[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Robinson as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Police Department — See Ch. 56.
Article I Police Pension Plan
§ 46-11 Provisions to comply with the Municipal Pension Plan Funding Standard and Recovery Act of 1984.
[Adopted 6-12-1995 by Ord. No. 8-1994 (Ch. 1, Part 5B, of the 1989 Code)]
[Amended 6-10-1996 by Ord. No. 4-1996; 4-9-2001 by Ord. No. 3-2001]
The following words and phrases, as used in this article, shall have the meanings set forth in this section, unless a different meaning is otherwise clearly required by context:
- ACCRUED BENEFIT
- As of any given date, the benefit determined under § 46-4B, calculated on the basis of final monthly average salary as of the date of determination and multiplied by a fraction, the numerator of which shall be the participant's aggregate service determined as of such date and the denominator of which shall be the projected aggregate service of the participant as if the participant continues in employment until attainment of normal retirement age. Notwithstanding anything contained herein to the contrary, in no event shall the fraction exceed one. In no event, however, shall the accrued benefit exceed the maximum limitation, determined as of the date of computation provided under § 46-4F. All accrued benefits are subject to all applicable limitations, reductions, offsets and actuarial adjustments provided pursuant to the terms of the plan prior to the actual payment thereof.
- ACCUMULATED CONTRIBUTIONS
- The total amount contributed by any participant to this fund or its predecessor by way of payroll deduction or otherwise, plus interest credited at a rate equal to 4% per annum. Interest shall be credited in the form of a simple interest rate from the midpoint of the plan year during which the contributions were paid to the first day of the month preceding the date that a distribution of accumulated contributions under §§ 46-6C and 46-7B shall be paid or payment of benefits shall commence.
- The Municipal Pension Plan Funding Standard and Recovery Act which was enacted as Act 205 of 1984, as amended, 53 P.S. § 895.101 et seq.
- ACTUARIAL EQUIVALENT
- Two forms of payment of equal actuarial present value on a specified date. The actuarial present value shall be determined by use of the 1983 Group Annuity Mortality Table and 7% interest, unless otherwise specifically provided herein.
- The person, partnership, association or corporation which, at any given time, is serving as actuary, provided that such actuary must be an "approved actuary," as defined in the Act.
- AGGREGATE SERVICE
- The total period or periods of the participant's employment with the employer, whether or not interrupted, and shall be computed in terms of completed years. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, should any such participant receive a distribution of accumulated contributions which are otherwise required to be maintained in the plan with respect to a period of employment, such period of employment shall not be included in aggregate service thereafter unless, at the commencement of the next period of employment, the participant repays to the fund the amount of such distribution with interest. For the purposes of this definition, interest shall accrue as of the date the employee receives a distribution of accumulated contributions and shall be computed at the same rate and in the same manner as described in this section.
- ATTENDING COLLEGE
- The eligible children are registered at an accredited institution
of higher learning and are carrying a minimum course load of seven
credit hours per semester.[Added 12-8-2003 by Ord. No. 7-2003]
- The person or entity designated by the participant to receive a distribution of the participant's accumulated contributions should the participant die prior to becoming entitled to a retirement benefit. In the event that a participant does not designate a beneficiary or the beneficiary does not survive the participant, the beneficiary shall be the surviving spouse or, if there is no surviving spouse, the issue, per stirpes or, if there is no surviving issue, the estate, but if no personal representative has been appointed, to those persons who would be entitled to the estate under the intestacy laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania if the participant had died intestate and a resident of Pennsylvania.
- The Board of Commissioners of the Township of Robinson, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
- CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER
- The person designated by the employer who has the primary responsibility for the execution of the administrative affairs for the plan.
- The Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.
- The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
- The total remuneration of the employee, whether salary or hourly wages, including overtime pay, holiday pay, longevity pay, night differential pay, payments for accumulated unused sick leave and any other form of compensation paid by the employer for police services rendered. Compensation shall be limited on an annual basis to the amount specified for government plans pursuant to Code § 401(a)(17), as adjusted under Code § 415(d).
- DISABILITY DATE
- The date when a participant is determined by the plan administrator to be incapacitated due to total permanent disability or the date when the participant's employment terminates due to such total and permanent disability, if later.
- Any individual employed by the employer on a regular, full-time basis as a police officer of the employer's police force.
- The Township of Robinson, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
- For the purpose of determining aggregate service:
- A. The period of time for which an employee is directly or indirectly compensated or entitled to compensation by the employer for the performance of duties as police officer.
- B. Any period of time for which an employee is paid, either directly or through a program to which the employer has made contributions on behalf of the employee, a fixed, periodic amount in the nature of salary continuation payments for reasons other than the performance of duties (such as vacation, holidays, sickness, entitlement to benefits under workers' compensation or similar laws).
- C. Any period which an employee is entitled to disability benefits under this article, provided that the employee returns to employment within three months of the date which it is determined that the employee is no longer totally and permanently disabled if such determination occurs prior to the date a participant attains normal retirement age.
- D. Any period of voluntary or involuntary military service with the armed forces of the United States of America, provided that the participant has been employed as a regular, full-time member of the employer's police force for a period of at least six months immediately prior to the period of military service and the participant returns to employment within six months following discharge from military service or within such longer period during which employment rights are guaranteed by applicable law or under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement with the employer.
- E. Any period of qualified military service as determined under the requirements of Chapter 43 of Title 38, United States Code, provided that the participant returns to employment following such period of qualified military service and the participant makes payment to the plan in an amount equal to the participant contributions that would otherwise have been paid to the plan during such period of qualified military service. The amount of participant contributions shall be based upon an estimate of the compensation that would have been paid to the participant during such period of qualified military service as determined by the average compensation paid to the participant during the 12 months immediately preceding the period of qualified military service. The amount of participant contributions so calculated must be paid into the plan before the end of the period that begins on the date of reemployment and ends on the earlier of the date that ends the period that has a duration of three times the period of qualified military service or the date that is five years after the date of reemployment.
