PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Mail ballots have been sent to the retired and active public workers who will soon decide the fate of a proposed settlement in the litigation surrounding Rhode Island's 2011 pension overhaul.

To be approved, the settlement must be endorsed by public workers and retirees during a complicated voting process. The first step involved mail ballots that must be returned no later than April 3.

The ballots will be counted by an independent company.

The settlement must also be approved by state lawmakers.

The proposed settlement was announced last month as a way to resolve legal challenges filed by unions and retirees unhappy with the 2011 law, which raised retirement ages and suspended pension increases.

The deal would roll back some of the law's changes and give retirees modest pension increases.


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