Attorneys will argue in Ramsey County District Court in St. Paul tomorrow about whether last year’s omnibus pension bill violates the U.S. and Minnesota Constitutions.
Pittsburgh-based attorney Stephen Pincus is representing six Minnesota retirees in a class-action lawsuit that alleges state lawmakers wrongfully reduced future increases in their annual pension benefits. Assistant Attorney General Rita Coyle de Meules is defending the state. (A website with the motions for and against summary judgment is found here). Ramsey County District Judge Gregg Johnson is hearing the case at 9:30 a.m.
Lawmakers passed bipartisan legislation last year that increased employee and employer pension contributions and lowered the annual increases for retiree benefits. The legislation was aimed at reducing multi-billion dollars worth of unfunded liabilities in the state’s three major pension plans. While lawmakers had increased contributions in the past, the legislation was the first time that retirees had been asked to share the pain.
The retirees sued soon after the Legislature adjourned contending the legislation violates their right to receive so-called post-retirement adjustments to their pension benefits.