City of Pittston, PA
Luzerne County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 9-19-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-11]
There should be established by contract and designation by the City Council of the City of Pittston a trustee organization to receive and invest such sums in the manner it deems most beneficial to the fund so as to provide retirement and other benefits as shall be required by law or by this article, and, having in charge the distribution of the Police Pension Fund for the members of the Bureau of Police in the City of Pittston, the City Council shall appropriate an amount of money sufficient to keep the fund actuarially sound.
[Amended 3-19-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-3]
A. 
Establishment. The Police 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 Police Department, to be chosen by the members of the Police Department contributing to the retirement fund; and
(2) 
One nonvoting, ex officio member:
(a) 
The Chief of Police.
C. 
Method of appointment.
(1) 
City Council member. The City Council shall designate its member by resolution.
(2) 
Police Department members. Of the first Managers so chosen by the Police Department, 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 Police Department, a successor shall be chosen by such members for the remainder of the unexpired term.
[Amended 2-17-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-1[1]]
The City Council of the City of Pittston is hereby authorized to appoint a trustee or trustees and to enter into a trust agreement with said trustee upon such term or terms as the City Council shall establish, to invest and reinvest the fund and to make payments out of the fund in accordance with the provisions of the plan and trust agreement. The trustee may be a natural person or persons or corporation, including a financial institution. Further, the City Council of the City of Pittston may enter into contracts, deposit agreements, annuity contracts or trust accounts on behalf of the City with one or more insurance companies, banks or other financial institutions or investment companies which may provide the pension and other benefits. The appointment of the trustee shall be further governed by § 68-47 of this article.
[1]
Editor’s Note: This ordinance provided that it would be effective retroactively to 1-1-2016.
The Council of the City of Pittston shall control, direct and be responsible for the administration of the said trustee. The said trustee is to manage the fund in the best welfare of the said fund and to be entitled to reasonable compensation for their said management to be paid from the pension fund.
The said pension fund shall maintain a fund that shall be given by bequest, legacy, gifts, donations, fund appeals, or from funds subscribed by the public, or from unclaimed articles in possession of the police.
[Amended 2-17-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-1[1]]
In addition to the sum provided for the said pension fund by the City of Pittston in §§ 68-32 and 68-47 of this article, all members of the said fund as qualified under § 68-45 of this article shall have deducted 4.0% from his or her biweekly gross salary as of January 1, 2016, and 5.0% from his her biweekly gross salary as of January 1, 2018. All members shall also contribute $1 monthly for service increment, which is to be paid in monthly payments by the City Treasurer to the pension fund
[1]
Editor’s Note: This ordinance provided that it would be effective retroactively to 1-1-2016.
The fund shall be used for the pensioning of the officers and employees mentioned in the aforesaid section of this article and widows and children of same as hereinafter provided.
All expenditures necessary for the maintenance of the said pension fund shall be paid by the said fund and will be the responsibility of the City of Pittston. No money except as heretofore set forth shall be paid out except for the purposes of pensions for members of the Police Bureau and other officers and their widows and children as contemplated by this article. The said Pension Fund Association shall make an annual report to the City Council and Mayor on the first Monday of January of each year. The report shall give an account of all receipts and disbursements of the fund or such other matters or shall properly be embodied in such report.
A. 
Payments for allowances shall not be a charge on any other fund in the treasury of the City or under its control, save the Police Pension Fund herein provided for. The basis of the appointment of the pension shall be determined by the rate of the monthly pay of the member at the date of injury, death, honorable discharge, or retirement or the highest average annual salary which the member received during any five years of service preceding injury, death, honorable discharge, or retirement, whichever is the higher, and, except as to service increments provided for in Subsection B of this section, shall not in any case exceed in any year 1/2 the annual pay of such member computed at such monthly or average rate, whichever is the higher.
B. 
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 number of years so computed by an amount equal to one-fortieth of the retirement allowance which has become payable to such contribution 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.
C. 
Eligibility for payments.
[Amended 2-19-2020 by Ord. No. 3-2020]
(1) 
For officers hired before September 1, 2019: the widow or widower of a member of the police force or a member who retires on pension who dies, or, if no widow or widower or if she or he survives and subsequently dies, then the child or children under the age of 18 years of a member of the police force or a member who retires on pension who dies on or after the effective date of this amendment, shall, during her or his lifetime, or upon reaching the age of 18 years in the case of a child or children, be entitled to receive the pension the member was receiving had he or she been retired at the time of his death.
(2) 
For officers hired after September 1, 2019: the widow or widower of a member of the police force or a member who retires on pension who dies, or, if no widow or widower or if she or he survives and subsequently dies, then the child or children under the age of 18 years of a member of the police force or a member who retires on pension who dies on or after the effective date of this amendment, shall, during her or his lifetime, or upon reaching the age of 18 years in the case of a child or children, be entitled to receive 1/2 of the pension the member was receiving had he or she been retired at the time of his death.
