Township of Lower Salford, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lower Salford as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Salaries and compensation — See Ch. 38.
[Adopted 4-17-1974 by Ord. No. 74-4]

§ 29-1 Fund created.

The Township hereby creates a Municipal Police Pension Fund to be maintained by a charge against each member of the police force, by annual appropriations made by the Township and by payments made by the State Treasurer to the Township Treasurer from the moneys received from taxes upon premiums by foreign casualty insurance companies for purposes of pension retirements for Township police officers.

§ 29-2 Administration.

The Police Pension Fund shall be administered and managed by a corporate trustee to be selected by the Board of Supervisors of the Township, under an appropriate deed of trust to be prepared by the Township Solicitor and approved by the Board of Supervisors of the Township.

§ 29-3 Eligibility for payments.

[Amended 12-15-1982 by Ord. No. 82-12; 1-6-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-2]
A. 
The benefits from the fund shall be payable to police officers who have served in the Township for an aggregate total of 25 years and who have attained age 50, after which the police officers may retire from active duty. Retired officers may be temporarily called back into service in case of riot or tumult, or for the preservation of the public peace, until unfit for such service, when they may be finally discharged by reason of age or disability. If a member who dies is survived by a spouse or dependent children, after having become eligible to receive a pension benefit, i.e., the member was eligible because the member was already receiving a pension or the member met the age and service requirements, but had not yet retired, then a monthly pension benefit shall be provided in an amount equal to 50% of the normal retirement benefit the member was receiving or would have been entitled to receive if the member had been retired when the member died. The monthly pension benefit shall be payable to the surviving spouse. In the event there is no surviving spouse, the benefit shall be payable to the guardian of surviving dependent children until the last dependent child dies or reaches his 18th birthday, whichever comes first. Dependent children shall include stepchildren, adopted children and any child conceived at the time of member's death and thereafter born to the member's surviving spouse. Dependent children shall also include children who are attending college or an accredited institution of higher learning who are carrying a minimum course load of seven credit hours per semester who have not yet attained the age of 23 years.
[Amended 1-3-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-1; 12-5-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-11]
B. 
In the case of the payment of pensions for permanent injuries incurred on or after April 17, 2002, the amount of the payments shall be calculated at the rate of 50% of the member's salary at the time the disability was incurred, provided that any member who receives benefits for the same injuries under the Social Security Act (49 Stat. 620, 42 U.S.C. § 301 et seq.) shall have his or her disability benefits offset or reduced by the amount of such benefits. Determination of eligibility of disability benefits shall be based on the eligibility of benefits payable for permanent injuries incurred in service under the Township's long-term disability policy and shall be payable commencing at the later of termination of benefits under the long-term disability policy as a result of attaining the maximum age under the disability policy or upon the officer's attainment of his superannuation retirement date.
C. 
The surviving family of a police officer who is killed in the line of duty shall receive the benefits provided for and subject to the terms of Act 51 of 2009 (effective January 1, 2011), which benefits are paid exclusively by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. With the exception of any pension benefit to which the police officer was entitled prior to the police officer's death, solely by virtue of the officer's age and service as a Township police officer, and any other nonpension, contractual benefits to which the police officer and/or the police officer's family may have been entitled prior to the police officer's death, the Township shall not be obligated to pay any benefit to the family of a police officer as the result of the officer's death, including, but not limited to, the killed-in-service pension benefit set forth which existed prior to the passage of Act 51 of 2009.
[Amended 2-2-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-2]

§ 29-4 Credit for military service.

Any member of the Township police force who has been in service in the force at least six months and who thereafter enters the military service of the United States shall have credited to his employment record for pension benefits all of his time in military service if he returns to his employment within six months after his separation from military service.

§ 29-5 Source of payments.

Payments made under the provisions of this article shall not be a charge on any other fund in the treasury of the Township or under its control, save the Police Pension Fund herein provided for.

§ 29-6 Computation of monthly benefits.

[Amended 12-15-1982 by Ord. No. 82-12; 3-5-1986 by Ord. No. 86-2; 1-2-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-1]
A. 
The basis for determining the pension payable under this article, following retirement of any member of the force meeting the service and age qualifications of this article, shall be as follows: monthly pension or retirement benefits shall be 1/2 the monthly average salary of such member during the last 36 months of employment. In no event shall the computation described in the preceding sentence include any portion of a police officer’s W-2 earnings that was paid in a lump-sum amount for hours which were paid but not worked, e.g., accumulated vacation time or accumulated sick time.
B. 
Notwithstanding anything in this article to the contrary, effective January 1, 2010, salary will not include any payments made by the employer to the participant in exchange for the participant's waiver of health insurance that would otherwise be provided by the employer.
[Added 4-7-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-3[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance provided an effective date of 1-1-2010.

