CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia public employees who also serve in the National Guard can count mandatory training time during armed conflicts toward their state pensions, a judge ruled Tuesday in a case brought by the guard's longtime chief.
Kanawha Circuit Judge Carrie Webster concluded that state policy that credits employees for military service applies to the federally required training that retired Adjutant General Allen Tackett received during his 47-year career.
Webster agreed with Tackett, who cited how employees receive such service credits for the same sort of mandatory training in the U.S. Army Reserve.
"To hold otherwise results in an arbitrary and capricious outcome," Tuesday's order said.
The ruling reverses the decision of the Consolidated Public Retirement Board, which had denied Tackett's service credit request. Its options include appealing to the state Supreme Court.
"[The board] is currently reviewing the order and until a decision is made regarding a course of action to take within the allotted 30 days, it is still considered in litigation," said Diane Holley-Brown, a board spokeswoman.
If upheld, the judge's ruling would mean a higher benefit for Tackett. The credits can add up to five years to an employee's length of service for the purpose of calculating their benefits.