D. 
Any police officer who has less than 10 years of service and who dies or is totally disabled due to injuries or mental incapacities not in line of duty and is unable to perform the duties of a police officer may be entitled to a pension of 25% of his annual compensation. For death or injuries received after 10 years of service, the compensation may be 50% of his annual compensation.
E. 
The disability pension may be payable to the police officer during his lifetime, and, if he shall die, the pension payment that he was receiving may be continued to be paid to his widow if she survives, or if she subsequently dies or remarries, then the child or children under the age of 18 years of the police officer.
[Amended 2-19-2020 by Ord. No. 3-2020]
Every policeman or other employee in the Bureau of Police eligible under this article who retires who shall have served for the term of 20 years and wishes to be retired at his own request may do so and be entitled to receive a pension. The pension being determined from date of said resignation is submitted to Council; provided, however, the Council shall have the right to retire any police officer who shall have served 20 years or more if, in its opinion, the said officer or employee is either physically or mentally incapacitated from performing his or her duty in the Bureau of Police. All people covered by this article must retire from the Bureau of Police upon reaching the age of 65. This is a mandatory retirement age. Any member of the Bureau of Police who, at the age of 65, has not completed 20 years of service is entitled to receive only the monies he has paid by contributing into the said pension fund. 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 would be entitled to a vested pension based on the pro rata share of years vested. Officers hired after September 1, 2019, shall be eligible to retire upon completing 20 years of service with the City and shall be a minimum of 55 years of age in order to collect full retirement benefits.
All sums of money paid for any reason either for expense of running the said pension fund or any sums used for the payment of pensions to the officers, employees, widows, or children entitled thereto under this article shall be paid by check, signed by the Treasurer and anyone else designated by Council.
Any police officer or employee under this article who becomes totally disabled due to injuries sustained in the line of duty shall be deemed to be fully vested in the Police Pension Fund, regardless of the actual number of years of credited services, and shall be eligible for immediate retirement benefits. Proof of disability shall be by competent medical evidence provided by the claimant from three practicing physicians, designated by the Pension Board. The claimant shall thereafter at any time be subject to physical examination at any reasonable time or times, upon order of the Pension Board.
If a member shall resign before eligibility under this article or shall be dismissed by the proper authorities, he shall be entitled only to receive the sum he has paid by contribution into said pension fund without interest.
All officers and employees of the Bureau of Police who are not contributors to the said pension fund and all those so employed after the enactment of this article shall be subject to the provisions of this article.
The City Treasurer of the City of Pittston has the right to inspect the books and records of the Pittston Police Pension Fund Association during the course of each annual year.
[Amended 3-19-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-3]
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 Police 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 Police 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 Police Department 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.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
PENSION CALCULATION
The employee pension shall be calculated using the monthly or five-year average salary as follows:
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:
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.
This article is declared to be urgent and necessary for the reservation of the public peace, health, safety, and welfare and after full discussion with all interested parties and shall take effect and be in force after due passage.
[Amended 2-17-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-1[1]]
Pursuant to the current labor contract between the Police Department and the City of Pittston, a provision is made that any and all police officers who have, prior to their full-time employment, been subject to employment by the City in the category of a "special police officer" shall be allowed to claim said time as credit against the Police Pension Fund, provided they comply with the terms and conditions as set forth by the pension trustee appointed by the City Council in accordance with §§ 68-34 and 68-47 of this article. Pursuant to § 68-37 of this article, the percentage of individual contribution shall be the same in effect for the periods of time they have accumulated. The option to purchase special time shall be complied with, or said officers shall waive their right to claim the inclusion of special time into the Police Pension Fund calculations.
[1]
Editor’s Note: This ordinance provided that it would be effective retroactively to 1-1-2016.
Prior to the adoption of this article, a preliminary determination by the pension trustee has indicated that said action will have a noneffect on the current actuarial studies and projected responsibilities of the fund.
A. 
The City Council of the City of Pittston hereby ordains and authorizes to provide a one-time two-hundred-dollar-per-month ad hoc cost-of-living increase to the pension benefits of the current retired members under the plan.
B. 
A one-time post-retirement adjustment shall be provided to the eligible retired members of the Police Pension Plan, the eligibility and amount of such adjustment to be provided in Act 64 of 2002,[1] and such adjustment shall be retroactively effective to the first monthly pension benefit paid after June 30, 2002.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 896.301 et seq.
C. 
The total of any such allowances shall not at any time exceed 1/2 of the current salary being paid patrolmen of the highest pay grade.
[Added 2-17-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-1]
If for any cause any member of the police force contributing to the pension fund shall cease to be a member of the force 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 police force, 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 police force, excluding therefrom any period of time during which the member was not employed by the police force. In the event of the death of a member of the police force not in the line of service before the member becomes entitled to the pension aforesaid and such member is not survived by a spouse 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.