[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Old Forge as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 10-15-1996 by Ord. No. 1996-14]
This article hereby codifies all prior existing ordinances and resolutions relating to the Police Pension Fund or police annuities of the Borough of Old Forge, so that henceforth all rights, pensions or annuities for full-time members of the police force shall be governed by this article.
A Police Pension Fund or pension annuity is hereby established for the Borough of Old Forge to be administered by the Borough Council or such agency as may be created by the Council. The funds and property of the existing Police Pension Plan shall be administered under the terms of this article.
This plan shall apply to existing and future full-time or regular members of the police force of the Borough who work for a stated salary or compensation; it does not apply to part-time or special policemen.
A full-time policeman who shall receive honorable discharge by reason of age shall be entitled to a pension on the first day of the month following his 55th birthday, provided that such participant has had in the aggregate of 25 years of credited service in the Borough of Old Forge. The benefits are hereinafter set forth.
[Amended 4-18-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-4]
Retirement benefits shall be paid in equal monthly installments during the participant's lifetime.
Members who were employed prior to December 21, 1965, who have attained the age of 60 years may also retire after a period of total credited service of 20 years.
"Credited service" is police service rendered in the Borough of Old Forge only.
Should a policeman desire to retire at the age of 50 after 25 years of service, then, upon application and favorable action by the Council, if the current actuarial study shows that such reduction in age is feasible, such party may so retire with benefits.
This article establishing the Police Pension Fund may provide for a vested benefit, provided that such would not impair the actuarial soundness of the pension fund. Under the provisions of such benefit, 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 municipality in whose pension fund he has been a member, he shall be entitled to vest his retirement benefits by filing with the governing body, 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 police 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 this termination of employment. Such pension or retirement benefits for any month shall be the sum of the benefits as provided in § 52-6 of such 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.
The normal retirement benefit shall be equal to 1/2 the member's average monthly compensation during the last 36 months of employment, continuing for life, in equal monthly payments. Such pension or retirement benefits for any month shall be computed as the sum of any pension benefits from pension plans heretofore established by a private organization or association for the members of the police force, but only to the extent that this commonwealth or any of its municipalities shall have contributed to such pension plan moneys raised by taxation, primary benefits under federal social security laws for which the officer may be eligible because of age and 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 1/2 the aforesaid monthly average compensation.
A cost-of-living increment shall be paid to retired officers, which increment shall not exceed the percentage increase in the "all item index" of the consumer price index from the year in which the police officer receiving the increment last worked or retired, provided:
[Amended 4-18-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-4]
In no case may the total police benefits exceed 75% of the retired officer's salary for computing retirement benefits; and
The retired officer's total cost-of-living increase shall not exceed 30%; and
No cost-of-living increase shall be granted which would impair the actuarial soundness of the Police Pension Fund.
An incremental increase of $20 per month for each year of service over 25 years of service, excepting that the increased payment shall not exceed $100, shall be paid to members of the Old Forge Police Department who will retire after May 21, 1980.
A member may continue employment after attaining the normal retirement date, if requested to do so by Borough Council and the member voluntarily agrees to do so. Such members as are retired shall be subject to serve, from time to time, as a police reserve in cases of riot, tumult or preservation of the public peace until unfit for such service, when they may be finally discharged by reason of age or disability.
[Amended 4-18-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-4; 11-19-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-5; 2-16-2016 by Ord. No. 1-2016]
If a member retires because of a service-connected total and permanent disability or personal injury incurred in service so as to prevent the member from rendering services, he shall be entitled to receive a pension benefit equal to 70% of his salary at the time the disability was incurred, offset by social security disability benefits received by the member for the same injury. This benefit shall continue until his death.
[Amended 4-18-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-4; 11-19-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-5]
In the event of the death of a member who was receiving a pension or disability benefit or who had qualified for retirement pension benefits but had not retired, his widow shall be entitled, during her lifetime, to receive a pension equal to 50% of the pension the member was receiving or would have been receiving had he been retired at the time of his death. If no widow survives, or if she survives and subsequently dies, then the child or children under the age of 18 years or, if attending college, under or attaining the age of 23 years of the deceased eligible participant shall be entitled to receive a pension calculated at 50% of the pension to which the member was entitled. "Attending college" shall mean 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.
