A planned merger between the West Virginia Teachers' Defined Contribution Plan and the West Virginia Teachers' Retirement System was halted today, pending further review by a judge for the Kanawha County Circuit Court in Charleston, confirmed Jim Lees, the lawyer representing defined contribution plan participants who oppose the merger.
Oral arguments are scheduled for July 26. After Circuit Court Judge Paul Zakaib rules on the constitutionality of the merger, the decision most likely will be appealed to the state supreme court, Mr. Lees said.
Several participants of the 401(a) plan on April 13 filed suit against the state's Consolidated Public Retirement Board, which is responsible for the administration of the state's retirement plans, alleging that the merger was unconstitutional under state law and that some participants would lose money and benefits. The $600 million Teachers' Defined Contribution plan and the $1.6 billion Teachers' Retirement System pension plan, both in Charleston, announced last month that the merger would be effective July 1.
Terasa Miller, deputy director of the retirement board, was not available for comment.