Court hears arguments in R.I. pension case

Providence - Attorneys for the state of Rhode Island and its retirement system have asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit by public-sector unions over the state's pension overhaul.

The state's lawyer told Judge Sarah Taft-Carter on Friday that unions haven't made their case and that retirement benefits set through state law don't constitute a contract.

Union lawyers argued that the state violated workers' contracts when lawmakers voted last year to cut benefits.

The hearing was the highest profile one yet in a closely watched legal dispute over the pension law.

State leaders insist that without the changes, pension costs will eventually swamp state finances. Nationally, states confront more than a trillion dollars of unfunded pension promises.

- Associated Press


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