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California Court of Appeal

Protect Our Benefits v. City and County of San Francisco, A140095

In November 2011, City and County of San Francisco voters passed Proposition C, an initiative measure that, among other things, amended the Charter of the City and County of San Francisco to condition the payment of supplemental cost of living allowance (supplemental COLA) to retired employees of the City and County on the retirement fund being "fully funded" based on the market value of the assets for the previous year. Petitioner, a political action committee representing the interests of retired City employees, appeals from a superior court order denying its petition for writ of mandate seeking to invalidate Proposition C as an impairment of a vested contractual pension right under the contract clauses of the federal and state Constitutions. The judgment is affirmed and part and reversed in part, where: 1) with respect to current City employees and employees who retired after the supplemental COLA first went into effect in November 1996, the full funding requirement cannot stand; and 2) with respect to employees who retired prior to November 1996, they had no vested contractual right in the supplemental COLA and consequently, the 2011 amendment may be applied to their pensions.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 03/27/2015
  • Published 03/27/2015


  • Needham


  • California Court of Appeal


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