- F. Any period of voluntary or involuntary military service with the armed forces of the United States of America, not to exceed a total of five years, which occurred prior to the date on which a participant first became employed as an employee of the employer, provided that the participant shall purchase such credit and that such participant is not entitled to receive, eligible to receive or is receiving retirement pay benefits for such military service under a retirement system administered and wholly or partially paid for by any other governmental agency except military retirement pay earned by a combination of active and non-active duty with a reserve or national guard component of the armed forces which is payable upon the attainment of a specified age and period of service under 10 U.S.C. Ch. 67 (relating to retired pay for nonregular service). The purchase price for such service shall be computed by multiplying the average normal cost rate for the plan as certified by the Public Employee Retirement Commission, and not to exceed 10%, times the participant's average annual rate of compensation during the first three years of employment as an employee of the employer and multiplying the result times the number of years and fractions thereof being purchased. Interest shall be paid at a rate of 4.75% compounded annually from the first date of employment as an employee of the employer to the date of payment.[Added 12-8-2003 by Ord. No. 7-2003]
- A. The average monthly salary earned by the participant and paid by the employer during the final 36 months immediately preceding termination of active employment. Salary shall include the employee's regular salary and other forms of compensation which are fixed amounts paid at periodic intervals, such as longevity pay, holiday pay and night differential pay, and shall also include irregular forms of compensation, such as overtime pay and court pay.
- B. Final monthly average salary shall be calculated by taking into account only those periods during which an employee receives salary, as the term is defined in this section. Therefore, for example, the final monthly average salary for a participant who receives disability benefits from the plan or who is voluntarily or involuntarily serving in the United States armed forces during the final 36 months of aggregate service shall be based on the period during which the employee last received salary (as defined in Subsection A above) from the employer.
- C. Salary used to determine final monthly average salary shall be limited on an annual basis to the amount specified for government plans in accordance with Code § 401(a)(17), as adjusted under Code § 415(d).
- INSURER or INSURANCE COMPANY
- A legal reserve life insurance company authorized to do business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
- MEMBER'S SALARY AT THE TIME THE DISABILITY WAS INCURRED
- The fixed, periodic payment for the final completed month
of active employment during the year the disability occurred.[Added 12-8-2003 by Ord. No. 7-2003]
- MEMBER'S SALARY AT THE TIME OF DEATH
- The fixed, periodic payment for the final completed month
of active employment.[Added 12-8-2003 by Ord. No. 7-2003]
- MINIMUM MUNICIPAL OBLIGATION
- The minimum obligation of the Township as determined by the actuary pursuant to the provisions of the Act.
- NORMAL RETIREMENT AGE
- The date on which the participant has completed 25 years of aggregate service with the employer and has attained the age of 50.
- NOTICE or ELECTION
- A written document prepared in the form specified by the plan administrator and delivered as follows: If such notice or election is to be provided by the employer or the plan administrator, it shall be mailed in a properly addressed envelope, postage prepaid, to the last known address of the person entitled thereto, on or before the last day of the specified notice or election period; or if such notice or election is to be provided to the employer or the plan administrator, it must be received by the recipient on or before the last day of the specified notice or election period.
- An employee who has met the eligibility requirements to participate in the plan as provided in § 46-2A and who has not, for any reason, ceased to be a participant hereunder.
- PENSION FUND
- The police pension fund administered under the terms of this article and which shall include all money, property, investments, policies and contracts standing in the name of the plan.
- The plan set forth herein, as amended from time to time, and designated as the "Township of Robinson Police Pension Plan."
- PLAN ADMINISTRATOR
- The committee or the individual appointed for the purpose of supervising and administering the provisions of the plan. In the event that no such appointment is made, the plan administrator shall be the Board.
- PLAN YEAR
- The twelve-month period beginning on January 1 and ending December 31 of each year.
- POLICY or CONTRACT
- A retirement annuity or retirement income endowment policy (or a combination of both) or any other form of insurance contract or policy which shall be deemed appropriate in accordance with the provisions of applicable law.
- RESTATEMENT DATE
- January 1, 1995, the date upon which this second amendment and restatement of the plan becomes effective.
- RETIREMENT DATE
- The first day of the month coincident with or next following the date on which the participant retires from employment or the first day of any month thereafter on which the payment of retirement benefits pursuant to this article shall commence.
- TOTAL AND PERMANENT DISABILITY
- A condition of physical or mental impairment due to which a participant is unable to perform the usual and customary duties of employment, which condition was caused in the line of duty and which condition is reasonably expected to be permanent.
Eligibility requirements. Each employee who is employed as a regular, full-time permanent police officer of the Police Department of the employer shall participate herein as of the first day on which such employee's employment first commences, or recommences following any probationary period required by the Board, provided all prerequisites to participation under this article shall have been fulfilled, including, but not limited to, completion of all forms required by the plan administrator.
Notification of plan administrator. The Board shall furnish the plan administrator with written notification of the appointment of any new full-time permanent employee who is eligible for participation hereunder.
Designation of beneficiary. Any new, full-time employee who becomes a participant hereunder shall provide a written notice in the manner prescribed by the plan administrator which designates a beneficiary at the time participation commences. The participant's election of any such beneficiary may be rescinded or changed, without the consent of the beneficiary, at any time, provided the participant provides the written notice of the changed designation to the plan administrator in the manner prescribed by the plan administrator. Any designation of a beneficiary made in any manner other than one acceptable to the plan administrator shall be null and void and have no effect under the terms of this article.
