December 13, 2016
Public Safety Personnel Retirement System
State of Arizona
December 13, 2016
Contact: Christian Palmer
Employer contribution rates are now available and lawsuit updates
Individual employer contribution rates for PSPRS and CORP are now available online.
Contribution rate increases were caused primarily by short-term actuarial increases due to Prop 124 (for PSPRS) and the reduction of the assumed earnings rate in 2015 (for both PSPRS and CORP) by the Board of Trustees. The EORP rate currently remains at 23.5 percent.
Updates on the Arizona Supreme Court’s Hall decision
PSPRS is aware that since the recent Supreme Court ruling in the Hall v. Elected Officials' Retirement Plan (Hall v. EORP) case, members and employers have many questions, and everyone is anxious to begin taking action in compliance with the court’s ruling. However, the legal process is not complete, and PSPRS is not authorized to take any action at this time to implement the court’s decision. The parties have until December 27, 2016, to submit petitions for reconsideration of some parts of the decision that were not clear in the opinion, or were not addressed at all. The Supreme Court will issue its mandate within 15 days after the final disposition of any motions for reconsideration. The issuance of the mandate will terminate the appeal process, and return jurisdiction to the Superior Court of Arizona, which only then can address the unresolved issues. These unresolved issues involve determining a method for restoration of excess contributions and unpaid PBI, allocation and amount of fees, and the question of prejudgment interest.
In as much as Hall v. EORP was a class action, it is of note that the form of remedy for the certified class will require extensive consideration by the Maricopa County Superior Court. In addition, there is no court judgment of any kind as to plan members who were not in the certified class in Hall. They include members of PSPRS, members of CORP, and even members of EORP who were not judges or justices of the Superior Court of Arizona, the Arizona Court of Appeals, or the Arizona Supreme Court. Although the legal principles applicable to these members appear identical, the appropriate remedy, necessary steps, and time table are still undetermined. The issues to be resolved should be the same for all three plans. This process will not happen instantly, but steps are being taken to expedite the implementation of the court’s decisions as quickly as possible. As such, employers should take the necessary steps now to plan and prepare for needing to return employee contribution rates back to their lower levels when directed to do so.