§ 29-7 Employment of actuary.

The Township shall employ an actuary at a compensation to be determined from time to time by the Township Supervisors. The actuary shall determine the present value of the liability on account of pensions payable under § 29-6 to police officers for service prior to the effective date of this chapter and shall offset the value of any assets transferred to the fund from a previous pension fund to determine the unfunded liability. The unfunded liability shall be paid entirely by the Township, provided that it may be funded over a period not to exceed 25 years. The actuary shall also determine the amount which shall be contributed annually into the fund for the service of police officers subsequent to the establishment of this Police Pension Fund (to be known as "future service cost").

§ 29-8 Payments into fund; annual appropriation.

[Amended 1-6-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-2; 1-2-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-1]
A. 
Police officers shall pay into the fund an amount equal to 4% of their compensation for the pay period. Notwithstanding the foregoing, police officers whose employment is not subject to collective bargaining shall not be required to pay into the fund in order to qualify for benefits from the pension fund.
[Amended 1-3-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-1; 1-2-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-1; 12-5-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-11]
B. 
The remainder of the needed annual contributions, as determined by the actuary, shall become the obligation of the Township and shall be paid by it to the pension fund by annual appropriations.
C. 
The governing body of the Township may, on an annual basis, by ordinance or resolution, reduce or eliminate payments into the fund by members.

§ 29-9 Use of payments from state.

A. 
Payments by the State Treasurer to the Township Treasurer from the taxes paid upon premiums by foreign casualty insurance companies shall be applied as follows:
(1) 
To reduce the unfunded past service liability and after such liability has been funded.
(2) 
To reduce the annual obligation of the Township for future service cost or to the extent that the payment may be in excess of such obligation.
(3) 
To reduce police officers' contributions.
B. 
Unless otherwise specifically provided, any other moneys paid into the Police Pension Fund shall be applied equally against the police officer and the municipal portions of the future service cost.

§ 29-10 Discontinuance of prior fund.

The existing Township Police Pension Fund shall be discontinued and the members' assets and liabilities of such fund will be transferred to the fund established pursuant to the terms of this article.

§ 29-11 Refund of contributions.

[Amended 1-6-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-2]
A. 
Any member of the Township police force, who for any reason whatsoever shall be ineligible to receive a pension after having contributed any charges to a police pension fund established pursuant to the provisions of this article or to a police pension fund existing on the effective date of this article supplanted by a police pension fund established pursuant to the provisions of this article, shall be entitled to a refund of all such moneys paid by him into such fund, plus all interest earned by such moneys paid by him into such fund, plus all interest earned by such moneys while in the Police Pension Fund, as determined by regulations of the Township, immediately upon discontinuance of his employment with the police force. If such discontinuance is due to death, such moneys shall be paid to his designated beneficiary or, in the absence thereof, to his estate.
B. 
Effective April 17, 2002, the surviving spouse of a member of the police force who dies before his pension has vested or, if no spouse survives or if he or she survives and subsequently dies, then the child or children under the age of 18, or if attending college, under or attaining the age of 23 years, of the member of the police force shall be entitled to receive repayment of all money which the member invested in the pension fund, plus interest or other increases in value of the member's investment in the pension fund, unless the member has designated another beneficiary for this purpose.

§ 29-12 Pensions not subject to attachment.

The pensions herein provided shall not be subject to attachment 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.

§ 29-13 Expenses of administration.

The expenses of administration and management of the fund, including the compensation of the actuary and of the trustee of the fund, shall be paid by the Township.

§ 29-13.1 Vesting of benefits.

[Added 12-15-1982 by Ord. No. 82-12]
Should a police officer, before completing superannuation retirement age and service requirements but after having completed 12 years of total service, for any reason cease to be employed as a full-time police officer by the Township, he shall be entitled to vest his retirement benefits by filing with the Township within 90 days of the date he ceases to be a full-time police officer a written notice of his intention to vest. Upon reaching the date which would have been his superannuation retirement date if he had continued to be employed as a full-time officer, he shall be paid a partial superannuation retirement allowance determined by applying the percentage his years of service bears to the years of service which he would have rendered had he continued to work until his superannuation retirement date to the gross pension, using, however, the monthly average salary during the appropriate period prior to his termination of employment. Such pension or retirement benefits for any month shall be the benefits from the Police Pension Fund established pursuant to this article to the extent necessary to bring the total benefits in any month up to his partial superannuation retirement allowance outlined above.

§ 29-13.2 Early retirement benefit.

