[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of East Whiteland as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Police Pension Fund
Article II Firefighter Employees' Pension Plan
[Adopted 8-17-1959 by Ord. No. 19]
[Added 2-11-2009 by Ord. No. 215-2009]
Any sworn police officer in the full-time employ of the Township Police Department who has satisfied the eligibility requirements established in § 32-4A hereof and who is, at the time of reference, or has prior to their elimination been making such contributions as may be required pursuant to § 32-11A(1) hereof shall be considered an eligible member of this pension plan.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former § 32-1, Short title.
The Police Pension Fund established by resolution of August 1, 1959, in accordance with the Act of May 29, 1956, P.L. 1804, commonly known as "Act No. 600," as amended, is hereby confirmed and perpetuated, to consist of cash, annuities, insurance contracts and other property; to be used solely for the benefit of eligible members of the police force of East Whiteland Township and to be maintained by:
A charge against each member of the police force;
Annual appropriations by the Township;
Payments made by the State Treasurer to the Township Treasurer from the moneys received from taxes paid upon premiums by foreign casualty insurance companies for purposes of pension, retirement for policemen; and
Gifts, grants, devises, or bequests granted to this Police Pension Fund.
The Police Pension Fund shall be managed and administered by three individual Trustees, one of whom may be a Supervisor of this Township, to be appointed by the Board of Supervisors. Initially one Trustee shall be appointed to serve for one year, one for two years and one for three years. Thereafter each Trustee shall be appointed for a three-year term. The three Trustees may, with the approval of the Board of Supervisors, appoint a corporate fiduciary to act with them as a co-trustee. The trust shall be managed and administered under an appropriate deed of trust to be prepared by the Township Solicitor and approved by the Board of Supervisors.
The Township Manager, acting on behalf of the Trustees and/or the Board of Supervisors, shall have the power to execute all documents necessary to carry out the actions of the Trustees or Supervisors, and any person, partnership, corporation, or government agency shall accept such documents over such signature or signatures as if executed by the Trustees or Board of Supervisors.
[Added 2-11-2009 by Ord. No. 215-2009]
[Amended 4-7-1964; 11-2-1965; 4-7-1969]
Eligibility for pension benefits.
[Amended 2-13-1989; 3-18-2003 by Ord. No. 145-2003]
Normal retirement. Any eligible member of the police force who was in the service of this Township prior to January 1, 1966, may retire from active duty if he meets one of the following requirements: he has attained the age of 50 years and he has total service of 25 or more years in this Township; or he has attained the age of 60 years and he has total service of 20 or more years in this Township. Any eligible member of the police force employed after January 1, 1966, may retire from active duty if he has attained the age of 50 years and he has total service of 25 or more years in this Township.
Early retirement. Any eligible member of the police force who has 20 years of service in this Township may elect to retire from active duty under this early retirement provision.
Amount of pension benefit.
[Amended 6-12-1978; 4-13-1981; 2-13-1989; 7-10-1995; 3-18-2003 by Ord. No. 145-2003]
Normal retirement. The monthly pension shall equal 1/2 of a participant's average total monthly compensation during the last 36 months of his employment reduced by any pension benefits from pension plans heretofore established by a private organization or association for the members of the police force.
Early retirement. The monthly pension shall be an actuarial reduction based on the interest rate and mortality table used in the latest actuarial report submitted by the Township to the Commonwealth.
Commencement and termination of pension benefit. The pension benefit shall commence on the first day of the month after the police officer becomes eligible and applies in writing for pension benefits. The Township may retire a police officer from active duty at its discretion at any time after he has become eligible for pension benefits under Subsection A above. The pension benefit shall be payable on the first day of each month up to and including the month in which he dies.
An eligible police officer who retires with service in excess of 25 years shall receive a service increment to his pension benefit equal to $25 per month for each full year of service in excess of 25 years. In no event shall the total service increment exceed $100 per month.
