Arizona Asks Court to Dismiss Lawsuit over Pension Changes

September 1, 2011 ( - Arizona wants a judge to throw out a lawsuit filed by state workers that would block new rules that require government employees to pay more toward their retirement benefits.

According to the Arizona Business Gazette, the state’s lawyer argued in court papers that the interest of the state and the potential cost savings to taxpayers outweighs the impact on individual workers. Employees and the state are also debating whether or not the past contribution agreement is a contract.  

Under the challenged budget provision, more than 200,000 workers will pay 53% of the total contributions to the Arizona State Retirement System and the amount paid by their employers will be 47%. The split previously was 50-50.   

The news report said those cost-cutting measures saved the state $41.3 million in pension expenses.  

Employee unions filed a lawsuit in July to block the change (see Unions Sue Arizona over Pension Changes).