Pension plans managed by religious organizations in Rhode Island will have to send regular financial updates to plan participants, under legislation approved by Rhode Island's General Assembly. The bill now goes to Gov. Gina Raimondo.
The pension transparency legislation, which passed June 20, was sponsored by Rhode Island Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio and House Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi, in cooperation with state Treasurer Seth Magaziner, who oversees the Rhode Island State Investment Commission, including the $8.1 billion Rhode Island Employees' Retirement System, Providence.
"I applaud the General Assembly for taking steps to close an unnecessary loophole," Mr. Magaziner said in a statement.
Non-governmental pension plans with 200 or more participants and not covered by ERISA must comply with ERISA reporting requirements.
It was drafted in response to the insolvency of the $85 million St. Joseph Health Services of Rhode Island Retirement Plan, North Providence, covering current and former employees of Our Lady of Fatima and Roger Williams hospitals, which were sold to Prospect Medical Holdings in 2014. A pending participant lawsuit claims plan officials hid the plan's underfunding.
"Too many hardworking caregivers and health professionals, who spent their careers serving their communities, have been hurt by a lack of transparency. We must ensure that this never happens again," Mr. Ruggerio said in a statement.
Mr. Shekarchi added that disclosure "will help ensure that members' retirement savings is not imperiled by mismanagement and that those in charge cannot easily obscure negligence or misconduct."