The employer agrees to contribute the payments made by the State Treasurer to the Treasurer of the municipality from the moneys received from taxes paid upon premiums by foreign casualty insurance companies for purposes of pension, retirement or disability benefits for policemen.
Each participant shall contribute 5% of his monthly compensation.
The Borough shall contribute sufficient funds to maintain the soundness of the plan.
Any section or amendatory section of this article dealing with employee contributions shall be amended to provide that the member contributions which are set at 5% may be reduced or eliminated on an annual basis by resolution of Council even if the municipality must contribute to the plan. An actuarial certification shall not be required to do so.
[Added 11-19-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-5]
Any member of the police force who, for any reason whatsoever, shall be ineligible to receive a pension after having contributed any charges to the Old Forge Borough Police Pension Fund shall be entitled to a refund of all such moneys paid by him into said fund, together with interest earned at the rate of 4% per annum thereon while in the Police Pension Fund. Said refund shall be paid immediately upon discontinuance of his employment with the Old Forge police force. If such discontinuance is due to death, such moneys and interest shall be paid to his designated beneficiary or, in the absence thereof, to his estate.
Any member of the police force who has been a legally appointed employee for a period of a least six months and thereafter shall enter into the military service of the United States shall have credited to his employment record for pension or retirement benefits all of the time spent by him in such military service, if such a person returns or has heretofore returned to his employment within six months after his separation from the service.
Service credit shall be provided for each year of military service or fraction thereof, not to exceed five years, to any member of the police force who was not employed by the political subdivision prior to such military service. The amount due for the purchase of credit for military service other than intervening military service shall be computed by applying the average normal cost rate for Borough and township police pension plans as certified by the Public Employee Retirement Study 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 and fractional parts of a year 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.
Any member of the police force shall be eligible to receive service credit for intervening or nonintervening military service as provided in Subsections A and B, provided that he is not entitled to receive, eligible to receive now or in the future or is receiving retirement benefits for such service under a governmental agency, with the exception of a member eligible to receive or receiving military retirement pay earned by a combination of active duty and 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 U.S.C. Ch. 67 (relating to retired pay for nonregular service).
The pension payments 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 and shall not be subject to assignment or transfer.
The Committee. The Borough Council shall appoint a Committee of not less than three individuals to administer the plan, who shall serve at the pleasure of the Borough Council. A majority of the appointed members of the Committee shall constitute a quorum in all actions taken by the Committee. Any member of the Committee may resign by delivering his written resignation to the Borough Council and to the Committee. Vacancies in the Committee arising by resignation, death, removal or otherwise shall be filled by the Borough Council.
Powers and duties. The Police Pension Fund shall, at all times, be under the direction of the Borough Council and applied under such regulations as the Council, by ordinance or resolution, may prescribe for the benefit of such members of the police force as shall receive honorable discharge therefrom, by reason of age and service or disability. The Committee shall administer the plan in accordance with the regulations of the Council. The Committee shall submit to the Council for approval or disapproval any question arising out of the administration, interpretation and application of the plan.
Organization and operation of the Committee. The Committee shall act by a majority of its members at the time in office, and such action may be taken either by a vote at a meeting or in writing without a meeting. The Committee may authorize any one or more of its members to execute any document or documents on behalf of the Committee, in which event the Committee shall notify the Council in writing.
The Council shall have the right to grant leave of absence up to six months due to layoffs, education, disability or illness, which shall be granted in a uniform and nondiscriminatory manner. Additional leaves of absence may be granted by the Council when, in the opinion of the Council, good, sufficient and equitable reason exists therefor. No absence from duty by reason of any service-connected injury shall in any manner be included in any period of sick leave allowed such policeman by law or by regulation of the Police Department or Council.
No person participating in this pension fund who becomes entitled to receive a benefit therefrom shall be deprived of his right to an equal proportionate share therein upon the basis upon which he first became entitled thereto.
The expense of the administration of this pension plan, including the compensation of an actuary and the custodian of the fund, exclusive of the payments of retirement allowance, shall be paid by the Borough as provided by law.
This article represents codification of all ordinances and resolutions of the Borough of Old Forge relating to the Police Employee Pension Plan; all pension funds and all the assets and liabilities of the existing plan or fund are hereby transferred to the fund established pursuant to the provisions of this article.
This plan shall be construed, regulated and administered under the laws of the State of Pennsylvania and resolutions and ordinances made by the Old Forge Borough Council.