Frequently Searched

Ending ‘Pension Spiking’ in the City of Phoenix

Wright v. Stanton

Case Status

Date Filed

August 15, 2013

Last Step

Victory! Phoenix removes pension spiking provisions from public safety contracts effective July 1, 2014.

Next Step

Case Overview

The City of Phoenix’s public retirement systems are sinking further into the red, but that hasn’t stopped the city and Mayor Stanton from encouraging senior police officers to spike their pensions in violation of state law.

Phoenix’s contract with public safety workers permits employees to “cash in” unused sick leave, vacation leave, compensatory time, and other fringe benefits as salary in the years preceding retirement, thus inflating or “spiking” final salary for pension calculation purposes.

In May 2013, the Goldwater Institute sent a letter to the City of Phoenix asking it to end its illegal policy of allowing senior police personnel to increase the amount of their pensions by cashing in unused sick leave, vacation, and other benefits. This practice of “pension spiking” violates state law. The city’s refusal to end this policy is an affront to the rule of law and the Goldwater Institute is representing Phoenix taxpayers to stop this abusive practice.

Case Logistics

The clients are Phoenix taxpayers Jennifer Wright, Eric Wnuck, and Jim Jochim.

The judge is the Honorable John Rea.

Donate Now

Help all Americans live freer, happier lives. Join the Goldwater Institute as we defend and strengthen freedom in all 50 states.

Donate Now

Since 1988, the Goldwater Institute has been in the liberty business — defending and promoting freedom, and achieving more than 400 victories in all 50 states. Donate today to help support our mission.

We Protect Your Rights

Our attorneys defend individual rights and protect those who cannot protect themselves.

Need Help? Submit a case.

Get Connected to Goldwater

Sign up for the latest news, event updates, and more.