CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state retirement board is trying to learn the full impact of a recent state Supreme Court ruling.

The state Consolidated Public Retirement Board met Wednesday to hear from staff members who have been crunching the numbers since the High Court ruled state retirees, who are veterans, can get more retirement credit for serving in armed conflicts, even those that aren’t listed in state code.

Board spokesperson Diane Holley Brown said preliminary estimates show employer contribution costs “could increase up to 2 percent from 14 to 16 percent for all PERS employees.”

The CPRB instructed its staff Wednesday to come back with recommendations at its May 28 meeting.

Several state lawmakers have introduced bills in the past that would have added military service credit and retirement board officials said at that time that pension costs could increase more than $40 million a year.

The state Supreme Court ruling is from a Kanawha County case filed by five state retirees who sued for not getting full credit for time served in the military. The state retirement board hasn’t recognized time served in the Persian Gulf, Panama, Somalia, El Salvador, Lebanon and Grenada.

A lower court judge ruled in favor of the retirees and the state Supreme Court upheld the decision.



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