Retired state workers sue over pension changes

Posted Feb. 14, 2012, at 8:36 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — An organization representing retired Maine state workers and teachers has filed a lawsuit challenging retirement system reforms implemented last year to save money.

The 15,000-member Maine Association of Retirees on Monday sued the state retirement system over the elimination of cost-of-living adjustments for three years and a new cap on cost-of-living increases after that.

The suit alleges the state made a “solemn contractual commitment” under the contract clauses of the U.S. and Maine constitutions “never to alter certain sections of the public employee retirement statutes.” The organization alleges the move to freeze and then cap benefits breaks that promise.

MaineToday Media reports that the plaintiffs are asking the court to grant the cost-of-living adjustments retroactively.

The freeze on cost-of-living adjustments saved the state $48 million over two years.

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