New Appellate Decision On Changing Retirement Benefits For CURRENT Employees

January 2018

A new Court of Appeals decision has reaffirmed the importance of vested pension rights in a case brought by the Alameda County Deputy Sheriffs Association. The case resulted from a decision of the Alameda County Retirement Board to remove various pay categories from final compensation. The California Supreme Court has been waiting for this ruling before reviewing arguments in a pending case from Marin County.  That case would change the California Rule, which prevents public employers from rolling back pension protections for employees once hired. This latest ruling in Alameda should remind the California Supreme Court that an individualized balancing test should determine if it is reasonable to make a change to a vested pension right.