The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that PERA retirees have a contract with PERA that includes their annual benefit increases (aka COLA.) The unanimous court wrote:
We agree with plaintiffs, subject to certain limitations explained below. Specifically, we conclude that plaintiffs have a contractual right, but that the court must still determine whether any impairment of the right is substantial and, if so, whether the reduction was reasonable and necessary to serve a significant and legitimate public purpose. Therefore, we reverse the summary judgment and remand the case to the district court for further proceedings. You may read the 37 page decision at this link:
Plaintiffs will now confer with their attorneys as to how to proceed in the case. While we have won a significant battle, we expect PERA and Colorado to now vigorously defend their claim that there was “actuarial necessity” for reducing the COLA.