California Supreme Court curbs a pension benefit but preserves ‘California Rule’
By Maura Dolan
The California Supreme Court made it clear Monday that state and local governments may reduce pension costs by repealing certain benefits without running afoul of constitutional protections for public pensions.
In a unanimous decision written by Chief Justice Tani-Cantil Sakauye, the court upheld California’s 2012 repeal of an “air time” benefit that allowed state workers to buy credits toward retirement service.
The decision was the court’s first in a series of pending pension disputes it has agreed to review . . .
Daniel M. Kolkey, who represented a free-market think tank in the case, said the ruling suggested the court would be flexible in allowing state and local governments to repeal some benefits.
But he also predicted that the court eventually would have to decide whether the California Rule should be limited.