Cost-of-living adjustment. Upon recommendation of the Trustees, the Board of Supervisors from time to time may grant a cost-of-living adjustment to all retired members. The total of all increases may not exceed 30% of the retiree’s original benefit; nor may the sum of the retiree’s benefit and all increases exceed 75% of average total monthly compensation used to compute the original benefit. No cost-of-living increase(s) will be granted which would impair the actuarial soundness of the plan. The initial cost-of-living adjustment may be effective the January 1 following one full year of retirement. All subsequent adjustments may be made effective January 1 and calculated on the twelve-month percentage change in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for the Philadelphia area as of the previous October.
[Added 2-11-2009 by Ord. No. 215-2009]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Subsection D, Police reserve duty.
Deferred Retirement Option Plan.
[Added 2-11-2009 by Ord. No. 215-2009]
Definitions. As used in this Subsection E, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The Deferred Retirement Option Plan created as an optional form of benefit under the existing East Whiteland Township Police Pension Plan.
- DROP ACCOUNT
- A separate ledger account created to accumulate the DROP pension benefit for a DROP participant.
- A full-time East Whiteland Township police officer covered by the Plan.
- A member who is eligible for normal retirement and who has elected to participate in the DROP program.
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 767 et seq.
Eligibility. Effective January 1, 2009, members of the East Whiteland Township Police Department that have not retired prior to the implementation of the DROP program may enter into the DROP on the first day of any month following the attainment of age 50 and the completion of 25 or more years of credited service with East Whiteland Township.
Written election. An eligible member of the Plan electing to participate in the DROP program must complete and execute a DROP Election Form prepared by East Whiteland Township and/or the pension plan administrator, which shall evidence the member's participation in the DROP program and document the participant's rights and obligations under the DROP. The form must be signed by the member and the Chief Administrative Officer of the Plan and submitted to East Whiteland Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, within 60 days of the date on which the member wishes the DROP election to be effective. The DROP Election Form shall include an irrevocable notice to the Township of East Whiteland by the member that the member shall terminate from employment with the East Whiteland Township Police Department effective on a specific date not more than five years from the date upon which the member first became eligible to participate in the DROP program. In addition, all retirement documents required by the East Whiteland Township Police Pension Plan Administrator must be filed and presented to the East Whiteland Township Manager for approval of retirement and commencement of the monthly pension benefit. Once the retirement application has been approved by the Supervisors, it shall become irrevocable.
After a member enters the DROP program, contributions to the pension plan by the Participant and the Township will cease, and the amount of monthly benefits will be frozen except for any applicable cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increases awarded to all pension recipients as described in § 32-4D above.
Members shall be advised to consult a tax advisor, of their choice, prior to considering the DROP program, as there may be serious tax implications and/or consequences to participating in the DROP program.
Limitation on pension accrual. After the effective date of the DROP election, the participant shall no longer earn or accrue additional years of continuous service for pension purposes.
Benefit calculation. For all Plan purposes, continuous service of a member participating in the DROP program shall remain as it existed on the effective date of commencement of participation in the DROP program. Service thereafter shall not be recognized or used for the calculation or determination of any benefits payable by the East Whiteland Township Police Pension Plan. The average monthly pay of the member for pension calculation purposes shall remain as it existed on the effective date of commencement of participation in the DROP program. Earnings or increases in earnings thereafter shall not be recognized or used for the calculation of or determination of any benefits payable by the Plan. The pension benefit payable to the participants shall increase only as a result of cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs), which are effective on or after the date of the member's participation in the DROP program.
Payments to DROP Account. The monthly retirement benefits that would have been payable had the member elected to cease employment and receive a normal retirement benefit shall, upon the member commencing participation in the DROP program, be credited on the first day of each month into a separate ledger account established by the Plan administrator to track and accumulate the participant's monthly pension benefits. This account shall be designated the DROP Account. Interest shall be compounded and credited monthly at an annual rate of 3%. All interest credited to the DROP Account shall be included in the final cash settlement.
Early termination. A participant may withdraw from the DROP program at any time and no penalty shall be imposed for early termination of DROP participation. However, the participant shall not be permitted to make any withdrawals from the DROP account until the participant has terminated employment (subject, however, to the requirement that no withdraw shall be made earlier than one year from the date the participant entered DROP, except that such early withdraw may be permitted should the participant terminate employment within the first year of DROP participation due to a death, serious illness or other life-changing event which occurs within the first year of DROP participation).
