Suzanne Stoker v. Milwaukee CountyAnnotate this Case
Milwaukee County calculates pension payments for its retired employees by multiplying a retiree’s final average salary by a certain percentage known as a multiplier. The resulting number is then multiplied by the retiree’s total years of county service. Suzanne Stoker and her labor union filed a complaint against the County and the Milwaukee County Pension Board, arguing that an ordinance passed by the County in 2011 that reduced the multiplier for all county service performed on or after the effective date of the ordinance was a breach of contract because she had a vested right to have the former, higher multiplier apply to her post-2011 county service and because she did not personally consent to the reduction. The circuit court granted summary judgment and declaratory and injunctive relief to Plaintiffs. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the County did not breach Stoker’s contractual right to retirement system benefits earned and vested when it amended the pension multiplier, and the County did have the ability to make the reductions of the multiplier without Stoker’s personal consent. Remanded.