The California Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for May 5 in a case that could re-examine the so-called California rule for calculating public pension benefits, which has been adopted by nearly a dozen other states.
The lawsuit involves the $8.8 billion Alameda County Employees' Retirement Association, Oakland, Calif., $9.3 billion Contra Costa Employees' Retirement Association, Concord, Calif., and $816 million Merced County (Calif.) Employees' Retirement Association. The case concerns what should be included or not included in retirement payment calculations.
Various public employees and public employee organizations in California's Alameda, Contra Costa and Merced counties brought lawsuits, which were consolidated, arguing that applying the state's 2012 pension reform law, as it applied to county pension plan members hired before the law's Jan. 1, 2013 effective date, was unconstitutional. After the pension reform law took effect, all three pension plans applied the changes, which excluded certain pay items that had formerly been included in calculating employees' total compensation for pension purposes, to new hires and existing employees.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, lawyers will appear remotely, with oral arguments conducted through video and audio connections and not in person at the courthouse.