Alaska Supreme Court Decision
Metcalfe vs State of Alaska


This is a class action brought on behalf of all former members of PERS Tiers I-III and TRS Tiers I-II. The court held that former members of these tiers have a constitutional right to return to PERS/TRS service and buy back into the same tier in which they were previously enrolled.

Prior to 2010, the State offered former employees who cashed out their contributions the ability to reenter the system and buy back their previous status. The statute was repealed at the same time the state closed those tiers, but the State provided notice to all former members, and gave them an additional 5 years to return to PERS/TRS service and seek reinstatement.

The Alaska Supreme Court held that this reinstatement right is an accrued benefit protected by the diminishment clause of the Alaska Constitution. Practically speaking, this means all former members of PERS Tiers I-III and TRS Tiers I-II have the right to return to PERS/TRS service and seek reinstatement.

The Alaska Supreme Court held that this reinstatement right is an accrued benefit protected by the diminishment clause of the Alaska Constitution. Practically speaking, this means all former members of PERS Tiers I-III and TRS Tiers I-II have the right to return to PERS/TRS service and seek reinstatement.

The litigation is not yet final; on September 16, 2021, the superior court will hear oral argument on the remaining issues. Once the litigation is final, we will issue guidance and work with all former members who wish to seek reinstatement. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we wait for the court to act.