CA Supreme Court Rules on Pension Padding Perk for State Workers

March 04, 2019 - 12:07 pm

The state Supreme Court has just upheld a rule that took away a pension perk for state workers.

The Justices decided then Gov. Jerry Brown was within his rights to get rid of the perk that allowed employees to pad their pensions by buying five extra years of service.

But the ruling did not settle the general issue of whether retirement benefits promised to government workers can be taken away, especially as a way to trim budgets.

Jessica Levinson who heads the Public Service Institute at Loyola Law School tells KNX pension rights are a hot button topic:

"This has been a battle that has been happening politically and legally for quite a while. People have been trying to scale back on pension benefits not just for new hires, which we know is legally acceptable, but also people who are already employed by the state government. This case will help answer part of the question of whether or not we can scale back, at least in some way," she said.

The lawsuit was brought by a union representing state firefighters.