Benefits

Unions, Retirees Sue Over Maine Pension Changes

By Rebecca Moore editors@plansponsor.com | October 03, 2012

October 3, 2012 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – Three employee unions have been allowed to join a lawsuit over the freezing of Maine state pension cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs).

The Maine State Employees Association (MSEA-SEIU Local 1989), the Maine Education Association and the Maine State Troopers Association were granted permission to intervene in the lawsuit filed by the Maine Association of Retirees against the Maine Public Employees Retirement System (MePERS), according to a MSEA statement. The suit claims that the elimination of COLA benefits for retired employees violates the Constitution as an unlawful taking of property without just compensation and a violation of the contract clause.   

A state budget measure passed last June froze COLAs for three years and puts a 3% cap on cost-of-living increases after that.  

According to news reports, the unions and retirees want the court to award retroactive cost-of-living adjustments.