Payout. Upon the termination date set forth in the DROP Election Form or on such date as the participant withdraws or is terminated from the DROP program, if earlier, the normal retirement benefits payable to the participant or the participant's beneficiary, if applicable, shall be paid directly to the participant or beneficiary and shall no longer be credited to the DROP account. Within 30 days following the actual termination of a participant's employment with East Whiteland Township, the accumulated balance in the DROP account shall be paid to the participant in a lump sum payment. Such payment shall be made either in cash, subject to any federal withholding as may be required, or as a direct rollover to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), or some combination as directed by the participant. If the participant selects the rollover option, he or she must also submit the appropriate paperwork from the IRA custodian within 20 days following termination.
Disability during DROP. If a participant becomes temporarily disabled during the DROP period, the participant shall receive disability pay in the same manner as disabled police officers that are not participating in DROP. In no event shall a participant on temporary disability have the ability to draw from the DROP Account. However, notwithstanding any other provision in this Subsection E(2)(h), if an officer is disabled and has not returned to work as of the date of the required resignation, then such resignation shall take precedence over all other provisions herein, and said officer shall be required to resign. If a DROP participant becomes eligible for a disability pension benefit due to a permanent, service-related disability under Act 600 and terminates employment, the monthly normal retirement benefit shall cease.
Death. If a participant dies before the DROP account balance is paid, the participant's beneficiary under Act 600 shall have the same rights as the participant to withdraw the DROP account balance. The monthly benefit credited to the participant's DROP account during the month of the participant's death shall be the final monthly benefit for DROP participation.
Killed-in-service survivor benefit. If a participant is killed in service, the Participant's beneficiaries under Act 600 shall be entitled to apply for and receive a recalculation for payment of survivor benefits at 100% of the participant's salary as fixed at the date of retirement.
Amendment. Any amendments to the DROP Section of this ordinance shall be consistent with the provisions covering deferred retirement option plans set forth in any applicable collective bargaining agreement or state or federal law, and shall be binding upon all future participants and upon all participants who have balances in their DROP accounts.
Eligibility for disability benefits. Any eligible member of the police force who is determined to have become totally and permanently disabled, through no willful misconduct of his own, while in the performance of his duties as a police officer of this Township, shall qualify for a disability benefit. The determination shall be made by a doctor retained by the Township at Township expense.
Amount of disability benefit. The disability benefit shall be in accordance with the salary continuance insurance policy carried by the Township, but in no event shall be less than 50% of the officer's salary at the time the disability was incurred, and shall be reduced by any benefits payable under the federal social security laws. If a disabled participant dies before he has received in total disability benefits an amount equal to the total contributions made by him to the pension fund, the unpaid balance shall be paid in a lump sum to his designated beneficiary. In addition, if the salary continuance policy is discontinued, the same level of benefit shall be provided as covered in that policy.
[Amended 5-10-1976; 7-10-1995; 12-17-2002 by Ord. No. 144-2002]
Commencement and termination of disability benefit. The disability benefit shall be payable as of the first day of the month after the date that the disability was incurred, even though the determination of eligibility may not be made for some months thereafter. When the determination of total and permanent disability has been made, payments shall commence and shall continue on the first day of each month thereafter during the period of disability up to and including the month in which the member dies or reaches his 65th birthday, whichever occurs first. The Township reserves the right to have a doctor examine a disabled participant at any time to determine if he still qualifies for disability benefits. Upon attaining his 65th birthday, the disabled member shall become a retired member and shall then be eligible for a pension benefit equal in amount to the disability benefit he had been receiving. This pension benefit shall commence on the first day of the month after his 65th birthday and shall be payable up to and including the month in which he dies. At the attainment of a participant's normal retirement age, the participant shall receive the greater of the above benefit stated in Subsection B or the benefit in accordance with § 32-13, if any.
Nonoccupational disability. Any eligible member of the police force who is totally and permanently disabled while in the performance of a nonoccupational activity shall be entitled to receive the disability benefit that is provided under the Township's salary continuance policy, if such a policy is in effect at the time of disability. If vested, at the attainment of normal retirement age, the participant shall receive the greater of the benefit provided by either the salary continuance policy or the pension plan. In no case, shall the benefit provided by the salary continuance plan be paid beyond age 65. Because a nonoccupational disability benefit is not an Act 600 benefit, the premium for the salary continuance policy shall be paid from the General Fund.
