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Judge to rule on elected officials’ pension boosts

Retired Judge Kenneth Fields is the lead plantiff in the case. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Jack Kurtz)

A judge is considering whether retired elected officials can again receive cost-of-living raises to their pensions.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Buttrick will hear closing arguments next month in a lawsuit brought against the Elected Officials’ Retirement Plan by some state retirees.

Elected officials include judges and their pensions are the most generous in the state.

The Arizona Republic reports  the suit was filed after the Legislature made sweeping changes to shore up the state’s underfunded pension systems last year. Cost-of-living increases for the elected officials plan were put on hold until the fund is healthy.

The lead plaintiff is retired former Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Fields. He argues the action was illegal because the state Constitution prohibits public retirement benefits from being diminished or impaired.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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