Challenge to Teacher Pension Ruling

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

A dispute over the merger of West Virginia's two teacher pension programs is going to the state Supreme Court.

Members of the state Consolidated Public Retirement Board voted unanimously Wednesday to appeal a Kanawha County Circuit Court ruling that derailed the merger.

The older plan guarantees benefits based on salary and years of service.

The newer, 401K-style plan defines contribution levels from enrollees and their public employers.

About 1,000 enrollees in the newer plan sued to block the merger.

Judge Paul Zakaib ruled in January that the newer plan's individual investment accounts are the enrollees' private property.

Zakaib said combining those accounts into the older plan's general fund would be an illegal "taking" under the state constitution.

Charleston attorney Jim Lees represents the enrollees who sued.

He says he expected the board to appeal the ruling.


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