[Amended 11-11-1991; 7-10-1995]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection E, Police reserve duty, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 2-11-2009 by Ord. No. 215-2009.
[Amended 2-12-1973; 6-12-1978; 4-13-1981; 11-11-1991; 7-10-1995]
Pension and service-related benefits shall be funded through a trust fund which shall accept contributions and hold them as cash or invest such contributions in insurance company contracts or other property as directed by the Trustees. However, service-related disability benefits may be paid from a salary continuance policy carried by and paid for by the Township.
The fund shall be operated by the Trustees as follows:
At retirement for age and service, the Trustees may purchase with assets of the fund an annuity from an insurance company to provide benefits as determined under § 32-4B, or may make such benefit distributions directly from the fund. Benefits shall commence on the first day of the month after the participant satisfies the eligibility requirements for retirement and actually retires.
Service-related disability benefits may be paid from a salary continuance policy carried by and paid for by the Township or shall be paid directly from the fund or from an investment contract entered into by the fund, shall be determined under § 32-5, shall commence as determined under § 32-5, and shall cease with the payment made for the month in which the disabled participant obtains age 65. Thereafter, an annuity may be purchased or funds may be paid from the trust fund to commence on the first day of the month following the participant's 65th birthday and such payments shall continue up to and including the payment for the month in which the participant dies. If vested, at the attainment of normal retirement age, the participant shall receive the greater of the benefit provided by either the salary continuance policy or the pension plan. In no case shall the benefit provided by the salary continuance plan be paid beyond age 65.
[Amended 12-17-2002 by Ord. No. 144-2002; 6-13-2012 by Ord. No. 239-2012]
The killed-in-service benefit as previously set forth in this article is hereby repealed, deleted, and removed in its entirety as an obligation of this plan. Said benefits are now being provided directly by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from its General Fund following the passage of Act 51 of 2009.
[Amended 6-13-2012 by Ord. No. 239-2012]
Due to the passage of Act 51 of 2009, insurance coverage for the purpose of offsetting the liability for a killed-in-service event is no longer necessary and shall not be maintained by the employer or the plan.
[Added 7-10-1995; amended 12-17-2002 by Ord. No. 144-2002]
Upon the death of a police officer who has 12 or more years of service in this Township, benefits shall be provided to the surviving spouse, and if no spouse survives or if he or she survives and subsequently dies, to one or more eligible surviving children of the police officer. For purposes of this section, the term "eligible surviving child(ren)" shall be defined as a child or children under 18 years of age or, if attending college, under the age of 23 years. The phrase "attending college" shall mean the eligible child is registered at an accredited institution of higher learning and is carrying a minimum course load of seven credit hours per semester. The amount of the pension benefit shall be set at 1/2 of the pension benefit which the police officer was receiving or which the police officer would have been entitled to receive had he been retired upon his death. If a police officer dies before his pension has vested, the surviving spouse or, if no spouse survives or if he or she survives and subsequently dies, then one or more eligible surviving children shall be entitled to receive repayment of all of the money which the member invested in the pension fund plus interest or other increases of value to the member's interest in the pension fund, unless the member has designated a beneficiary for this purpose.
Intervening military service. Any member of the police force employed by the Township, who has been a regularly appointed employee of the Township for a period of six months and who thereafter entered military service of the United States, shall have credited to the member's employment record for pension or retirement benefits all of the time spent by the member in such military service, if such member returned to employment by the Township within six months after the member's separation from the service.
Nonintervening military service. Any member of the police force who was not employed by the Township prior to United States military service may purchase service credit, not to exceed five years, to the member's employment record for pension or retirement benefits. The amount due from the member for the purchase of credit for nonintervening military service shall be computed by applying the average normal cost rate for borough and Township plans as certified by the Public Employee Retirement Commission, but not to exceed 10%, to the member's average annual rate of compensation over the first three years of municipal service, and multiplying the result by the number of years or fractional years of creditable nonintervening military service being purchased together with interest at the rate of 4 3/4% compounded annually from the date of initial entry into municipal service to the date of payment.
