NH Supreme Court upholds Pension Reforms

Affirms Legislature’s role in protecting NH Retirement System


CONCORD, N.H. -- Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) today applauded the New Hampshire Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in AFT v NH, which upheld reforms to the New Hampshire Retirement System. 

“Today’s decision is further confirmation of the Legislature’s right and responsibility to oversee the New Hampshire Retirement System,” Bradley said. “These reforms, which were similar to key reforms we passed in 2011, are already starting to pay down the $5 billion unfunded liability, and that’s important for both taxpayers and public employees relying on these pensions.” 

In AFT v NH, the Court upheld legislative changes to the definitions of earned compensation and Cost Of Living Adjustments (COLAs). The Court ruled that the changes did not retroactively reduce pension benefits earned before the law was passed, and that employees do not have a contractual guarantee that the terms of the pension plans will never change. 

“This decision protects important reforms to the New Hampshire Retirement System, and it clarifies that the Legislature may adjust future pension benefits in order to safeguard our public pension system,” Bradley added. 

In December, the New Hampshire Supreme Court upheld several other key pension provisions sponsored by Sen. Bradley in SB 3 from 2011.