Gary Justus, et. al. v. Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association, et. al., 2012COA (October 11, 2012)

Can the rules change in the middle of the game? No—sort of. The US and Colorado Constitutions’ Contract Clauses prevent subsequent legislatures from impairing a public contractual obligation created by prior laws. This case involves the Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA), and the benefits it provides to government employee retirees; specifically, the cost of living increases (COLA) to PERA benefits. The court of appeals, reversing the trial court in part, held that government employees have a constitutional contractual right to the COLA rates set by statute at the time their rights to PERA benefits vested. But, such rights are violated only if they are substantially impaired, and there was no reasonable, necessary or legitimate public purpose for changing the rates. Those issues were returned to the trial court for further proceedings.

http://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Court_Of_Appeals/Opinion/2012/11CA1507-PD.pdf

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6 Comments

Filed under Constitutional, Contracts, Government

6 responses to “Gary Justus, et. al. v. Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association, et. al., 2012COA (October 11, 2012)

  1. While the Court of Appeals has ruled retirees have a contractual right to their cost-of-living adjustments, the battle to win back the 3.5% per year (3.25% in Denver) now commences in district court. Neither the General Assembly nor PERA have ever formally declared an “actuarial necessity” upon which their claims depend, so it will be interesting to see their actuary’s numbers. (Remember that PERA is an “instrumentality” of the state.) Learn more at http://www.SavePERACOLA.com .

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  2. This case was heard by the supreme court on June 4, 2014 in oral argument. On Septrember 26th, 2014 we are still awaiting an opinion for this landmark case. Learn more at http://www.SavePERACOLA.com .

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  3. Pingback: Gary Justice, Kathleen Hopkins, Eugene Halaas, Jr., and Robert Laird, Jr. v. The State of Colorado, Governor Hickenlooper, Colorado PERA, Carole Wright, and Maryann Motza, 2014CO75 (Oct. 20, 2014) | Colorado Litigation Report ™

  4. Pingback: Gary Justice, Kathleen Hopkins, Eugene Halaas, Jr., and Robert Laird, Jr. v. The State of Colorado, Governor Hickenlooper, Colorado PERA, Carole Wright, and Maryann Motza, 2014CO75 (Oct. 20, 2014) | Colorado Litigation Report ™

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