Firm Secures Approval of State Retirement Benefits

Williams v. State Board of Retirement

Contributory Retirement Appeal Board No. 17-235

Our client in this matter had worked for a public community college for over 20 years before her position was retrenched at the end of 2016. In 2017, the client applied for a termination retirement allowance through the State Retirement Board (SBR) that would increase her retirement benefits by tens of thousands of dollars each year. The SBR denied the request, alleging that the client’s separation was “voluntary” because she had informed the college of her intention to retire at the end of the 2016-2017 academic year. In essence, the SBR believed that the client and college had colluded to bring about her separation shortly after passing her 20 year work anniversary (the minimum amount of time necessary to receive a termination allowance).

When the client’s former attorney was unable to continue his representation, Attorney Avery assumed the case and represented the client at her hearing and in post-hearing briefs before the Division of Administrative Law Appeals (“DALA”) in 2022. In a written decision, an administrative law judge from DALA agreed that the client’s stated intention to retire in 2017 was not sufficient evidence from which to impute collision, and reversed the SBR’s denial of the client’s termination retirement allowance. A subsequent appeal to the Contributory Retirement Appeal Board was filed but subsequently withdrawn by the SBR.