Participant contributions. Each participant shall, as a requirement of participation, pay regular contributions to the pension fund in an amount equal to 5% of the participant's compensation. The participant contributions required under this subsection shall be treated as "pick up" contributions pursuant to Internal Revenue Code § 414(h)(2). Each participant shall complete the necessary forms to authorize the payment of participant contributions by way of payroll deduction.
Reduction of participant contributions. Notwithstanding the preceding Subsection A, if an actuarial study performed by the actuary shows that the condition of the pension fund is such that payments into the pension fund by participants may be reduced below the minimum percentage prescribed in Subsection A, or may be eliminated, and that if such payments are reduced or eliminated, contributions by the employer will not be required to keep the pension fund actuarially sound, the employer may, by ordinance or resolution, reduce or eliminate payments into the pension fund by participants. Participants are not contributing to the pension fund as of the restatement date and shall only be required to resume participant contributions when the Board requires resumption of such contributions by ordinance or resolution.
Employer contributions. The actuary, in accordance with the Act, shall determine the minimum municipal obligation of the employer. The employer shall pay into the pension fund, by annual appropriations or otherwise, the contributions necessary to satisfy the minimum municipal obligation.
State aid. General municipal pension system state aid, or any other amount of state aid received by the employer in accordance with the Act from the commonwealth may be deposited into the pension fund governed by this article in amounts determined by the Board and shall be used to reduce the amount of the minimum municipal obligation of the employer.
Gifts. The Board is authorized to take by gift, grant, devise or otherwise any money or property, real or personal, for the benefit of the plan and cause the same to be held as a part of the pension fund. The care, management, investment and disposal of such amounts shall be vested in the Board or its delegate, the plan administrator, subject to the direction of the donor and not inconsistent with applicable laws and terms of the plan.
[Amended 4-9-2001 by Ord. No. 3-2001]
Normal retirement. Each participant shall be entitled to normal retirement benefits after retirement on or after the participant has attained normal retirement age.
Normal retirement benefit. Each participant who shall become entitled to a benefit pursuant to Subsection A shall receive a benefit paid monthly in an amount equal to 50% of the participant's final monthly average salary.
Late retirement. A participant may continue to work beyond the attainment of normal retirement age, subject to the employer's rules and regulations regarding retirement age. If a participant who has met the requirements of Subsection A continues to work beyond normal retirement age, there shall be no retirement benefits paid until employment ceases and retirement begins. The retirement benefit of a participant who retires after attainment of normal retirement age shall be calculated in accordance with Subsection B on the basis of the final monthly average salary as of such participant's retirement date.
Cost-of-living adjustments. Each participant who shall retire hereunder shall receive an annual cost-of-living adjustment to the normal retirement benefit determined under Subsection B. Such cost-of-living adjustment shall be applied as of the first day of the plan year and shall be in a monthly amount equal to the percentage in the Consumer Price Index known as CPI-W during the prior plan year multiplied by the amount of the monthly benefit as determined under Subsection B hereof. Such adjustment shall not exceed the following limits: (i) the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for the year in which the participant was last employed as an employee; (ii) the total retirement benefits payable under this article shall not exceed 75% of the participant's final monthly average salary; (iii) the total cost-of-living increase shall not exceed 30% of the participant's retirement benefit under the plan; and (iv) no cost-of-living adjustment shall impair the actuarial soundness of the pension fund.
Payment of benefits. Retirement benefit payments shall be payable as of the first day of the month coincident with or next following the participant's retirement date and the first day of each month thereafter during the participant's lifetime. A participant must complete an application for benefit in the manner prescribed by the plan administrator and deliver such application to the plan administrator at least 30 days prior to the date on which benefit payments shall commence. Notwithstanding anything contained herein to the contrary, no retirement benefit payments nor any other payments shall be due or payable on or before the first day of the month coincident with or next following the date that is 30 days after the date the plan administrator receives the application for benefits. Payment of benefits hereunder shall cease as of the death of the participant.
Maximum benefit limitations. Notwithstanding any provision of this article to the contrary, no benefit provided under this article attributable to contributions of the employer shall exceed, as an annual amount, the amount specified in Code § 415(b)(1)(A), as adjusted pursuant to Code § 415(d), assuming the form of benefit shall be a straight life annuity (with no ancillary benefits). The limitations described in this subsection shall be governed by the following conditions and definitions.
Benefits paid or payable in a form other than a straight life annuity (with no ancillary benefits) or where the employee contributes to the plan or makes rollover contributions shall be adjusted on an actuarially equivalent basis to determine the limitation contained herein.
In the case of a benefit which commences prior to the attainment of age 62 by the participant, the limitation herein shall be adjusted on an actuarially equivalent basis to the amount determined pursuant to this subsection commencing at age 62; however, the reduction shall not reduce the limitation below $75,000 for a benefit commencing at or after age 55 or, if the benefit commences prior to attainment of age 55, the amount which is actuarially equivalent to a benefit of $75,000 commencing at age 55; however, in the case of a qualified participant (a participant with respect to whom a period of at least 15 years of service, including applicable military service, as a full-time employee of a police or fire department is taken into account in determining the amount of benefit), the limitation contained herein shall not reduce the limitation to an amount less than the amount specified pursuant to Code § 415(b)(2)(G)(i), and such amount shall be adjusted pursuant to Code § 415(d).
In the case of a benefit which commences after attainment of age 65 by the participant, the limitation herein shall be adjusted on an actuarially equivalent basis to the amount determined commencing at age 65.
Benefits paid to a participant which total less than $10,000 from all defined benefit plans maintained by the employer expressed as annual benefit shall be deemed not to exceed the limitation of this subsection, provided that the employer has not at any time maintained a defined contribution plan in which the participant has participated; however, in the case of a participant who is not receiving a disability retirement benefit pursuant to § 46-5B with fewer than 10 years of participation, the limitation expressed in this Subsection F(4) shall be reduced by 1/10 for each year of participation less than 10, but in no event shall this limitation be less than $1,000.
