The conclusion I reach from reading the court order is that TVA and TVARS can do whatever they want concerning our retirement benefits, and we cannot seek relief through the courts. It appears that TVARS and TVA could agree to stop paying pension benefits, and TVA retirees could not sue in court to have them restored. This goes against common sense, and the judge even stated that this is inconsistent with other retirement programs. This is one reason I believe that the likelihood of an appeal succeeding in this case is greater than usual. I understand that the plaintiffs have 60 days from the issuance of this court order to appeal. I would be very surprised if the plaintiffs do not appeal.
I understand that if the plaintiffs do appeal, it would be to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and that a 3-judge panel would be formed to look at the record and decide the case anew. I understand that the panel would not rely on interpretations or conclusions reached in the original court ruling.
Click here to see the August 19, 2015 court order, and here to see the complete accompanying memorandum.