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RI pension deal announced that aids retirees; state efforts widely seen as model for others

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Rhode Island state leaders and union officials have reached a deal to end legal wrangling over a landmark pension overhaul that's been a model for other states seeking to rein in runaway pension costs.

The proposed settlement would resolve a lawsuit from public workers and retirees unhappy with the 2011 law, which raised retirement ages and suspended pension increases.

The deal must be ratified by lawmakers and unions. The biggest change includes restoring pension increases sooner than the current law.

The deal would cost Rhode Island governments $24 million next year, but it maintains nearly $4 billion in future savings from the 2011 law.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee and Treasurer Gina Raimondo (ray-MAHN'-doh) say the deal is fair to taxpayers and public employees and would prevent a costly and uncertain legal battle.

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