fixed" its public pension problems by a variety of legislative reforms. While it is true that the State has enacted and implemented important legislative reforms that address the problem, it persists and may yet explode in our very midst unless immediately addressed. As recently reported in the Providence Business News based upon data from the Rhode Island Department of Revenue, Division of Municipal Finance, pension plans for 18 Rhode Island cities and towns remain in critical status. Even more significantly, only 12 communities have begun funding trusts for Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB). Of those, the best is a mere 35.5 % of the funded liability and the rest are funded at a much lower percentage. By way of example, the City of Providence has a $1.149 billion liability that is entirely unfunded. Furthermore, effective June 15, 2017, Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Standard 75 will go into effect requiring cities and towns to clearly present as a liability on their balance sheets the present value of the entire OPEB liability less any funding. It appears reasonably clear that the effect of GASB 75 will be to highlight most of Rhode Island’s cities and towns as balance sheet insolvent, which will present a new set of financial challenges.

The Seminar will discuss the accounting, actuarial and legal ramifications of this dire public fiscal crisis and the perspectives of the cities and towns and the affected employees and retirees in light of the existing and impending GASB requirements and the recent rulings of the Superior Court for Providence County in the City of Woonsocket health benefits case and the City of Cranston pension benefit case, and the impending ruling in the City of Providence pension and health benefits case.

This event has been approved for 1.5 hours of Continuing Legal Education credit by the Rhode Island Supreme Court

Lunch will be served

The following panelists will share their perspectives:

  • Ernie Almonte | RSM US LLP
  • William M. Dolan III, Esq. | Donoghue Barrett & Singal
  • Paul A. Doughty, Esq., President | Providence Fire Fighters
  • Carly B. Iafrate, Esq. | Law Offices of Carly Beauvais Iafrate
  • Daniel W. Sherman | Sherman Actuarial Services, LLC
  • Angel Taveras, Esq. | Greenberg Traurig LLP | Former Mayor of Providence

When

Friday, October 14, 2016
12:00-2:00PM

Where

Rhode Island Convention Center, Ballroom B

Cost

$20.00 (cost includes lunch)

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