About 21,000 retired workers receive pensions from the city of Detroit, and those benefits may now be cut as the city enters bankruptcy.
Detroit's emergency manager has included the benefits among $11 billion in unsecured obligations that can be whittled down to address the city's mountain of debt.
The workers and the pension funds representing them say the benefits are guaranteed by state law. A bankruptcy judge will rule whether the bankruptcy process supersedes the state guarantee.
Some retirees say they may lose their homes if their pension benefits are cut deeply. The average annual benefit for retired municipal workers is $19,000. Retired police officers and firefighters receive an average of $30,500.