Court Says Decision To Force State Workers To Pay Into Pensions Was Unconstitutional

Aug 14, 2013

A three-judge panel says Michigan lawmakers do not have the authority to require state employees to contribute toward their pensions.

The Michigan Court of Appeals Wednesday ruled that the key provision of a 2011 law is unconstitutional.

The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher has more.

The law required state workers hired before 1997 to contribute four percent of their pay toward their pensions. Otherwise, they would have to switch to a 401K plan. But the Court of Appeals says only the state Civil Service Commission can make that kind of decision.

Ray Holman is with Michigan’s largest state employee union. He says the fight is probably not over – as the state can still appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court.

“But we’re hopeful relatively soon that state employees will once again receive a full paycheck,” he says.

Holman says the decision could affect thousands of state workers.