Township of Upper Providence, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Upper Providence as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Police Department — See Ch. 33.
Salaries and compensation — See Ch. 42.
[Adopted 5-7-1990 by Ord. No. 298]
Under the provisions of Act No. 600 of 1956 of the General Assembly of Pennsylvania[1] and any other statutes now or hereafter pertaining or applicable thereto, there is hereby established the Police Pension Plan of Upper Providence Township, hereinafter referred to as the "plan."
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 767.
The plan is to be maintained by a charge against each police officer employee who holds a full-time position in the Police Department of the Township and who works an average of not less than 40 hours per week by payments made to the Township by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the purpose of retirement or disability pensions for police employees under any present or future law providing therefor, by such appropriations thereto as may be lawfully made by the Township, by gifts, grants and bequests received by the plan and by receipts from investments of the plan. The plan shall be under the direction of the Board of Supervisors and applied under such regulations as it may from time to time, by ordinance or resolution, prescribe for the benefit of such police employees of the Township who shall receive honorable discharge therefrom by reason of age and service or disability and may prescribe for the benefit of widows or children under the age of 18 years of members of the Police Department or of members retired on pension.
The management and administration of the Pension Plan of Upper Providence Township shall be vested in the Board of Supervisors of Upper Providence Township. The Township may, from time to time by resolution, have the plan administered by a plan administrator.
A. 
The Police Pension Committee, hereinafter referred to as "trustees," shall act as trustees for the plan. This Committee shall consist of three persons: one Supervisor, one person appointed by the Board of Supervisors and one person selected by majority vote of the Police Department.
B. 
The Township Treasurer shall forthwith remit to the trustees all funds received by him for the purposes of the plan or appropriated thereto by the Board of Supervisors, with memorandum as to the source thereof, and shall secure its receipt therefor. The trustees shall receive the same, and any funds not currently required for disbursement shall be placed in investments of the types authorized by law for Township funds.
C. 
The trustees shall pay benefits out of the plan only at such times, to such persons and in such amounts as may be certified to them by the Township. The trustees shall annually submit to the Board of Supervisors a detailed report of their administration of the plan, which reports when so submitted shall be open to inspection by any interested party.
D. 
The plan is hereby authorized to receive, by gift, grant, devise or bequest, any money or other property, real, personal or mixed, in trust for the benefit of the plan, and the care, management, investment and disposal of such trust funds or property shall be vested in the trustees having the management of the plan, and said trust funds or property shall be administered in accordance with the regulations governing the plan, subject to such directions not inconsistent therewith as the donors of such funds or property may prescribe.
A member is any person who is employed in active duty status by the police force or any person who has previously been employed by the police force or who by reason of age and service or disability has become eligible for and is receiving benefits of any nature under this article.
A. 
The payments made by the State Treasurer to the Treasurer of the Township from the moneys received from taxes paid upon premiums by foreign casualty insurance companies for purposes of pension, retirement or disability benefits for policemen which shall be used as follows: to reduce the unfunded liability; or, after such liability has been funded, to apply against the annual obligation of the Township for future service and disability reserve costs; or, to the extent that the payment may be in excess of such obligation, to reduce member contribution.
B. 
The participants may pay into the plan.
[Amended 4-7-2003 by Ord. No. 424]
C. 
The gross monthly compensation of a participant is the amount paid as a base salary on an anniversary date of the plan, computed on a monthly basis, plus overtime and longevity pay, but excluding premiums, bonuses and other nonrecurring compensation.
D. 
Interest shall be accumulated and credited to participant's contributions at the rate of 7% or such other rate as is hereinafter set by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.
E. 
Interest shall be computed and credited to the participant's account at the end of the plan year. The plan year shall be January 1 to December 31 of each year.
F. 
Any police employee, who for any reason whatsoever shall be ineligible to receive a pension after having contributed any charges to the plan established pursuant to the provisions of this article, shall be entitled to a refund of all such moneys paid by him into the plan, plus such interest as may be credited to the employee's account pursuant to Subsections D and E of this article, within one month after discontinuance of employment in the Township. If such discontinuance is due to death, such moneys shall be paid to his beneficiary or beneficiaries, or in the absence of such designation, to his personal representative. He shall have no claim to accumulated assets of the plan.
A. 
Eligibility for benefits.
[Amended 2-1-1999 by Ord. No. 379]
(1) 
The benefits from the plan shall be payable to the following persons:
(a) 
Honorably discharged officers.
