Orange County could save as much as $187 million in future pension costs if an appeal in a Los Angeles County Superior Court decision is upheld.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors authorized on Tuesday an appeal to challenge a retroactive pension increase granted to County peace officers.

The decision will be closely watched by agencies throughout the state, as it could affect their own pension plans.

The pension plan, referred to as “3% at 50,” became effective in 2002 and allows sheriff’s deputies to retire early while increasing personal benefits to roughly 90 percent or higher of their salary.

The County believes its legal position is strong and a final decision on the issues in this case can best be obtained through an appeal, according to a County press release.

Wayne Quint, President of the Assn. of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs, told the Los Angeles Times that the 4-1 decision by the supervisors was “very disappointing.”

“They know they have no case. They’re playing politics. And when you’re sitting up there and your deep pockets are the taxpayer, you can do that,” Quint told the newspaper.