ALAMEDA AND THE ROAD AHEAD FOR THE CALIFORNIA RULE
By Isabel C. Safie and Allison M. De Tal
Isabel C. Safie is a Partner at Best Best & Krieger, LLP whose practice focuses on employee benefits, including pensions and other post-employment benefits, and tax, with a focus on employment, income and excise taxes, and tax-exempt entities. Allison M. De Tal is Of Counsel at Best Best & Krieger, LLP with nearly a decade of experience in tax and employee benefit matters.
THE CALIFORNIA RULE
The California Rule, also referred to as the vested rights doctrine, is a longstanding principle of California case law that recognizes public employees’ contractual rights to pension benefits that generally cannot be impaired once employment begins. Many cases have suggested that changes can be made in limited circumstances if certain requirements are met; but the bar has been considered insurmountable by many.