Pension plans around the state are evaluating the impact of the recent California Supreme Court decision that relaxed the so-called California rule.
Industry sources said the ruling gives employers and states a little more wiggle room to close loopholes. In its July 30 opinion, the court ruled against plaintiffs' argument that the state's pension reform legislation, a law designed to eliminate so-called pension spiking, violated the contract clause of the constitution.
"We believe the court's decision provides clarity and guidance for LACERA and other public pension plans," said Steven P. Rice, chief counsel at the $58 billion Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association, Pasadena.
However, LACERA officials do not foresee the California Supreme Court's decision in the case having an impact on LACERA's retirement plans. The pay items that were addressed by the decision were never considered pensionable by the LACERA board of retirement, Mr. Rice said.
The $16.2 billion Orange County Employees' Retirement System, Santa Ana, did have some pay items that were banned as pension spiking by the pension reform at issue in the case, according to a written statement.
"The OCERS board has not taken any action to exclude the pay items in controversy, but rather continue with the conditional inclusion of such pay items," OCERS said. Pension fund officials will provide updates regarding the impact of the latest case to its participating employers and members as soon as possible, it said.
Robert Kinsler, OCERS spokesman, declined comment beyond the written statement.