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Louisiana state pension lawsuit can move forward

Louisiana capital
Louisiana capital

A Louisiana district court judge has allowed a lawsuit concerning new pension plans for future Louisiana state employees to continue.

Filed by the Retired State Employees Association of Louisiana, the suit claims legislation enacting a new retirement plan for certain incoming state employees is unconstitutional after it failed to meet a two-thirds majority in both state houses.

The state attempted to block the suit, claiming the organization had no legal standing because the new plans would not affect those already retired, said Frank Jobert Jr., executive director for the RSEA.

District Court Judge William Morvant disagreed and has set a trial date for Jan. 24, 2013, in Baton Rouge, La.

The state's constitution requires a supermajority for all pension reform bills placing additional actuarial costs on the state's pension system, which was not the case when it passed in June.

The law is aimed toward teachers, employees of the public educational system and other state employees, Mr. Jobert said. Rank-and-file employees would be affected the most, he said.

According to Mr. Jobert, the RSEA is not directly opposed to the new plan itself, but rather how it was passed.

“We felt we should hold the Legislature responsible,” he said.

Anna Gaynor is a writer at Business Insurance, a sister publication of Pensions & Investments.