Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Trial Date Set in RSEA Lawsuit Challenging Constitutionality of Cash Balance Plan

In a preliminary hearing on December 3, 19th Judicial District Judge William Morvant ruled that the RSEA lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Act 483, known as the Cash Balance Plan (CBP), can move forward for a trial based on the merits of the suit. The trial date has been set for January 24, 2013.

Attorneys representing RSEA filed the lawsuit on August 16 challenging the constitutionality of House Bill 61, which became Act 483 of the 2012 Louisiana Legislative Session. The legislation affects future non-hazardous duty state employees of LASERS, post-secondary education members of the Teachers' Retirement System, and is optional for certain Louisiana School Employees' Retirement System members. The plan would not take effect for these new hires until July 1, 2013.

RSEA and their attorneys, Robert "Bob" Tarcza of New Orleans and Robert "Bob" Klausner of Plantation, Florida, reached the conclusion that Act 483 required a two-thirds vote for passage, rather than a simple majority. The Louisiana Constitution, Article X - Section 29(F), mandates a two-thirds vote when an actuarial cost is associated with enactment of benefit provisions for members of a public retirement system. The Legislative Actuary had determined that the Cash Balance Plan would have an actuarial cost. The bill passed in the Louisiana House of Representatives by a simple majority, but lacked the required 70 votes of the elected members.

The lawsuit is entitled The Retired State Employees Association, Frank L. Jobert, Jr., et al vs. State of Louisiana, Honorable Governor Bobby Jindal and Honorable John Neely Kennedy, State Treasurer.

LASERS will share more information as it becomes available.

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