Ala. Facing Lawsuit over Pension Reform

June 27, 2012 ( - A Mobile County, Alabama, judge is suing state officials to try to block new pension reforms.

The state law, enacted last year, requires all Alabama judges to pay more of their salaries toward their retirement benefits. The Associated Press (AP) reports the suit filed by Circuit Judge James Wood argues that the increase violates a state Constitution prohibition against diminishing a judge’s pay during his term of office. The law boosted the amount that judges must pay toward their pensions from 6% of their salary to 8.5%.  

Retirement Systems of Alabama attorney Leura Canary said the pension fund will argue that it’s not a reduction in pay and that the change will benefit judges when they retire, according to the AP.  

Last month, another reform measure was passed increasing the minimum retirement age for state workers (see “Ala. Legislature Passes Pension Reform”).