The Michigan Supreme Court today rejected an appeal by AFT Michigan challenging changes to the public school employees retirement statute which, we asserted, violated both the Michigan and U.S. Constitutions.
We asserted that a 2012 statute requiring school employees to pay between 1% to 4% more of their salary to keep the multiplier at 1.5% or have the multiplier lowered to 1.25% was unconstitutional because it was contrary to express statements in Office of Retirement Services publications over many years. ORS told people what they could count on. Now it is pay more or your pension will be reduced. This statute changed the playing field in the middle of people’s careers.
The decision left unresolved our claim involving changes made to the Retirement Act in 2010 regarding the validity of the mandatory 3% deduction to pay for retiree health care, although there is no constitutional guarantee that retiree health care will be provided. Our case involving this 3% remains before the Court. We do not know when that decision will be forthcoming.
(Newly elected Justice Richard Bernstein did not participate in the decision as he was not on the court when the court received this case.)