The Michigan appeals court has struck down a 2011 law that required state workers choosing to stay in a pension plan to contribute 4 percent of their compensation toward the system.
In a 3-0 ruling released Wednesday, judges said that change and others are unconstitutional because only the state Civil Service Commission can change state employees' compensation — not lawmakers.
The decision affirms an Ingham County judge's ruling from 2012.
State workers hired before April 1997 qualify for a defined benefit pension plan. Those hired since then are in a 401(k)-style plan.
In 2011, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and GOP lawmakers changed the law to make pension-eligible employees contribute 4 percent or switch to the 401(k) system.
State employee unions representing roughly 34,000 employees sued.