Hutto v. SC Retirement System, No. 13-1523 (4th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs, South Carolina public employees, filed suit challenging the constitutionality of the South Carolina State Retirement System Preservation and Investment Reform Act, 2005 S.C. Acts 1697. The Act amended South Carolina's retirement laws by requiring public employees who retire and then return to work to make, beginning on July 1, 2005, the same contributions to state-created pension plans as pre-retirement employees but without receiving further pension benefits. The court rejected plaintiffs' argument that their claims under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment are exempt from the protection of the Eleventh Amendment. The court agreed with the district court that the pension plans and the Trust are arms of the State and have sovereign immunity; the state officials sued in their official capacities for repayment of pension-plan contributions have sovereign immunity; and the state officials sued in their official capacities for prospective injunctive relief have sovereign immunity because their duties bear no relation to the collection of the public employees' contributions to the pension plans, excluding application of Ex parte Young. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.