The Police Retirement System of St. Louis, Missouri

In the case of James Crawford v. Police Retirement System, City of St. Louis and State of Missouri, Judge Michael Stelzer on October 11 issued a partial judgment ruling on certain issues in the case.

The judge’s ruling deals specifically with a dispute between Mr. Crawford and the City of St. Louis, on the first hand, and the State of Missouri, on the other hand. The Order does not rule on any claim against The Police Retirement System and has no effect on the benefits of PRS Members. The judge ruled that two statutes which are part of the statutes governing PRS, commonly referred to as “poison pill” provisions, do not apply to this situation involving PRS benefits.

In the current case, the State of Missouri put in “poison pill” provisions saying if certain benefits the Legislature granted to PRS members over the course of time are ever determined to have to be funded by the State (instead of the City), those benefits will be eliminated. The judge has ruled that those “poison pill” provisions do not apply here and so would not automatically deprive members of their benefits if it is determined that the State is responsible for funding those benefits.

This ruling is not harmful to the PRS and its members; in fact, any ruling that says PRS members would not automatically lose a portion of their benefits can be seen as somewhat positive. However, the claim that certain benefits to PRS members amount to an “unfunded mandate” in violation of the Hancock Amendment remains, and it will have to be decided.

The judge's ruling can be found among the documents about this lawsuit which can be accessed by clicking the below link:

Lawsuit on Retirement Benefits