Marin County Victorious in Pension Spiking Dispute

Pensions Can Be 'Reasonably' Lowered, Calif. Panel Says
– Law360

Law360 covered Manatt’s appellate victory on behalf of Marin County Employees’ Retirement Association and the Marin County Employees’ Retirement Association Board of Retirement, for which the firm helped secure a favorable decision in a dispute over “pension spiking.” Manatt’s Ben Shatz, co-chair of the firm’s appellate practice, led Manatt’s representation in the case.

“Pension spiking” is the process employees use to inflate their income and retirement benefits via various ploys. A three-judge panel for California’s First Appellate District agreed with Shatz that Marin County retirement administrators could legally alter the formula used for calculating active public employees’ pensions to narrow their expected pension benefits so long as they made sure those employees still receive a “reasonable,” albeit reduced pension.

In its ruling, the California appellate court reached the same conclusion, saying that lawmakers acted appropriately when they excluded certain specified items and categories of compensation from the calculation of pensions for current employees.

Read the article here