Louisiana Supreme Court Rules Jindal's Pension Plan Unconstitutional

The ruling is the latest legal setback for Gov. Bobby Jindal, who backed the pension changes, after seeing his education overhaul struck down earlier this year.
July 1, 2013

The Louisiana Supreme Court on Friday struck down a controversial change made to the retirement system for new state workers, saying the legislation did not garner enough votes when it was originally passed in 2012. The ruling is the latest legal setback for Gov. Bobby Jindal, who backed the pension changes, after seeing his education overhaul struck down earlier this year.

During the 2012 legislative session, Jindal backed a change to the system for new state workers that would have shifted them from a traditional pension into a 401(k)-like, or "cash balance," retirement plan. While the plan was passed by a simple majority in both chambers, some lawmakers said the change required a two-thirds vote because it would result in an increase in cost to the state.

The Retired State Employees Association of Louisiana agreed and brought suit against the state for not garnering the required votes for passage. In January, 19th Judicial District Court of Baton Rouge Judge William Morvant sided with the association, striking down the provision. The case then headed to the state Supreme Court on appeal, where the justices ruled to uphold Morvant's ruling Friday.

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