PHOENIX — The Arizona Supreme Court said the Legislature can’t cut
cost-of-living increases promised to state retirees.
The ruling released Thursday came in a case brought after the Legislature cut
the increases in 2011 for retirees in the state plan for judges and elected
A Superior Court judge ruled in favor of retired judges after they sued, but
the state appealed.
The Legislature cut cost-of-living increases after the judges’ retirement
system lost money in the Great Recession and became severely underfunded. The
retired judges argued the increases were a promised benefit and lower courts
The high court agreed the increases are part of a promised retirement benefit
and are protected by the pension clause of the state Constitution. That clause
barred “diminishing or impairing” public retirement benefits.