[1] 
A police officer who received an honorable discharge from the Upper Providence Township Police Department after having served in the Township for an aggregate of not less than 25 years and having attained the age of 55 years. The normal retirement date shall be the first day of the month following the 55th birthday, provided that the aforesaid criteria are satisfied. Extension of service beyond normal retirement age shall be based primarily upon the officer's health and the good of the service; or
[2] 
A police officer who received an honorable discharge from the Upper Providence Township Police Department after having served in the Township for an aggregate of not less than 20 years in accordance with Act 24 of 1998,[1] provided that the amount of pension benefits shall be reduced by a ratio of the years of service at retirement divided by years of service at the superannuation retirement date and shall be further actuarially reduced for early payout. The ratio shall be as follows:
[a] 
Twenty years = 20/25.
[b] 
Twenty-one years = 21/15.
[c] 
Twenty-two years = 22/25.
[d] 
Twenty-three years = 23/25.
[e] 
Twenty-four years = 23/24.
[f] 
Twenty-five years: full retirement.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 771.
(b) 
A police officer who has suffered a permanent service-related disability shall be eligible to receive a monthly service-related disability benefit of no less than 50% of the officer's salary at the time of disability. This service-connected disability benefit shall be reduced only by payment of social security disability benefits for the same injury. The gross monthly compensation is to be calculated using the twelve-month average of the gross monthly compensation of the officer prior to the onset of the disability. The gross monthly compensation of a participant is the amount paid as a base salary on an anniversary date of the plan, computed on a monthly basis, plus overtime and longevity pay, but excluding premiums, bonuses and other nonrecurring compensation.
[Amended 4-7-2003 by Ord. No. 424]
(2) 
Intentionally self-inflicted injuries or death shall not be considered actions within the scope of an officer's responsibility while on duty with the police force and any such actions leading to injury or death on the part of a member shall not be considered service-connected.
B. 
Normal retirement benefit.
[Amended 2-1-1999 by Ord. No. 379]
(1) 
The normal monthly retirement benefit of a police officer retiring under § 28-7A(1)(a) shall be 1/2 of the average monthly gross compensation (as reflected on the W-2 form) received during the last 36 months of employment.
(2) 
The first monthly pension benefit shall be paid to the eligible person on the first day of the month following the month of the effective date of retirement and shall continue for life in equal monthly payments, as adjusted by cost of living increases, ceasing in the month of death.
(3) 
Monthly benefits.
(a) 
The monthly benefits determined under this subsection shall be computed as the sum of:
[1] 
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 the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or any of its municipalities shall have contributed to such pension plan moneys raised by taxation.
[2] 
Benefits from the Police Pension Plan of Upper Providence Township established pursuant to this article to the extent necessary to bring the total benefits in any month up to 1/2 the aforesaid average monthly gross compensation (as reflected on the W-2 form).
(b) 
For the purpose of computing monthly benefits, there shall be no Social Security offset.
(c) 
The normal monthly retirement benefit shall be increased each January 1 by the lesser of 3% per year or the percentage increase in the consumer price index from the year in which the police member last worked, subject to a maximum increase in the normal monthly retirement benefit of 30%. In no event will the total normal monthly retirement benefit exceed 75% of the average monthly gross compensation (as reflected on the W-2 form) received during the last 36 months of employment.
C. 
Disability retirement benefit.
[Amended 2-1-1999 by Ord. No. 379]
(1) 
The monthly retirement benefit of a police officer retiring under § 28-7A(1)(b) shall be 1/2 of the average monthly gross compensation (as reflected on the W-2 form) received during the last 36 months of employment.
(2) 
The first monthly pension benefit shall be paid to the eligible person effective the first day of the disability, as determined by a board-certified physician, and shall continue for life in equal monthly payments, ceasing in the month of death.
[Amended 4-7-2003 by Ord. No. 424]
(3) 
Monthly benefits.
(a) 
The monthly benefits determined under this subsection shall be computed as the sum of:
[1] 
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 the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or any of its municipalities shall have contributed to such pension plan moneys raised by taxation.
[2] 
Benefits from the Police Pension Plan of Upper Providence Township established pursuant to this article to the extent necessary to bring the total benefits in any month up to 1/2 the aforesaid average monthly gross compensation (as reflected on the W-2 form).
(b) 
For the purpose of computing monthly benefits, there shall be no Social Security offset.
(c) 
The disability retirement benefit shall be increased each January 1 by the lesser of 3% per year or the percentage increase in the consumer price index from the year in which the police member last worked, subject to a maximum increase in the normal monthly retirement benefit of 30%. In no event will the total normal monthly retirement benefit exceed 75% of the average monthly gross compensation (as reflected on the W-2 form) received during the last 36 months of employment.
