Lawsuit

 

TRSL (Teachers Retirement System of Louisiana) and the Louisiana Board of Supervisors

 

Lawsuit made by Kevin Cope and Roger Laine against TRSL and the Louisiana State University Board of Supervisors  

The lawsuit seeks justice and equity with the ORP, Optional Retirement Plan, an alternative benefit program from TRSL and/or LASERS created in 1989 by the Louisiana Legislature.    There is a large disparity when comparing rates of  return between TRSL, which was approximately 19% for FY 2014, compared to ORP between 4-9% in the same year.  The substantial difference in the packages does not comply with Louisiana State University's Board of Supervisors' responsibility to ensure the needs of employees.  In addition, ORP members are required to contribute to UAL, violating individual property rights under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the US Constitution and Article 2 and 4 from the 1974 Louisiana State Constitution.  The payments retained by TRSL from 2013 and 2014 alone amounted to over $233,000,00.  Dr. Cope and Dr. Laine request that mandated payments made into the UAL be declared unconstitutional and the ORP invalid.  

The above information was taken from the Amended and Restated Petition for Declaratory Judgment

Lawsuit Documents and Responses

  • LSU response to the finding of the 19th Judicial Court (January 2016)
  • TRSL response to the finding of the 19th Judicial Court (January 2016)
  • Second, updated version of the lawsuit (petition for declaratory judgment) filed against the LSU Board of Supervisors and against TRSL (March 2015)
  • Rejection of a request for a supervisory writing the lawsuit filed against the LSU Board of Supervisors and TRSL—allowing the lawsuit to proceed to trail (December 2015)
  • Lawsuit (petition for declaratory judgment) filed against the LSU Board of Supervisors and against TRSL (October 2014)

For more information regarding Retirement, see Faculty Concerns.

Lawsuit Update, March 2015 Newsletter

The lawsuit was revised and upgraded ""to address the possibility that the aforementioned diversion may count as a “taking” under the American Constitution and so as to highlight the illegally inequitable treatment of employees in the two (defined-benefit and defined-contribution) retirement plans." 

Lawsuit Update, October 2015 Newsletter

On July 27, 2015, Judge Janice Clark of the 19th Judicial District Court heard preliminary pleadings from the plaintiffs (representatives of the faculty) and the defendants (TRSL and the LSU Board of Supervisors), both of which have sought to have the case dismissed.  After deliberation, Judge Clark determined that the case did evidence a cause of action, allowing the case to proceed.

Lawsuit Update, February 2017 Newsletter

In addition to the smaller benefits and unequal treatment of ORP members than those enrolled in the traditional plan, TRSL has created a new online service called “TRSL Member Access” that provides online access to a broad range of services, from evaluation of retirement resources. ORP participants are excluded from this service despite the fees paid to TRSL.  As of February 2017, the retirement system has yet to explain the system to university HRM departments.

Lawsuit Update, April 2017 Newsletter

TRSL and LSU Board of Supervisors attorneys requested data on records of every investment made in the retirement funds over the course of twenty-five years, a document that could well be over 1000 pages.  The request has revealed that TRSL and its vendors lack records beyond the most recent eight years, which questions their responsibility, per the lawsuit.

LSU Faculty Senate Resolutions regarding Retirement Benefits

14-03, "Retirement Options for LSU Faculty Members"

10-04, "Full Disclosure of Benefits Packages for Job Candidates"

09-09, "Retirement Plan Options Appropriate for Higher Education Professionals"

88-03, "LSU System Employee Benefit Plan Evaluation"

87-06, "Retirement Program"

86-05, "Employee Group Benefit Program"

80-10, "State Teachers Retirement System"

 

The LSU Faculty Senate will keep updates on this issue as it unfolds.  For questions or comments, please email facultysenate@lsu.edu