State High Court OKs Legislature Rescinding Employee Benefit It Once Gave

Category: Published Articles
Date: Mar 6, 2019 02:12 PM

Steven Berliner was quoted in an article for the Daily Journal on the California Supreme Court’s ruling of certain state employee’s ability to purchase pension service time.

 On Monday, March 4th, in a narrow decision, the California Supreme Court ruled that some state employee’s ability to purchase pension service time was constitutional and that the Legislature could rescind an employee benefit it had previously instituted.

In Cal Fire Local 2881 vs. California Public Employees' Retirement System, the firefighters argued that taking away “airtime” (i.e. purchased pension time) violated the so-called "California Rule," the practice that a public employee is vested in the pension benefit promised at the start of employment such that those benefits cannot be modified. The court ruled against the firefighters, deciding that airtime was not a protected pension right.

The court did not touch on the application of the California Rule, in which there are several related pension cases still pending. In the article, Steve explains that he “expects the court to uphold the California Rule.”

 You can read the entire article on the Daily Journal's website here.

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