[Added 4-2-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-2[1]]
A. 
If a police force member's employment with the Township ceases for any reason after at least 20 years of continuous service but before his normal retirement date (other than for death or for permanent disability), the member shall be eligible for an early retirement pension; provided that the member files a written application for an early retirement benefit with the Township Board of Supervisors. The early retirement benefit shall become effective as of the date the application is filed with the Board or the date designated on the application, whichever is later, and shall be the actuarial equivalent of his deferred vested pension as of the date his employment ceased.
B. 
The actuarial equivalent of the deferred vested pension shall be determined by the actuarial reduction of the deferred vested pension to reflect that it will commence on the effective date of his early retirement rather than on his normal retirement date. The actuarial reduction shall be calculated using the actuarial assumptions reported in the last actuarial report filed with the Public Employee Retirement Commission under the Act of December 18, 1984 (P.L. 1005, No. 205), known as the "Municipal Pension Plan Funding Standard and Recovery Act."[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 895.101 et seq.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided for the renumbering of former § 29-13.2 as § 29-13.3.

§ 29-13.3 Special ad hoc cost-of-living adjustment.

[Added 5-3-1989 by Ord. No. 89-4]
A. 
Notwithstanding anything in the plan to the contrary, there shall be paid therefrom a special ad hoc cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to each retiree hereunder who retired prior to January 1, 1985, according to the following schedule:
Years of Retirement as of January 1, 1989
Amount of Monthly COLA
5 but less than 10
$25
10 but less than 20
$75
20 or more
$150
B. 
In the case of each such retiree who is totally disabled and has been retired less than 10 years as of January 1, 1989, the amount of the monthly COLA shall be $50.
C. 
Each such COLA paid hereunder shall be in addition to the pension otherwise payable under the plan and shall continue for the retiree's lifetime, ending with the payment due for the month of his death.
D. 
If any retiree hereunder shall also be receiving a pension as a police retiree from any Pennsylvania municipality, the amount of the COLA under this plan shall be reduced so that the total of all COLA's does not exceed the dollar amount set out above. Further, if this plan shall otherwise provide for COLA benefits, the special ad hoc COLA adjustments hereunder shall be correspondingly reduced.

§ 29-13.4 Deferred retirement option plan.

