City of Pittston, PA
Luzerne County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 6-11-1997 by Ord. No. 1997-8]
In accordance with and pursuant to the provisions of the Act of June 23, 1931, P.L. 932, Art. XLIII, Section 4230 et seq., as amended,[1] there is hereby created in the City a pension fund to be designated as the "Paid Firemen's Pension Fund," for the purpose of providing pensions to the members of such fund and to such other beneficiaries as shall be specified in this article. Such fund shall receive property and funds and shall hold and distribute funds for the purpose and benefit of the members and other beneficiaries of the fund.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 39320 et seq.
For the purpose of this article, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them by this section, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
CHILDREN
Children of a member or of a deceased member, but limited to children who are under 18 years of age.
FUND
The Paid Firemen's Pension Fund.
MEMBER or MEMBERS
A person employed by the City as a paid and uniformed member of the Bureau of Fire.
PENSION CALCULATION
The employee pension shall be calculated using the monthly or five-year average salary as follows:
[Amended 12-12-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-4]
A. 
Any employee who retires during the course of any year shall do so effective the 1st of the month. He/she can use the monthly taxable wages (as defined in this section) paid during the last calendar month prior to retiring for pension calculation.
B. 
An employee who for some unforeseen reason is at a lower pay scale than at some time in his/her career with the City has the option of using the average salary (as defined in this section) of the five highest years of employment with the City.
SALARY
The definition of the term "salary" shall be either of the following two definitions:
[Amended 12-12-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-4]
A. 
The total taxable amount paid to an employee during any calendar month. This would include the regular fixed scheduled salary (all W-2 wages), but specifically excludes other taxable pay such as vacation buyback, sick day buyback, compensatory pay and personal leave pay.
B. 
The average of the highest five years of annual earnings as taken from the employee's W-2 wages less any vacation buyback, sick day buyback, compensatory pay and personal leave pay.
[Amended 7-17-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-8; 3-19-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-2]
A. 
Establishment. The paid Firemen's Pension Fund shall be under the direction and control of a Board of Managers, composed of both voting and nonvoting members.
B. 
Composition:
(1) 
Five voting members, to include:
(a) 
The Mayor;
(b) 
One member of the City Council;
(c) 
The City Controller; and
(d) 
Two members of the Bureau of Fire, to be chosen by the members of the Bureau of Fire; and
(2) 
One nonvoting, ex officio member:
(a) 
The Chief of the Bureau of Fire.
C. 
Method of appointment.
(1) 
City Council member. The City Council shall designate its member by resolution.
(2) 
Bureau of Fire members. Of the first Managers so chosen by the Bureau of Fire, one shall be chosen for a term of two years and one for a term of four years. Biennially thereafter, one Manager shall be chosen for a term of four years to take the place of the Manager whose term expires. In the case of a vacancy among the Managers chosen by the members of the Bureau of Fire, a successor shall be chosen by such members for the remainder of the unexpired term.
A. 
The paid Firemen's Pension Fund shall be applied under such regulations as the Board of Managers shall prescribe. It shall be the duty of the Board of Managers to present to the City Council, annually, a detailed statement of its assets and liabilities on or before the first meeting of the City Council in February of the following year. The Board of Managers shall have authority to do all things necessary to provide an effective and a financially sound fund and incur such expenses as it deems appropriate for such purposes.
B. 
The Board of Managers of the City of Pittston Paid Firemen's Pension Fund shall control, direct and be responsible for the administration of the said Pittston Firemen's Pension Fund; however, the said Firemen's Pension Fund Association will be committed to the custody and management of the trustee or trustees designated herein. The said trustee is to manage the fund in the best interest and welfare of the said fund and to be entitled to reasonable compensation for their said management to be paid from the general fund of the City of Pittston.
The City may take, by gift, grant, devise or bequest, any money or property, real, personal or mixed, for the benefit of the Paid Firemen's Pension Fund. In such cases, the City shall observe all and singular the conditions and directions of the donors, and such property shall be administered by such of the Board of Managers who are officers of the City. Unless there is a specific ordinance adopted with reference to such gift, grant, devise or bequest, the same shall be transferred by such officer to the fund.
If any funds under this article are invested, they shall be invested in accordance with the provisions of the Fiduciaries Investment Act of 1949, and the amendments thereto.
All members on January 1, 1969, and all subsequently employed members shall be considered members of the Paid Firemen's Pension Fund.
[Amended 7-17-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-8; 5-17-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-3; 3-21-2018 by Ord. No. 1-2018]
Effective January 1, 2017, there shall be paid into the Firemen's Pension Fund by each member currently employed, in the manner prescribed in this article, 2.0% of the salary of each member. Each member hired on or after January 1, 2017 shall pay 3.0% of the salary of each member into the fund. Such sum shall be deducted at each payroll period and shall be paid forthwith to the fund.
The City Council shall appropriate an amount of money sufficient to keep the fund actuarially sound.
A. 
The Paid Firemen's Pension Fund shall be applied, under such regulations as the Board of Managers shall prescribe, for the benefit of such members of the Bureau of Fire as shall receive honorable discharge therefrom by reason of service or age or disability, widows of retired members, and the families of such as may be killed or who die in the service. All such pensions as shall be allowed to those who are retired by reason of the disabilities or of service or age shall be in conformity with a uniform scale, together with service increments as hereinafter provided. Benefits allowed from such fund to families of such as are killed or who die in service shall take into consideration the member's widow and his minor children under 18 years of age, if any survive.
B. 