The limitations expressed herein shall be based upon plan years for calculation purposes, shall be applied to all defined benefit plans maintained by the employer as one defined benefit plan and to all defined contribution plans maintained by the employer as one defined contribution plan, and shall be applied and interpreted consistent with Code § 415 and regulations thereunder as applicable to government plans in general and this article in particular.
Distribution prior to death.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, the entire benefit of any participant who becomes entitled to benefits prior to death shall be distributed either:
No later than the required beginning date.
Over a period not later than the required beginning date and extending over the life of such participant or over the lives of such participant and a designated beneficiary (or over a period not extending beyond the life expectancy of such participant, or the joint life expectancies of such participant and a designated beneficiary).
If a participant who is entitled to benefits under this article dies prior to the date when the entire interest has been distributed after distribution of benefits has begun in accordance with Subsection G(1)(a) above, the remaining portion of such benefit shall be distributed at least as rapidly as under the method of distribution being used under Subsection G(1)(a) as of the date of death.
If a participant who is entitled to benefits under this article dies before distribution of the benefit has begun, the entire interest of such employee shall be distributed within five years of the death of such employee, unless the following sentence is applicable. If any portion of the employee's interest is payable to (or for the benefit of) a designated beneficiary (or over a period not extending beyond the life expectancy of such beneficiary), and such distributions begin not later than one year after the date of the employee's death or such later date as provided by regulations issued by the Secretary of Treasury, then for purposes of the five-year rule set forth in the preceding sentence, the benefit payable to the beneficiary shall be treated as distributed on the date on which such distributions begin. Provided, however, that, notwithstanding the preceding sentence, if the designated beneficiary is the surviving spouse of the participant, then the date on which distributions are required to begin shall not be earlier than the date which the employee would have attained age 70 1/2, and further provided, if the surviving spouse dies before the distributions to such spouse begin, this subsection shall be applied as if the surviving spouse were the employee.
For the purposes of this section, the following definitions and procedures shall apply:
"Required beginning date" shall mean April 1 of the calendar year following the later of the calendar year in which the employee attains age 70 1/2 or the calendar year in which the employee retires.
The phrase "designated beneficiary" shall mean any individual designated by the employee under this article according to its rules.
Any amount paid to a child shall be treated as if it had been paid to the surviving spouse if such amount will become payable to the surviving spouse upon such child's reaching majority (or other designated event permitted under regulations issued by the Secretary of the Treasury).
For purposes of this section, the life expectancy of an employee and/or the employee's spouse (other than in the case of a life annuity) may be redetermined, but not more frequently than annually.
Assignment. The pension benefit payments prescribed herein shall not be subject to attachment, execution, levy, garnishment or other legal process and shall be payable only to the participant or designated beneficiary and shall not be subject to assignment or transfer.
Retired participants. Any participant who shall have retired prior to the restatement date shall not have the benefit altered in any way by the provisions of this amended and restated plan, except where otherwise expressly provided herein. Such retired participants shall continue to have their benefits governed by the terms of the plan in effect on the day preceding the restatement date.
Disability retirement. A participant who shall incur a total and permanent disability shall be entitled to a disability retirement benefit as of the disability date.
Disability requirement benefits. A participant who retires due to a total and permanent disability, pursuant to Subsection A, shall be eligible for a disability retirement benefit equal to 50% of the member's salary at the time the disability was incurred, determined as of the disability date, provided that any member who receives benefits for the same injuries under social security disability shall have the participant's disability benefits offset or reduced by the amount of such benefits.
[Amended 12-8-2003 by Ord. No. 7-2003]
Payment of disability benefits.
Disability payments shall be made monthly as of the first day of each month, commencing as of the first day of the month coincident with or immediately following the participant's disability date and continuing until the earliest of the death of the participant, cessation of total and permanent disability or attainment of normal retirement age (such participant who attains normal retirement age shall thereafter receive a normal retirement benefit pursuant to § 46-4B).
A participant who shall fail to return within three months to employment as an employee of the employer upon cessation of total and permanent disability prior to attainment of normal retirement age shall be deemed to have terminated employment as of the disability date, shall not be entitled to any distribution of accumulated contributions pursuant to § 46-7B to the extent that the total amount of disability payments exceeds the value of the participant's accumulated contributions as of the disability date, and shall not be entitled to any other benefits under the plan on account of any aggregate service as of the disability date.
Verification of disability. The plan administrator shall, in its sole discretion, determine whether a participant shall have incurred a total and permanent disability. The plan administrator shall rely on the report of a physician acceptable to the plan administrator. If the plan administrator shall determine that a participant who is totally and permanently disabled has recovered sufficiently to resume active employment as a police officer, or if a participant refuses to undergo a medical examination as directed by the plan administrator (such medical examination may not be required more frequently than once in any given twelve-month period), the payment of disability retirement benefits shall cease.
Cessation of disability. A participant who is receiving payment of disability retirement benefits under this article must notify the plan administrator of any change which may cause a cessation of entitlement to receipt of such benefits hereunder. If a participant fails to provide immediate notice to the plan administrator of any such change in status and continues to receive payment of benefits hereunder to which the participant is not entitled, then the plan administrator may take whatever action is necessary to recover any amount of improperly paid amounts, including legal action or offsetting such amounts against any future payments of retirement or other benefits under the plan, including the cost of such actions.
Death of participant. Upon the occurrence of the death of a participant, there shall be benefits payable in accord with the following subsections of this § 46-6.