[Added 1-3-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-1]
A. 
Definitions. As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BENEFICIARY
The individual identified by a police officer to receive the contents of an officer's DROP account in the event of the death of an officer during the period in which the officer is participating in the DROP, but before the officer separates from employment.
DROP
Deferred retirement option plan.
DROP ACCOUNT
Separate account created to accept DROP participants' monthly pension check while a DROP participant.
FUND or PLAN
The Police Pension Plan For Lower Salford Township.
POLICE OFFICERS
Police officers of Lower Salford Township.
TOWNSHIP
Lower Salford Township.
B. 
Eligibility. As of the effective date of this section, police officers who have not retired prior to the implementation of the DROP program may enter into DROP on the first day of any month following completion of 25 years of credited service and attaining the age of 50.
[Amended 12-5-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-11]
(1) 
Written election. A police officer electing to participate in the DROP must complete and execute a DROP option form prepared by the Township, which shall evidence the member's participation in the DROP. The form must be signed by the member and notarized and submitted to the Township prior to the date on which the member wishes the DROP option to be effective. The DROP option notice shall include an irrevocable notice to the Township by the member, that the member shall resign from employment with the Lower Salford Township Police Department effective on a specific date (the "resignation date"). In no event shall the resignation date be shorter than 12 months or longer than 36 months from the execution of the DROP option form. An officer shall cease to work as a police officer on the officer's resignation date, unless the Township terminates or honorably discharges the officer prior to the resignation date. The police officer in the deferred retirement option program may change the termination date of participation in the deferred retirement option program to an earlier date by giving a minimum six months’ written notice. In addition, all retirement documents required by the Police Pension Plan Administrator must be filed and presented to the Township for approval of retirement and payment of pension. Once a retirement application has been approved by the Township, it is irrevocable.
(2) 
Pension contributions. A police officer shall not be required to make any contributions to the fund during his/her DROP period.
C. 
Limitation on pension accrual. After the effective date of the DROP option, the police officer shall no longer earn or accrue additional years of continuous service for pension purposes.
D. 
Benefit calculation. For all retirement fund purposes, continuous service of a police officer participating in the DROP shall remain as it existed on the effective date of commencement of participation in the DROP. Service thereafter shall not be recognized or used for the calculation or determination of any benefits payable by the police pension plan of Lower Salford Township. The average monthly compensation of the police officer for pension calculation purposes shall remain as it existed on the effective date of commencement of participation in the DROP. Earnings or increases in earnings thereafter shall not be recognized or used for the calculation or determination of any benefits payable by the pension plan.
E. 
Payments to the DROP account. The monthly retirement benefits that would have been payable had the police officer elected to cease employment and receive a normal retirement benefit shall, upon the Police Officer commencing participation in DROP, be paid into the separate account established to receive the participant's monthly pension payments. This account shall be designated “the DROP account.” The Township will select a third party to provide investment options, record keeping and reporting to the police officer and the Township. An individual officer's DROP account shall be a self-directed investment vehicle with the officer having exclusive control over the investment of his or her DROP account monies. The Township accepts no responsibility and makes no guarantee for the performance of any investments made by the officer, nor shall the Township guarantee or be required to guarantee that an officer's DROP account generate a specific amount of earnings or income or any earnings or income at all. Any investment losses occurring in an officer's DROP account shall be solely the responsibility of the officer, and the Township assumes no liability or responsibility for the same. All investment and administrative costs shall he charged against the individual DROP investment accounts for the police officers. In the event there are additional costs or expenses to the Township as a result of the DROP plan, the individual DROP plan police officers shall indemnify the Township and hold it harmless from additional costs and any and all additional costs shall be charged against the individual DROP investment accounts of the police officers.
F. 
Accrual of nonpension benefits. After a police officer elects to participate in the DROP program, all other contractual benefits shall continue to accrue with the exception of those provisions relating to the police pension plan. A police officer may utilize leave time during the DROP period, but the Township shall not be required to buy back any such unused leave time at the end of the DROP period.
G. 
Payout. Upon the resignation date set forth in the police officer's DROP option notice or such date as the Township separates the member from employment, the retirement benefits payable to the police officer or the police officer's designated beneficiary, if applicable, shall he paid to the police officer or beneficiary and shall no longer be paid to the police officer's deferred retirement option account. Within 30 days following termination of a police officer's employment pursuant to his participating in the DROP program, the balance in the Police Officer's DROP account shall be paid to the Police Officer in a single lump-sum payment, or at the police officer's option, in any manner permitted by law.
H. 
Disability During DROP. If a police officer becomes temporarily incapacitated during his participation in DROP, that police officer shall continue to participate in the DROP program as if fully employed. The police officer shall receive disability pay in the same amount as disabled police officers that are not participating in DROP. In no event shall a police officer on temporary disability have the ability to draw from his DROP account. However, notwithstanding any other provision in this subsection, if a police officer is disabled and has not returned to work as of his required resignation date then such resignation shall take precedence over all other provisions herein and said officer shall be required to resign. If a police officer becomes permanently disabled during the DROP period, the officer shall be honorably discharged from employment; on such date, the police officer may obtain the contents of his DROP account and, thereafter, commence receiving his normal pension benefit.
I. 
Death. If a DROP participant dies before the DROP account balances are paid, the participant member's designated beneficiary shall have the same rights as the police officer to withdraw the account balance.
J. 
Forfeiture of benefits. Notwithstanding a police officer's participation in the DROP plan, a police officer who is convicted or pleads guilty to engaging in criminal misconduct which constitutes a "crime related to public office or public employment," as that phrase is defined in Pennsylvania's Pension Forfeiture Act, 43 P.S. §§ 1311 to 1314 and interpreted thereunder, shall forfeit his right to receive a pension, including any amounts currently deposited in the DROP account. In such a case, the police officer shall only be entitled to receive the contributions, if any, made by the police officer to the fund, without interest.
K. 
Amendment. Any amendments to the DROP Ordinance shall be consistent with the provisions covering deferred retirement option plans set forth in any applicable collective bargaining agreement and shall be binding upon all future DROP participants and upon all DROP participants who have balances in their deferred retirement option accounts. The DROP plan may only be amended by a written instrument, not by any oral agreement or past practice.
L. 
Construal of provisions. A police officer's election to participate in the DROP program shall in no way be construed as a limitation on the Township's right to suspend or to terminate a police officer for just cause or to grant the police officer an honorable discharge based upon a physical or mental inability to perform his or her duties.
M. 
Authorization of Township Manager. The Township Manager or his designee is hereby empowered to take any steps necessary to effectuate the actions provided for in this section.
[Adopted 11-19-1992 by Res. No. 92-21[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This resolution superseded former Art. II, Employee's Pension Fund, adopted 12-28-1977 by Res. No. 77-15.

§ 29-14 General provisions.

Effective January 1, 1991, except as otherwise provided, the Township, in accordance with the provisions of the prototype plan pertaining to amendments thereof, hereby cancels participation in the prototype plan, and the proper officers of the Township are hereby authorized and directed to execute on behalf of the Township and in the form presented to this meeting a document which amends and restates the prototype plan as a pension plan, known as the "Lower Salford Township and Lower Salford Township Authority Pension Plan," (hereinafter referred to as the "plan"). A true and correct copy of the plan, which shall remain on file in the Township's offices, is incorporated herein by reference as though fully set forth.