Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
No. 1:14-cv-00128—Curtis L. Collier, District Judge.
Argued: September 27, 2016
Decided and Filed: November 3, 2016
Before: ROGERS, SUTTON, and COOK, Circuit Judges.
ROGERS, Circuit Judge. The City of Chattanooga amended the cost-of-living
adjustment in its Fire and Police Pension Fund in 2000 to create a fixed three-percent annual
increase in retirement benefits. The city amended the COLA again in 2014 to a lower, variable
annual increase. Four Fund participants—Johnny Frazier, Reuben Salter, William Melhorn, Jr.,
and James Gaston—challenged the 2014 amendment under the Contract Clause of the United
States Constitution, claiming a right to the fixed three-percent COLA. The district court held
that the retirees have no such right and granted the defendants’—the City’s and the Fund’s—
motion for summary judgment. The district court correctly concluded that there is no
unmistakable evidence of the city’s intent to be bound to the fixed COLA, because the COLA is
neither vested nor accrued within the meaning of the City Code.