Survivor benefit. If a participant shall die after commencement of benefit payments or after becoming eligible to receive benefit payments, a survivor benefit shall be paid to the surviving spouse, if any, of the participant in an amount equal to 50% of the benefit the participant was receiving or was eligible to receive as of the date of death. The survivor benefit shall be paid to the surviving spouse until the date of death of the surviving spouse. Upon the death of the surviving spouse, the survivor benefit shall be paid monthly in equal shares to the surviving dependent children of the deceased participant until attainment of age 18 or, if attending college, under or attaining the age of 23.
[Amended 12-8-2003 by Ord. No. 7-2003]
Death of participant prior to retirement. If a participant shall die before payment of a benefit has commenced and without eligibility for payment of a survivor benefit under § 46-6B, the beneficiary shall be eligible to receive a distribution in an amount equal to the accumulated contributions of the participant as of the date of death of the participant.
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection D, Killed in service survivor benefit, added 12-8-2003 by Ord. No. 7-2003, and which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 5-10-2010 by Ord. No. 4-2010.
Rights of terminated employees. A participant who shall cease to be an employee, except as otherwise hereinbefore provided, shall have all interest and rights under this article limited to those contained in this section.
Distribution of accumulated contributions. A participant whose employment with the employer shall terminate for any reason prior to the attainment of normal retirement age shall be entitled to receive a distribution of accumulated contributions. Upon receipt of such accumulated contributions, said participant and beneficiary shall not be entitled to any further payments from the plan.
Vested benefits upon termination. Notwithstanding the foregoing § 46-7B, a participant who shall have completed 12 years of service with the employer and who ceases to be an employee of the employer for any reason other than death, disability or retirement shall be eligible, upon attainment of what would have been the participant's normal retirement date, for a vested retirement benefit equal to the accrued benefit, determined as of the date on which employment ceased. Payments of a vested retirement benefit shall be made in accordance with § 46-4E. A participant shall always be 100% vested in the portion of the accrued benefits that is attributable to employee contributions. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a participant shall be 100% vested upon attaining normal retirement date.
Plan administrator. The plan administrator shall be the committee or individual appointed by the Board who shall have the power and authority to do all acts and to execute, acknowledge and deliver all instruments necessary to implement and effectuate the purpose of this article. The plan administrator may delegate authority to act on its behalf to any person it deems appropriate. If a plan administrator is not appointed, the Board shall be the plan administrator.
Police pension review committee. A police pension review committee may be appointed to review the affairs of the plan and to act in an advisory capacity to the Board regarding the administration of the plan. The committee shall consist of members as may be chosen by the Board. Notwithstanding the foregoing, two members of the committee shall be full-time, regular officers of the Police Department of the employer, such officers to be elected to the committee by their fellow officers. Each member of the committee shall serve in that capacity until the earliest of resignation, death, removal or otherwise. Each member may be removed at any time, with or without cause, by the applicable group responsible for the appointment of such member. Each member may resign by delivering written notice to the Board and other members of the committee. Vacancies on the committee shall be filled by the applicable group responsible for originally appointing a member to such vacant seat on the committee.
Authority and duties of the plan administrator.
The plan administrator shall have full power and authority to do whatever shall, in its judgment, be reasonably necessary for the proper administration and operation of the plan. The interpretation or construction placed upon any term or provision of the plan by the plan administrator or any action of the plan administrator taken in good faith shall, upon the Board's review and approval thereof, be final and conclusive upon all parties hereto, whether employees, participants or other persons concerned. By way of specification and not limitation and except as specifically limited hereafter, the plan administrator is authorized:
To construe this article.
To determine all questions affecting the eligibility of any employee to participate herein.
To compute the amount and source of any benefit payable hereunder to any participant or beneficiary.
To authorize any and all disbursements.
To prescribe any procedure to be followed by any participant and/or other person in filing an application or election.
To prepare and distribute, in such manner as may be required by law or as the plan administrator deems appropriate, information explaining the plan.
To require from the employer or any participant such information as shall be necessary for the proper administration of the plan.
To appoint and retain any individual to assist in the administration of the plan, including such legal, clerical, accounting and actuarial services as may be required by any applicable law or laws.
The plan administrator shall have no power to add to, subtract from or modify the terms of the plan or change or add to any benefits provided by the plan, or to waive or fail to apply any requirements of eligibility for benefits under the plan. Further, the plan administrator shall have no power to adopt, amend or terminate the plan, to select or appoint any trustee or to determine or require any contributions to the plan, said powers being exclusively reserved to the Board.
Police pension review committee organization. The committee may organize itself in any manner deemed appropriate to effectuate its purposes hereunder, subject to the following:
The committee shall act by a majority of its members at the time in office, and such action may be taken either by vote at a meeting or in writing without a meeting.
The committee shall, from time to time, appoint a chairman, a secretary who may but need not be a committee member and such other agents as it may deem advisable.
The committee may, from time to time, authorize any one or more of its members to execute any document or documents, including any application, request, certificate, notice, consent, waiver or direction and shall notify the Board, in writing, of the name or names of the member or members so authorized. In the absence of a designation, the chairman shall be deemed so authorized. Any trustee or other fiduciary appointed hereunder shall accept and be fully protected in relying upon any document executed by the designated member or members (or the chairman in the absence of a designation) as representing a valid action by the committee until the committee shall file with such fiduciary a written revocation of such designation.
The committee or its delegate shall maintain and keep such records as are necessary for the efficient operation of the plan or as may be required by any applicable law, regulation or ruling and shall provide for the preparation and filing of such forms or reports as may be required to be filed with any governmental agency or department and with the participants and/or other persons entitled to benefits under the plan.
Plan administrator costs. The plan administrator shall serve without compensation for services unless otherwise agreed by the Board in writing. All reasonable expenses incident to the functioning of the plan administrator, including, but not limited to, fees of accountants, counsel, actuaries and other specialists and other costs of administering the plan, may be paid from the pension fund upon approval by the Board to the extent permitted under applicable law and not otherwise paid by the employer.
