West Virginia Consolidated Public Retirement Board's plan to merge the state Teachers' Defined Contribution Plan into the West Virginia Teachers' Retirement System, both in Charleston, was declared unconstitutional and blocked by a West Virginia Circuit Court judge.
Participants in the 401(a) plan sued last spring to block the merger, which was scheduled to go through in July 2006.
According to the Jan. 26 decision, the merger would violate the federal and state constitutions because it would authorize the seizure of the dissident plan participants' private property interests in their defined contribution accounts without their permission.
The retirement board will decide in February whether to appeal, Anne Werum Lambright, executive director of the retirement board, said in an interview.
The board administers state retirement plans with assets totaling $8 billion.