D. 
[2]Deferred retirement option provision (DROP).
[Added 12-15-2008 by Ord. No. 498]
(1) 
Establishment of DROP. A DROP shall be available to police officers who qualify for and apply for such option pursuant to this Subsection D.
(2) 
DROP eligibility. A police officer who is eligible for a normal retirement benefit pursuant to § 28-7B, or will be eligible for a normal retirement benefit prior to participation in the DROP, is eligible to participate in the DROP by filing a written application with the plan administrator at least 30 days before the employee’s effective date of DROP participation.
(3) 
Election to participate in DROP. An eligible participant may elect to participate in the DROP for a period not to exceed five years. Upon deciding to participate in a DROP, an eligible participant must submit, on forms provided by the plan administrator, a binding and irrevocable written election which discloses the participant’s intent to retire, specifies the effective date of DROP participation, specifies the participant’s final retirement date (no later than five years after the effective date of DROP participation), which shall be the DROP termination date, and designates a beneficiary or beneficiaries. Such election must detail a DROP participant’s rights and obligations under the DROP and include an agreement to forego active membership in the plan, any growth in the salary base used for calculating the regular retirement benefit, and any additional benefit accrual for retirement purposes. The DROP participant shall be required to provide by other information required by the Township.
(4) 
Calculation of DROP retirement benefit. Upon receipt of a participant’s election forms to participate in DROP, the Township shall calculate the normal retirement benefit pursuant to § 28-7B as of the employee’s DROP participation date.
(5) 
Credits to DROP account. A DROP shall be established in the name of the DROP participant for purposes of accumulating DROP retirement benefits during DROP participation. Starting with the calendar month following the DROP participation date, the amount of the DROP retirement benefit shall be credited to the DROP participant’s DROP account each month during DROP participation. The DROP retirement benefit shall be adjusted annually by the lesser of 3% per year or the percentage increase in the consumer price index from the previous year. In addition, interest shall be credited to the DROP account. The annual rate of interest shall be 4.5% and shall be compounded and credited monthly. A separate accounting of the DROP participant’s accumulated DROP account shall be calculated annually and provided to the participant.
(6) 
DROP participation termination. A DROP participant may change the DROP termination date to an earlier date, and no penalty shall be imposed for early termination of DROP participation. Notice should be provided to the Township at least 60 days prior to any such early termination, except in the case where the DROP participant incurs a permanent service-related disability. Upon either early or regular termination of DROP participation, the DROP participant shall be separated from employment with the Township and the retirement plan shall pay the balance in the DROP participant’s DROP account to the terminating participant as provided in § 28-7D(7), and the DROP participant shall be ineligible to reenroll in the DROP thereafter even if the former DROP participant is reemployed by the Township with renewed active membership in the plan.
(7) 
Payment of DROP benefits. On the effective date of a DROP participant’s termination of employment with the Township, participation in the DROP shall cease and the plan shall pay to the participant total accumulated value of the participant’s DROP account. Such distribution shall be considered an eligible rollover distribution. The terminating DROP participant shall commence receipt of the monthly DROP retirement benefit directly, starting with the calendar month following termination of employment with the Township.
(8) 
Death of a DROP participant. If a DROP participant dies, the DROP participant’s surviving spouse shall be entitled to receive the benefits accumulated in the participant’s DROP account. In addition, a monthly benefit shall be paid to the surviving spouse if the participant previously elected a form of benefit payment for the participant’s DROP retirement benefit that would provide for payments after death to a beneficiary or contingent annuitant. Such monthly benefit payments shall commence the calendar month following the death of the DROP participant.
[2]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection D, Preretirement death benefit, was repealed 2-1-1999 by Ord. No. 379.
E. 
Survivor benefits.
[Amended 2-1-1999 by Ord. No. 379]
(1) 
The family of any member who is on active duty status and who dies of any cause and the family of any member who is retired and who dies of any cause shall receive the following benefits:
[Amended 4-7-2003 by Ord. No. 424]
(a) 
The surviving spouse of such member shall receive a monthly payment equal to 50% of such member's pension benefit, including benefits received by said surviving spouse under federal social security laws on account of such member, until the surviving spouse dies, when such benefits shall terminate.
(b) 
After the death of the surviving spouse, an officer's surviving child or children under the age of 18 years, or if attending college, under the age of 23 years old, shall receive the 50% amount of the member's monthly pension until that child dies or attains the age of 18 years old, or if attending college, until the age of 23 years old. "Attending college" is defined as the child being enrolled in an institution of higher learning and carrying a minimum course load of seven credits per semester.[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection (E)(2), concerning increase in monthly benefits each January 1, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 10-6-2003 by Ord. No. 431.
