On March 11, 2021, a group of plaintiffs representing the retirees and beneficiaries of one of the paid firefighter pension plans administered by the Wyoming Retirement System (WRS) filed an action in Laramie County District Court seeking a declaratory judgement regarding the statutory construct of that pension plan. WRS administers seven pension plans for public employees in Wyoming, two of which are dedicated to paying the retirement benefits to Wyoming's paid firefighters and their beneficiaries. The Wyoming Legislature closed the then-existing paid firefighter plan to new participants when it passed the "Fireman's Pension Reform Act of 1981" and created a new plan for paid firefighters hired after July 1, 1981. WRS refers to the two plans as Paid Fire A and Paid Fire B, and has historically managed them as two distinct plans with separate assets to pay benefits specific to each plan. The request of the Paid Fire A plaintiffs is that the Court declare that Paid Fire A and Paid Fire B are "sub accounts" of one combined account statutorily designed to pay retirement benefits to the retirees of both plans. WRS will continue to manage the two plans consistently with its interpretation of state law and in the interest of the active members, retirees and beneficiaries of both plans unless and until the Court declares a different interpretation.
Also of note was a recent article in the Rocket Miner (and associated papers.)