Puckett v. Lexington-Fayette Urban Cnty., No. 15-6097 (6th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Puckett retired from the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (LFUCG) Division of Police in 2009, after 36 years of service; Vance retired from the LFUCG Division of Fire and Emergency Services in 2010, after 24 years of service. Both (plaintiffs) are members of the LFUCG Policemen’s and Firefighters’ Retirement Fund, governed by the Police and Firefighters’ Retirement and Benefit Fund Act, KRS 67A.360-67A.690. As members of the Fund, plaintiffs receive service retirement annuities under the Act with cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs). The Act has been amended several times. After 2013 legislation reduced the COLA, plaintiffs sued (42 U.S.C. 1983), claiming violations of the Contract, Due Process, and Takings Clauses. The district court ruled that Plaintiffs had no such contractual right to an unchangeable COLA formula. The Sixth Circuit affirmed. Plaintiffs have no property right in a particular COLA. The legislation had a rational basis: When it amended the Act, the Kentucky General Assembly explained the need to keep the Fund financially sound and resolve its financial difficulties.