PHOENIX - A second state appeals court decision in California that rejects a rigid interpretation of the so-called "California Rule" of vested rights has boosted the hopes of those who want to change public pension formulas in the Golden State.

The California First District Court of Appeal's decision in Cal Fire Local 2881 v. The California Public Employees Retirement System Dec. 30 states that, although an employee has a vested right to a pension, their only right prior to retirement is to a "substantial or reasonable pension," backing up an earlier decision from a different panel of judges in the same court, which ruled in a Marin County case that even current employees are not entitled to "spike" their benefits.

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