DATA NOTES


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All data presented on this Web site was provided by the relevant government body, except as noted below. Obvious duplications and errors have been fixed as discovered. If you notice any errors or problems, please let us know.


Payroll 

State payroll data was supplied by the Rhode Island Department of Administration as well as the Northeastern University Watchdog New England site. The data originally included "gross pay" and "overtime pay"; subtracting one from the other gave us "regular pay.

Pensions

ERSRI (the Employees' Retirement System of Rhode Island)

City Of Cranston Fire and Police Department Pension Plans

Because the pension systems were not able to completely fulfill our data requests, we have made a number of estimated calculations to fill in the gaps. The information below explains how we made those calculations. We welcome any suggestions you have for improvement.
 

Estimated Past Payments - Using Current Age, Date of Retirement, Annual Gross Pension payment, and 2010 COLA payment. Using that data we estimated the total amount of pension payments prior to 2010, using the following calculations:    Current Age - Age at Retirement = Number of Years RetiredWe estimated an average COLA increase, using the number of years retired and working backward from the 2010 COLA payment.    Number of Years Retired * (Base Pension + Average COLA)

Estimated Retiree Contribution - ERSRI maintains this data but claims it cannot easily reproduce it. It is important to note that any estimated "employee contribution" is not likely to be accurate for any specific retiree, so we decided to work with averages.We ran a series of test calculations on an average retiree, who started contributing to the pension fund in 1977, when they contributed 5% of their salary, and retired in 1999. These calculations showed that their total contribution was close to their Final Average Salary.So, for any retiree for whom ERSRI gave us a Final Average Salary, we used this figure as the Estimated Retiree contribution.

Projected Future Pension Payments - Calculated by multiplying the current Annual Gross Pension times the normal life expectancy of the retiree. This equation assumes two things:1) COLA payment remains at 3% per year.2) A normal life expectancy, as stated in the Center for Disease Controls “life expectancy” table, based on the current age for each current retiree. (Found online at: http://www.cdc.gov)3) For Cranston Police & Fire, the COLA is figured on the Base Pension, with the Longevity and Holiday pay added as a percentage after the COLA calculation. 

Total Pension Payments - The addition of Estimated Past Payments, the Annual Gross Pension payment, and the Projected Future Pension Payment.

 

OTHER NOTES:

  • In some instances the data provided by ERSRI does not add up as one might expect. For example, for many individuals, the 2010 Base Pension + the 2010 COLA does not always equal the Total 2010 Pension.
  • For the City Of Cranston Fire and Police Department Pension Plans, the Annual Gross Pension includes a Base Pension, Longevity Pay, and Holiday Pay. Longevity and Holiday pay added together are roughly 16.7% of the Base Pension. Widows do not receive Longevity and Holiday pay.