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Over 80 active and retired judges have sued the state of California in a dispute over unpaid and delinquent retirement benefits, filing suit in San Diego Superior Court, the Courthouse News Service reports. The named defendant is The Judges Retirement System, administered by the Board of Administration of the Public Employees Retirement System of California.

At issue is a period of service between early 1970 and late 1976, for which time the judges argue they are “entitled to have their pension benefits which were vested during the 'protected period' adjusted annually in accordance with the C-PIU [consumer price index, category U) as determined by the California Department of Industrial Relations.” A 1976 government code amendment capped salaries and benefits, but the plaintiffs argue that the earlier work dates in question are not covered by the law.

The judges, and in some cases their surviving spouses, say that benefits were incorrectly calculated by failing to account for military service, not adjusting benefits in areas where municipal and superior courts are unified, and by mistakes in crediting years of service. They further allege that the state illegally cancelled health benefits, as well as delaying and avoiding payment on certain claims.

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