Plaintiffs’ attorneys Stephen M. Pincus, William T. Payne and Richard Rosenblatt filed their first brief with the Colorado Supreme Court Thursday. You may read it at http://saveperacola.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/2013-10-24-plaintiff-petitioners_-amended-opening-brief1.pdf .
This brief addresses the three issues that the SC agreed to address when it granted a writ of certiorari. They are:
Summary of Issues:
Whether the contracts clause framework articulated in In re Estate of DeWitt, 54 P.3d 849 (Colo. 2002), applies to all contract clause claims under the Colorado Constitution.
Whether Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association members have contractual rights to the cost-of-living adjustment formulas in place at their respective retirements for life without change.
Whether SB10-1, which adjusted cost-of-living adjustments to their current level of two percent compounded annually, was constitutional because it (a) did not substantially impair contractual expectations and was reasonable and necessary to ensure the pension funds’ long-term viability, and (b) was not a regulatory taking.
Based on the time it will take for the next three briefs to be filed (defendants’, plaintiffs’, defendants’) and then time for oral arguments and a written decision, we should potentially have a definitive answer from the supreme court by the end of 2014. The unknowns are whether the case will be remanded to district court for further action, or whether any of the parties will appeal to the federal courts. At any rate, this is a five year case, more or less, as we expected.
For those of you who are wondering how much Senate Bill 1 has cost you so far, know this:
1. For every $1000 of monthly benefit you receive, you are not receiving $1036 each year that you should have.
2. Your monthly benefit is 8.63% less than it currently should be.
3. Each year in July the differential increases by more than 1.5% (due in part to compounding).
4. These numbers assume you were already retired in February of 2010. If you retired later, they will be less but still quite substantial. Denver School Division numbers are slightly less.
We are approaching our commitment goal to pay the attorneys our small portion of their huge costs to litigate this case. If you believe your retirement income was earned by you or your spouse, and that the State of Colorado cannot take it away to pay for its other discretionary fancies, then you should contribute to this effort.
Support the lawsuit with a donation. Please mail a check to:
Save PERA COLA
ATTN. Judy Ganschaw, Treasurer
3241 S. Josephine St.
Denver, CO 80210
Thank you for your support!
Rich and Gary