Hold harmless. No member of the Board, the committee, the plan administrator, the enrolled actuary nor any other person involved in the administration of the plan shall be liable to any person on account of any act or failure to act which is taken or omitted to be taken in good faith in performing their respective duties under the terms of this article. To the extent permitted by law, the employer shall and hereby does agree to indemnify and hold harmless the plan administrator and each successor and each of any such individual's heirs, executors and administrators, and the delegates and appointees (other than any person, bank, firm or corporation which is independent of the employer and which renders services to the plan for a fee) from any and all liability and expenses, including counsel fees, reasonably incurred by any action, suit or proceeding to which he is or may be made a party by reason of being or having been a member, delegate or appointee of the plan administrator, except in matters involving criminal liability, intentional or willful misconduct. If the employer purchases insurance to cover claims of a nature described above, then there shall be no right of indemnification, except to the extent of any deductible amount under the insurance coverage or to the extent of the amount the claims exceed the insured amount.
Approval of benefits. The plan administrator shall review and approve any application for retirement benefits within 30 days following receipt thereof or within such longer time as may be necessary under the circumstances. Any denial of an application for retirement benefits shall be in writing and shall specify the reason for such denial.
Appeal procedure. Any person whose application for retirement benefits is denied, who questions the amount of benefit paid, so believes a benefit should have commenced which did not so commence, or who has some other claim arising under the plan ("claimant") shall first seek a resolution of such claim under the procedure hereinafter set forth.
Any claimant shall file a notice of the claim with the plan administrator which shall fully describe the nature of the claim. The plan administrator shall review the claim and make an initial determination approving or denying the claim.
If the claim is denied in whole or in part, the plan administrator shall, within 90 days (or such other period as may be established by applicable law) from the time the application is received, mail notice of such denial to the claimant. Such ninety-day period may be extended by the plan administrator, if special circumstances so require, for up to 90 additional days by the plan administrator's delivering of notice of such extension to the claimant within the first ninety-day period. Any notice hereunder shall be written in a manner calculated to be understood by the claimant and, if a notice of denial, shall set forth: (i) the specific plan provisions on which the denial is based; (ii) an explanation of additional material or information, if any, necessary to perfect such claim and a statement of why such material or information is necessary; and (iii) an explanation of the review procedure.
Upon receipt of notice denying the claim, the claimant shall have the right to request a full and fair review by the Board of the initial determination. Such request for review must be made by notice to the Board within 60 days of receipt of such notice of denial. During such review, the claimant or a duly authorized representative shall have the right to review any pertinent documents and to submit any issues or comments in writing. The Board shall, within 60 days after receipt of the notice requesting such review (or in special circumstances, such as where the Board, in its sole discretion, holds a hearing within 120 days of receipt of such notice), submit its decision in writing to the person or persons whose claim has been denied. The decision shall be final, conclusive and binding on all parties, shall be written in a manner calculated to be understood by the claimant, and shall contain specific references to the pertinent plan provisions on which the decision is based.
Any notice of a claim questioning the amount of a benefit in pay status shall be filed within 90 days following the date of the first payment which would be adjusted if the claim is granted, unless the plan administrator allows a later filing for good cause shown.
A claimant who does not submit a notice of a claim or a notice requesting a review of a denial of a claim within the time limitations specified above shall be deemed to have waived such claim or right to review.
Operation of the pension fund.
The Board is hereby authorized to hold and supervise the investment of the assets of the pension fund, subject to the provisions of the laws of the commonwealth and of this article, and any amendment thereto.
The pension fund shall be used to pay benefits as provided in the plan and, to the extent not paid directly by the employer, to pay the expenses of administering the plan pursuant to authorization by the employer.
The employer intends the plan to be permanent and for the exclusive benefit of its employees. It expects to make the contributions to the pension fund required under the plan. The employer shall not be liable in any manner for any insufficiency in the pension fund; benefits are payable only from the pension fund and only to the extent that there are monies available therein.
The pension fund will consist of all funds held by the employer under the plan, including contributions made pursuant to the provisions hereof and the investments, reinvestments and proceeds thereof. The pension fund shall be held, managed and administered pursuant to the terms of the plan. Except as otherwise expressly provided in the plan, the employer has exclusive authority and discretion to manage and control the pension fund assets. The employer may, however, appoint a trustee, custodian and/or investment manager, at its sole discretion.
Powers and duties of employer. With respect to the pension fund, the employer shall have the following powers, rights and duties, in addition to those vested in it elsewhere in the plan or by law, unless such duties are delegated:
To retain in cash so much of the pension fund as it deems advisable and to deposit any cash so retained in any bank or similar financial institution (including any such institution which may be appointed to serve as trustee hereunder), without liability for interest thereon.
To invest and reinvest the principal and income of the fund and keep said fund invested, without distinction between principal and income, in securities which are at the time legal investments for fiduciaries under the Pennsylvania Fiduciaries Act, or as the same may be subsequently modified or amended.
To sell property held in the fund at either public or private sale for cash or on credit at such times as it may deem appropriate; to grant options for the purchase or exchange thereof.
To consent and participate in any plan or reorganization, consolidation, merger, extension or other similar plan affection property held in the fund; to consent to any contract, lease, mortgage, purchase, sale or other action by any corporation pursuant to such plan.
To exercise all conversion subscription rights pertaining to property held in the fund.
To exercise all voting rights with respect to property held in the fund and in connection therewith to grant proxies, discretionary or otherwise.
To place money at any time in a deposit bank deemed appropriate for the purposes of this article no matter where situated, including, in those cases where a bank has been appointed to serve as trustee hereunder, the savings department of its own commercial bank.