F. 
Should a police officer, before completing superannuation retirement age and service requirements, but after having completed 12 years of total service, for any reason other than being terminated for conviction of a felony or crime of moral turpitude or death, cease to be employed as a full-time police officer by Upper Providence Township, in whose pension plan he has been a member, he shall be entitled to a refund of all moneys paid by him into the fund, plus all interest earned on such moneys as provided in § 28-6F of this article, or to vest his retirement benefits by filing with Upper Providence 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 bear 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 the monthly average compensation during the appropriate period prior to his termination of employment. Such pension or retirement benefits for any month shall be determined in accordance with § 28-7B, C or E of this article. If an officer dies prior to vesting in his or her pension, the surviving spouse or, if the spouse is deceased, any child or children under the age of 18, or age 23 if attending college, is entitled to 100% of the officer's contributions together with any interest thereon, unless the officer has designated another beneficiary. "Attending college" is defined as the child being enrolled in an institution of higher learning and carrying a minimum course load of seven credits per semester.[4]
[4]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection G, regarding killed-in-service benefit, added 4-7-2003 by Ord. No. 424, and which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 12-7-2009 by Ord. No. 503.
G. 
Military service. Any member of the police force employed by a borough, town, township or regional police department, who has been a regularly appointed employee of any such political subdivision or regional police department for a period of at least six months and who 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 person returns or has heretofore returned to his employment within six months after his separation from the service.
[Added 5-19-2003 by Ord. No. 428]
The establishment of the plan shall not be construed as conferring any legal rights upon any police employee or other person to a continuation of employment nor shall it interfere with the rights of the Township to discharge any police employee or to treat him without regard to the effect which such treatment might have upon him as a member of the plan.
Except insofar as may otherwise be required by law, no benefits under the plan shall be subject in any manner to anticipation, alienation, sale, transfer, assignment, pledge, encumbrance or charge, and any attempt so to do shall be void, except as specifically provided in the plan, nor shall any such benefits be in any manner liable for or subject to garnishment, attachment, execution, levy or other legal process for the collection of debts or liable for or subject to the debts, contract, liabilities, engagements or torts of the person entitled to such benefit.
A. 
The Board of Supervisors desires to continue the plan permanently, but must necessarily reserve the right to change, modify or discontinue it. If modifications are planned, the Township shall attempt to negotiate such changes in the collective bargaining process. Any change in the plan will not affect the values that have been accumulated for each participant prior to the date of the change. If the plan is ever terminated, the participants who have retired under its provisions will be entitled to first claim of the assets of the trust fund, and any balance of the assets will be distributed among all participants according to a formula to be developed by the Police Pension Committee and approved by the Board of Supervisors.
B. 
No person participating in the plan established pursuant to the provisions of this article who becomes entitled to receive a benefit therefrom shall be deprived of his right to an equal share therein upon the basis upon which he first became entitled thereto.
Notwithstanding any information that is made available by the Township to members of the plan through the distribution of descriptive booklets, bulletin board notices, payroll notices or oral announcements, any member of the plan may examine the plan, any trust agreements and all amendments thereto at the Township office at such mutually convenient time as is arranged by the member and representatives of the Township and the Police Pension Committee.
[Amended 4-7-2003 by Ord. No. 424]
The expenses of administration of the plan established by this article, including the compensation of the actuary and bond for the trustee of the plan, exclusive of the payment of bond for the trustee of the plan, exclusive of the payment of retirement or disability benefits, shall be paid from the pension plan.
Insofar as the provisions of this article are the same as statutory provisions, they shall be subject to change or repeal to comply with any future statutory provisions. Other provisions of this article may be amended or repealed if statutory authority be granted therefor or if statutory restrictions or mandates are eliminated and discretion vested in the Board of Supervisors.
The passage of this article and the repeal by it of any prior enabling ordinances relating to the establishment and regulation of a Police Employees' Pension Plan or a Police Pension Plan of Upper Providence Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, shall not invalidate the Police Pension Fund of the Township created under such prior resolution or ordinance, nor shall it invalidate any actions of Upper Providence Township taken under such ordinances. This article, in such respect, shall be deemed a continuation and codification of such prior enabling ordinances.
This article represents a codification of the ordinances of Upper Providence Township relating to Police Employees' Pension Plans or Police Pension Funds and may be advertised as such.
All resolutions and/or ordinances relating to Upper Providence Township Police Employee Retirement Funds and Plans are hereby repealed.