Such regulations shall prescribe a minimum period of continuous service not less than 20 years, after which members of the Bureau of Fire may be retired or elect to be retired on pension from active duty, and such members as are retired shall be subject to service, from time to time, as a firemen's reserve in cases of emergency until unfitted for such service, when they may be finally discharged by reason of age or disability. Upon the death of a member who retires on pension or who could have retired on pension, or is killed or dies in the service, payments as provided in this article shall be made to his widow during her life; and if there be no widow, but there are children eligible, payment shall be made to them until such children reach age 18.
C. 
It is further enacted that, in addition to the vesting of said pension as outlined above, there is established a vested benefit wherein an employee may be eligible for vested benefits if he has completed 12 years of total service and must have filed written notice with the municipality of the intention to vest within 90 days after termination. Further, the City, through its trustees, will be responsible for the accuracy of the vested pension benefit payable upon an employee's superannuation retirement date. The calculation of pension shall be based on the percentage of years as it relates to the standard vesting period of 20 years. The employee should be entitled to a vested pension based on the pro rata share of years vested.
A. 
Payments of pension shall not be a charge on any fund in the treasury of the City or under its control, save the Firemen's Pension Plan herein provided for in the definitions of "salary" and "pension calculation." The basis of the pension of a member shall be determined by the monthly salary of the member at the date of retirement or the highest average annual salary which he received during any five years of service preceding retirement, whichever is the higher, whether for disability or by reason of age or service, and, except as to service increments provided for in Subsection B of this section, shall be 1/2 the annual salary of such member at the time of retirement computed at such monthly or average annual rate, whichever is higher.
(1) 
In the case of the payment of pensions to members for permanent injury incurred in service, and to families of members killed or who die in service, the amount and commencement of the payment of the pension shall be fixed by regulations of the Board. Such regulations shall not take into consideration the amount and duration of workmen's compensation allowed by law. Payments to widows of members retired on pension or killed in the service on or after January 1, 1960, or who die in the service on or after January 1, 1968, shall be the amount payable to the member or which would have been payable had he been retired at the time of his death.
B. 
In addition to the pension which is authorized to be paid from the Firemen's Pension Fund by this article and notwithstanding the limitation therein placed upon such pensions and upon contributions, every contributor who shall become entitled to the pension shall also be entitled to the payment of a service increment in accordance with and subject to the conditions hereinafter set forth.
(1) 
The service increment shall be the sum obtained by computing the number of whole years after having served the minimum required by this article during which a contributor has been employed by such City and paid out by the City treasury and multiplying the said number of years so computed by an amount equal to one-fortieth of the retirement allowance which has become payable to such contributor in accordance with the provisions of this article. In computing the service increment, no employment after the contributor has reached the age of 65 years shall be included, and no service increment shall be paid in excess of $100 per month.
(2) 
Each contributor, from and after the effective date of this article, shall pay into the pension fund a monthly sum in addition to his pension contribution, which shall not exceed the sum of $1 per month, provided that such service increment contribution shall not be paid after a contributor has reached the age of 65 years.
(3) 
Any person who is a member of the Department on the effective date of this article who has already reached the age of 65 years shall have his service increment computed on the years of employment prior to the date of reaching his 65 birthday.
(4) 
Service increment contributions shall be paid at the same time and in the same manner as pensions and may be withdrawn in full, without interest, by persons who leave the employment of such City, subject to the same conditions by which retirement contributions may be withdrawn, or by persons who retire before becoming entitled to any service increment.
(5) 
All members of the Bureau of Fire who are not contributors to the pension fund and all those employed by the City after the effective date of this article, if required to become contributors to the pension fund, shall be subject to the provisions of this article.
If for any cause any member of the Bureau of Fire contributing to the pension fund shall cease to be a member of the Bureau of Fire before he becomes entitled to a pension, the total amount of the contributions paid into the pension fund by such member shall be refunded to him in full without interest. If any such member shall have returned to him the amount contributed and shall afterward again become a member of the Bureau of Fire, he shall not be entitled to the pension designated until 20 years after his reemployment, unless he shall return to the pension fund the amount withdrawn, in which event the period of 20 years shall be computed from the time the member first became a member of the Bureau of Fire, excluding therefrom any period of time during which the member was not employed by the Bureau of Fire. In the event of the death of a member of the Bureau of Fire not in the line of service before the member becomes entitled to the pension aforesaid and such member is not survived by a widow or family entitled to payments as hereinbefore provided, the total amount of contributions paid into the pension fund by the member shall be paid over to his estate. In case of the death of a member not in the line of service before the member becomes entitled to the pension aforesaid and such member is survived by a widow eligible to receive benefits as hereinbefore provided, the total amount of contributions paid into the pension fund by a member shall be paid over to such widow.
All pensions granted under this article, and every portion thereof, shall not be subject to pledge, assignment, or transfer and shall be exempt from attachment and shall not be seized, taken or subject to detainer or levied upon by virtue of an execution or any process or proceeding whatsoever.
[Amended 7-17-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-8]
Payments of pensions under this article shall not be a charge on any fund in the treasury of the City or under its control, save the Paid Firemen's Pension Fund provided for in this article. The City Council shall, upon recommendation of the Board of Managers, and in accordance with Act 44 of 2009, appoint a trustee by resolution for the Paid Firemen's Pension Plan to receive from the City any allocation received by the City of Pittston from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, from the City of Pittston itself, from the Bureau of Fire employees and from gifts, grants, devises, or bequests made pursuant to this article and shall invest such funds in the manner it deems beneficial to the fund so as to provide retirement and other benefits as shall be required by the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and this article where it shall be established from time to time by resolution of the City Council.
[Added 2-16-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-1]
A. 
The City Council of the City of Pittston hereby ordains and authorizes to provide a one-time one-hundred-dollar-per-month ad hoc cost-of-living increase to the pension benefits of the current retired members under the plan.
B. 
The total of any such allowances shall not at any time exceed 1/2 of the current salary being paid firemen of the highest pay grade.