In addition to the foregoing powers, the employer shall also have all of the powers, rights and privileges conferred upon trustees by the Pennsylvania Fiduciaries Investment Act, or as the same may be subsequently modified or amended, and the power to do all acts, take all proceedings and execute all rights and privileges, although not specifically mentioned herein, as the employer may deem necessary to administer the pension fund.
To maintain and invest the assets of this plan on a collective and commingled basis with the assets of other pension plans maintained by the employer, provided that the assets of each respective plan shall be accounted for and administered separately.
To invest the assets of the pension plan in any collective commingled trust fund maintained by a bank or trust company, including any bank or trust company which may act as a trustee hereunder. In this connection, the commingling of the assets of this article with assets of other eligible, participating plans through such a medium is hereby specifically authorized. Any assets of this article which may be so added to such collective trust shall be subject to all of the provisions of the applicable declaration of trust, as amended from time to time, which declaration, if required by its terms or by applicable law, is hereby adopted as part of the plan to the extent of the participation in such collective or commingled trust fund by the plan.
To make payment or distribution required or advisable to carry out the provisions of the plan, provided that if the trustee is appointed by the employer, such trustee shall make a distribution only at the discretion of the employer.
To compromise, contest, arbitrate, enforce or abandon claims and demands with respect to the plan.
To retain any funds or property subject to any dispute without liability for the payment of interest thereon, and to decline to make payment or delivery thereof until final adjudication is made by a court of competent jurisdiction.
To pay and to deduct from and charge against the pension fund any taxes which may be imposed thereon, whether with respect to income, property or transfer thereof, or upon or with respect to the interest of any person therein, which the fund is required to pay; to contest, in its discretion, the validity or amount of any tax, assessment, claim or demand which may be levied or made against or in respect of the pension fund, the income, property or transfer thereof, or in any matter or thing connected therewith.
To appoint any persons or firms (including, but not limited to, accountants, investment advisers, counsel, actuaries, physicians, appraisers, consultants, professional plan administrators and other specialist), or otherwise act to secure specialized advice or assistance, as it deems necessary or desirable in connection with the management of the fund; to the extent not prohibited by applicable law, the employer shall be entitled to rely conclusively upon and shall be fully protected in any action or omission taken by it in good faith reliance upon the advice or opinion of such persons or firms were prudently chosen by the employer, taking into account the interest of the participants and beneficiaries and with due regard to the ability of the persons or firms to perform their assigned functions.
To retain the services of one or more persons or firms for the management of (including the power to acquire and dispose of) all or any part of the fund assets, provided that each of such persons or firms is registered as an investment advisor under the Investment Advisors Act of 1940, is a bank (as defined in the Act) or is an insurance company qualified to manage, acquire or dispose of pension trust assets under the laws of more than one state; in such event, the employer shall follow the directions of such investment manager or managers with respect to the acquisition and disposition of fund assets, but shall not be liable for the acts or omissions of such investment manager or managers, nor shall it be under any obligation to review or otherwise manage any fund assets which are subject to the management of such investment manager or managers. If the employer appoints a trustee, the trustee shall not be permitted to retain such an investment manager except with the express written consent of the employer.
Common investments. The employer shall not be required to make separate investments for individual participants or to maintain separate investments for each participant's account but may invest contributions and any profits or gains therefrom in common investments.
Compensation and expenses of appointed trustee. If a trustee is appointed, the trustee shall be entitled to such reasonable compensation as shall from time to time be agreed upon by the employer and the trustee, unless such compensation is prohibited by law. Such compensation, and all expenses reasonably incurred by the trustee in carrying out its functions, shall constitute a charge upon the employer and the pension fund, which may be executed at any time after 30 days' written notice to the employer. The employer shall be under no obligation to pay such costs and expenses and, in the event of its failure to do so, the trustee shall be entitled to pay the same or to be reimbursed for the payment thereof from the pension plan.
Periodic accounting. If a trustee is appointed, the pension fund shall be evaluated annually or at more frequent intervals by the trustee, and a written accounting rendered of each fiscal year end of the fund and as of the effective date of any removal or resignation of the trustee, and such additional dates as requested by the employer, showing the condition of the fund and all receipts, disbursements and other transactions effected by the trustee during the period covered by the accounting, based on fair market values prevailing as of such date.
Value of the pension fund. All determinations as to the value of the assets of the pension fund and as to the amount of the liabilities thereof shall be made by the employer or its appointed trustee, whose decisions shall be final and conclusive and binding on all parties hereto, the participants and beneficiaries and their estates. In making any such determination, the employer or trustee shall be entitled to seek and rely upon the opinion of or any information furnished by brokers, appraisers and other experts and shall also be entitled to rely upon reports as to sales and quotations, both on security exchanges and otherwise as contained in newspapers and financial publications.
Amendment of the plan. The employer may amend this article at any time or from time to time by an instrument in writing executed in the name of the employer under its municipal seal by officers duly authorized to execute such instrument and delivered to the Board for enactment as an ordinance or resolution; provided, however:
That no amendment shall deprive any participant or any beneficiary of a decease participant of any of the benefits to which such person is entitled under this article with respect to contributions previously made.
That no amendment shall provide for the use of funds or assets held under this article other than for the benefit of employees and no funds contributed to this article or assets of this article shall, except as provided in § 46-10E, ever revert to or be used by the employer.
Termination of the plan. The employer shall have the power to terminate this plan in its entirety at any time by an instrument in writing executed in the name of the employer.
Automatic termination of contributions. Subject to the provisions of the Act governing financially distressed municipalities, the liability of the employer to make contributions to the pension fund shall automatically terminate upon liquidation or dissolution of the employer, upon its adjudication as a bankrupt or upon the making of a general assignment for the benefit of its creditors.
