Court dismisses National Guard member’s dispute over retirement benefits
January 13, 2022
On Thursday, the Supreme Court sided with the federal government in a mysterious dispute over reducing Social Security benefits for certain members of the National Guard who are classified as both civilian and military members.
in a 8-1 decision exist Babcock v The Maid, the court rejected the arguments of David Babcock, who worked as a dual-status technician from 1975 to 2009. In that position, he served as a test pilot and pilot instructor, and also served in the National Guard.
After he retired, the government slashed his Social Security benefits by about $100 a month under a statutory rule known as the Windfall Elimination Rule, which reduces the amount of separate pensions based on certain employment types. benefits for retirees. Babcock received a pension for his work as a civilian technician, and the government concluded that the pension triggered the windfall elimination clause.
Babcock argued that pensions fall under the exception to pension payments “based solely on service as a uniformed service member”.
In Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s opinion, the court held that the exception does not apply to dual-status technicians like Babcock.
“Babcock’s public servant pension payments do not fall under the Uniformed Service Exception of the Social Security Act because they are based on serving in his civil capacity,” Barrett wrote.
Justice Neil Gorsuch dissented.
Check back later for an in-depth analysis of the comments.