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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Just a Song Before I Go

I will be out of town for the holidays and probably won't post much while I'm gone. I want to wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah or any other holiday celebrated during this time of year. Reader generosity has resulted in about $2200 in charity donations from you, plus another $1000 from us in honor of your contributions. We still have the 400,000 hit challenge going. It ends at noon on December 31, 2006, so there is still time to generate more donations to charity.

Several readers have inquired about the "Bell" case. This is a new lawsuit filed by the PERS Coalition on behalf of a single member as a test case. I know only what AFSCME has published in its weekly e-Lert. It appears to me to be a case testing the proposition that PERS, by failing to inform members considering retirement, of possible changes to retirement benefits resulting from active litigation, misled people into retiring on knowingly faulty information. I don't know the details, but it seems to me that those members who sought to and retired PRIOR TO the Lipscomb decision on October 8, 2002 would be candidates for this, but there is some view that anyone who retired prior to the enactment of HB 2003 (May 8, 2003) would also be candidates. PERS was anything but candid about any of this litigation and legislation prior to mid-2003 and so many members relied on PERS' representations and figures to MAKE retirement decisions. So it appears that the PERS Coalition is going to test this theory out in a separate case, captioned "Bell v PERS". I'm certainly interested in this case, as I retired prior to Lipscomb's decision and I can tell you that PERS never once advertised or informed me of the possible impact of this case on my decision to retire. Indeed, I have frequently remarked that I *might* have chosen to work a year or two longer had I known that the 1999 earnings crediting decision was in jeopardy for an entire class of PERS members.

It is time to start readying the family for our trip. Again, best wishes for a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah and a joyous New Year. I had hoped that my final post for 2006 might include the outcome of the Arken and Robinson cases, but it appears that Judge Kantor will wait until 2007 to release his decisions in those cases. I will interrupt my regular vacation to post should Judge Kantor issue decisions before the end of the year.

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