Kentucky Retirement Systems - Denial of Request to Purchase Service Credit

Coleman v. Kentucky Retirement Systems, No. 2012-CA-001518-MR (Ky. App. 2014)
Court Denies Request to Purchase Service Credit under CERS

Rendered: January 10, 2014
Not to be Published
Opinion Affirming

For those interested in breaking pension news, though technically off-QDRO-topic: 

This case does not involve any domestic relations issue with regard to state retirement system benefits. Rather, the Court of Appeals visits the issue of a member’s eligibility to purchase omitted service credits in the County Employees Retirement Systems (“CERS”) under KRS 61.552(2).  

Specifically, Appellant sought to purchase service credit for a period of time that she was employed as a child support caseworker for a private practitioner in a private law practice. During such time, the private practitioner was serving under contract with the Commonwealth of Kentucky as a Special Prosecutor for child support for two local counties. The private practitioner had formerly been a County Attorney for whom Appellant had previously worked as a child support caseworker (and during such time was a member of CERS).  

Based upon the plain language of the relevant statutes, the Court found that while Appellant worked for the private law practice, Appellant was not an “employee”, and the former County Attorney turned Special Prosecutor was not an “employer” of a participating “county”.  Thus, the Court affirmed the decision of the Board of Trustees of the Kentucky Retirement Systems denying Appellant’s request to purchase service credits.

In addressing one of Appellant’s more creative arguments, the Court was not convinced that working an analogous position in the private sector to one that had been previously worked in the public sector, and eligible under CERS, was a basis for later inclusion in the system under KRS 61.552(8).