Wisconsin Court of Appeals
Employment – pensions — vested rights
A Milwaukee County Ordinance reducing the multiplier for the calculation of retirement benefits for service performed after Jan. 1, 2012, is invalid as applied to county employees who had vested rights in the higher multiplier before that date.
“In summary, Welter and Rehrauer applied the plain meaning of language virtually identical to that applicable to MCERS and concluded that employees under the City of Milwaukee’s pension plan have a vested contractual interest in the terms of their plan at the highest level obtained during the course of their employment. As the statutory language is nearly identical, we are bound to interpret the language before us in the same manner. Thus, we affirm the circuit court’s decision that Stoker and those similarly situated have a vested contractual interest in the percent multiplier at the highest level obtained during the course of their employment—in Stoker’s case, two percent. This percentage multiplier cannot be decreased without the consent of the employee.”
Recommended for publication in the official reports.
Dist. I, Milwaukee County, Pocan, J., Sherman, J.
Attorneys: For Appellant: Levy, Alan M., Milwaukee; Kelly, Daniel, Milwaukee; Naleid, Brittany Lopez, Milwaukee; Taggatz, Joshua, Madison; Dolan, Allison A., Milwaukee; For Respondent: Sweetland, Jeffrey P., Milwaukee