Distribution upon termination.
In the event of the termination of the plan, all amounts of vested benefits accrued by the affected participants as of the date of such termination, to the extent funded on such date, shall be nonforfeitable hereunder. In the event of termination of the plan, the employer shall direct either (i) that the plan administrator continue to hold the vested accrued benefits of participants in the pension fund in accordance with the provisions of the plan (other than those provisions related to forfeitures) without regard to such termination until all funds have been distributed in accordance with the provisions or (ii) that the plan administrator immediately distribute to each participant an amount equal to the vested accrued benefit to the date.
If there are insufficient assets in the pension fund to provide for all vested accrued benefits as of the date of plan termination, priority shall first be given to the distribution of any amounts attributable to mandatory or voluntary employee contributions before assets are applied to the distribution of any vested benefits attributable to other sources hereunder.
All other assets attributable to the terminated plan shall be distributed and disposed of in accordance with the provisions of applicable law and the terms of any instrument adopted by the employer which effects such termination.
Residual assets. If all liabilities to vested participants and any others entitled to receive a benefit under the terms of the plan have been satisfied and there remain any residual assets in the pension fund, such residual assets remaining shall be returned to the employer insofar as such return does not contravene any provision of law, and any remaining balance in excess of employer contributions shall be returned to the commonwealth.
Exclusive benefit rule. In the event of the discontinuance and termination of the plan as provided herein, the employer shall dispose of the pension fund in accordance with the terms of the plan and applicable law. At no time prior to the satisfaction of all liabilities under the plan shall any part of the corpus or income of the pension fund, after deducting any administrative or other expenses properly chargeable to the pension fund, be used for or diverted to purposes other than for the exclusive benefit of the participants in the plan, their beneficiaries or their estates.
§ 46-11 Provisions to comply with the Municipal Pension Plan Funding Standard and Recovery Act of 1984.
Such biennial valuation report shall be made as of the beginning of each plan year occurring in an odd-numbered calendar year, beginning with the year 1985.
Such actuarial valuation shall be prepared and certified by an approved actuary, as such term is defined in the Act.
The expenses attributable to the preparation of any actuarial report or investigation required by the Act or any other expense which is permissible under the terms of the Act and which are directly associated with administering the plan shall be an allowable administrative expense payable from the assets of the pension fund. Such allowable expenses shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
Investment costs associated with obtaining authorized investments and investment managing fees.
Premiums for insurance coverage on fund assets.
Reasonable and necessary counsel fees incurred for advice or to defend the fund.
Legitimate travel and education expenses for plan officials; provided, however, that the municipal officials of the employer, in their fiduciary role, shall monitor the services provided to the plan to ensure that the expenses are necessary, reasonable and benefit the plan; and further provided, that the plan administrator shall document all such expenses item by item and, where necessary, hour by hour.
Duties of chief administrative officer.
Such actuarial reports shall be prepared and filed under supervision of the chief administrative officer.
The chief administrative officer of the plan shall determine the financial requirements of the plan on the basis of the most recent actuarial report and shall determine the minimum municipal obligation of the employer with respect to funding the plan for any given plan year. The chief administrative officer shall submit the financial requirements of the plan and the minimum municipal obligation of the employer to the Board annually and shall certify the accuracy of such calculations and their conformance with the Act.
Benefit plan modifications. Prior to the adoption of any benefit plan modifications by the employer, the chief administrative officer of the plan shall provide to the Board a cost estimate of the proposed benefit plan modification. Such estimate shall be prepared by an approve actuary, which estimate shall disclose to the Board the impact of the proposed benefit plan modification on the future financial requirements of the plan and future, minimum municipal obligation of the employer with respect to the plan.
Plan not a contract of employment. No police officer of the employer nor anyone else shall have any rights whatsoever against the employer or the plan administrator as a result of this article, except those expressly granted to them hereunder. Nothing herein shall be construed to give any police officer the right to remain on the police force of the employer.
Masculine/feminine; singular/plural. For the purposes of this article, the masculine shall be read for the feminine and the singular shall be read for the plural, wherever the person or context shall plainly so require.
Construction of document. This plan may be executed and/or conformed in any number of counterparts, each of which shall be deemed an original and shall be construed and enforced according to the laws of the commonwealth, excepting such commonwealth's choice of law rules.
Headings. The headings of sections are included solely for convenience of reference, and if there be any conflict between such headings and the text of the plan, the text shall control.
Severability of provisions. In case any provision of this article shall be held illegal or invalid for any reason, said illegality or invalidity shall not affect the remaining parts of this article, and the plan shall be construed and enforced as if said illegal and invalid provisions had never been inserted therein.
Incapacity of participant. If any participant shall be physically or mentally incapable of receiving or acknowledging receipt of any payment of pension benefits hereunder, the plan administrator, upon the receipt of satisfactory evidence that such participant is so incapacitated and that another person or institution is maintaining him, may provide for such payment of pension benefits hereunder to such person or institution so maintaining him, and any such payments so made shall be deemed for every purpose to have been made to such participant.
Liability of officers of the plan administrator and/or employer. Subject to the provisions of the Act and unless otherwise specifically required by other applicable laws, no past, present or future officer of the employer shall be personally liable to the participant, beneficiary or other person under any provision of the plan.
Assets of the fund. Nothing contained herein shall be deemed to give any participant or beneficiary any interest in any specific property of the pension fund or any right except to receive such distributions as are expressly provided under the plan.
Pension fund for sole benefit of participants. The income and principal of the pension fund are for the sole use and benefit of the participants covered hereunder and, to the extent permitted by law, shall be free, clear and discharged from and are not to be in any way liable for debts, contracts or agreements now contracted or which may hereafter be contracted and from all claims and liabilities now or hereafter incurred by any participant or beneficiary.