Military service eligibility. Any member of the police force shall be eligible to receive credits for intervening and nonintervening military service as provided in Subsections A and B above, provided that the member is not entitled to receive, eligible to receive now and in the future or is receiving retirement benefits for such service under a retirement system administered and wholly or partially paid for by any other governmental agency with the exception of a member eligible to receive or receiving military retirement pay earned by a combination of active duty or nonactive duty with a reserve or national guard component of the armed forces which retirement pay is payable only upon the attainment of a specified age and period of service under 10 United States Code Ch. 67 (relating to retired pay for nonregular service).
[Amended 2-14-1961; 9-11-1962; 4-7-1969; 2-12-1973; 4-13-1981; 11-11-1991; 7-10-1995]
Contributions by police officers.
Each police officer shall contribute 5% of his yearly base salary. Contributions from police officers shall be deducted from total compensation in each pay period. Such payroll deduction amounts shall be promptly remitted by the Township Treasurer to the Trustees of the Police Pension Fund. The Trustees shall invest contributions as herein provided. The Township may, on an annual basis by ordinance or resolution, reduce or eliminate member contributions to the fund when an actuarial study demonstrates that such reduction is feasible and can be effected without impairing the soundness of the fund.
[Amended 12-17-2002 by Ord. No. 144-2002]
Refund of and interest on contributions. If any member of the police force shall be ineligible to receive a pension, he shall be entitled to a refund of all his contributions to the pension fund immediately upon discontinuance of his employment. In addition, he shall receive all interest earned by such contributions through their investment by the insurance company managing the deposit administration group annuity contract. All interest earned shall be computed from September 9, 1971. If the discontinuance of employment is due to death, the contributions and interest thereon shall be paid to the officer's designated beneficiary or, in the absence thereof, to his estate.
The remainder of the needed annual contribution shall be paid to the Trustees of the fund by the Township by annual appropriations.
Payments by the State Treasurer to the Township Treasurer from taxes paid upon premiums by foreign casualty insurance companies for police officers pensions for shall be applied as follows: to reduce the unfunded past service liability, and after such liability been funded; to reduce the annual obligation of the Township for future service costs, or to the extent that the payment may be in excess of such obligations; to reduce the contribution of police officers. Any moneys paid into the fund from sources other than the foregoing shall be applied equally to reduce the Township's cost and the cost to members during the year in which received.
The funds received hereunder by the Trustees shall be invested by them through the purchase of insurance contracts or other forms of investment as determined by the Trustees which are capable of producing the benefits provided for hereunder.
If a police officer terminates his employment with the Township prior to his normal retirement date but after completing 12 years of total service, he will be entitled to a pension benefit at normal retirement age in accordance with the applicable provisions of Act. No. 600, as amended.
The benefits herein provided for shall not be subject to attachment, execution, levy, garnishment or other legal process, and shall be payable only to the member or his designated beneficiary or to his estate, and shall not be subject to assignment or transfer.
The expenses of management and administration of the fund, including the compensation of the Trustees, shall be paid from the assets of the Police Pension Plan or, if such fund is insufficient, from the Township General Fund.
[Adopted 6-8-2005 by Ord. No. 172-2005; amended in its entirety 11-10-2009 by Ord. No. 220-2009]
Editor's Note: This ordinance provided that all references to "firemen" in Ord. No. 172-2005 and the Plan shall be changed to "firefighter."
Creates a firefighter employees' pension plan for all eligible firefighter employees and splits the existing nonuniformed employees' pension plan into separate plans for nonuniformed employees and uniformed firefighter employees; therefore, liabilities and assets attributable to the two employee groups shall be so allocated effective January 1, 2005.
This article authorizes that the Township Manager will serve as the Plan Administrator and the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors will serve as the Plan Trustee pursuant to the terms of the plan.
[Added 6-13-2012 by Ord. No. 240-2012]
The East Whiteland Township Firefighter Employees’ Pension Plan benefits shall be as defined in the pension plan document prepared by Univest Municipal Pension Services Employee Benefit and Investment Consultants, dated May 1, 2012, and retroactively effective to January 1, 2012.