Borough of New Britain, PA
Bucks County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of New Britain as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Officers and employees — See Ch. 40.
[Adopted 12-8-1992 by Ord. No. 256]

§ 46-1 Establishment of plan.

A pension plan is hereby established for the full-time police employees pursuant to and in compliance with the Act of May 29, 1956, P.L. 1804, as amended.[1] Such plan shall be under the direction of the Borough Council and shall be applied under such regulations as Council may prescribe. The effective date of this plan shall be January 1, 1993.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 767 et seq.

§ 46-2 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BOARD
The governing body of the Borough of New Britain acting in the capacity of administrator of the Police Employees Pension Plan established pursuant to this article.
COMMITTEE
The persons which may be appointed to serve in an advisory capacity to the Council in the administration of the plan.
COMPENSATION
The monies received by a participant in each and every month, including base pay, longevity pay, night differential, overtime, and any other such increments. Payments made for unused vacation time will be included for computation of retirement benefits. Payments made for unused "sick time" will not be included for computation of retirement benefits.
CONTRIBUTION
The monies paid by the employer to the plan and/or the payroll deductions made monthly from the compensation of the participants and paid to the plan, except that "contributions" in § 46-5B shall mean the participant's total contributions accumulated during the period of employment and participation in this plan.
EMPLOYER
The Borough of New Britain.
FUTURE SERVICE LIABILITY
The value of any participant's benefits which shall accrue by virtue of that participant's service rendered subsequent to the enactment of this article.
PARTICIPANT
Every person duly appointed from time to time by the employer as a full-time police employee working not less than 40 hours per week with a definite compensation subject to reasonable vacation and sick leave, to be included in the plan upon date of hire.
PLAN
The Police Employees Pension Plan established pursuant to this article.
SERVICE
Total aggregate service with the employer, not necessarily continuous, beginning upon date of hire.
TERMINATION
The cessation of service by the participant for any reason including disability, resignation, and employer termination. Death shall not be considered a termination within the meaning of this article. Voluntary leaves of absence without pay shall not be considered a termination for purposes of this article; but no period of such leave shall be computed in the total service for pension benefit purposes.
UNFUNDED LIABILITY
The present value of any participant's benefits accrued prior to the enactment of this article by virtue of that participant's prior service.

§ 46-3 Administration.

A. 
The Council shall administer the plan by such regulations as shall from time to time be necessary for the effective maintenance of the plan; provided that no regulation shall be contrary to the statutes of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and/or applicable federal regulations.
B. 
The Council may appoint a Committee which shall act as an advisory body to the Council in the administration of the Plan according to the regulations established pursuant to this article.
C. 
Membership; meetings.
(1) 
The Committee shall consist of three members, which number shall include the Borough Manager, the Chairman of the Police Committee, and the third shall be chosen by a majority of the participants in the plan.
(2) 
All persons so designated shall serve at the pleasure of the Council. Any member may resign upon written notice to the Council and the Committee. Any vacancies in the Committee arising from resignation, death, or removal shall be filled by the Council by the procedure set out herein for the member of the Committee whose resignation, death, or removal has created the vacancy.
(3) 
The Committee shall meet no less than annually, and shall serve without compensation for their services.
D. 
Procedures; records.
(1) 
The Committee shall act by such procedure as the Committee shall establish; provided that all decisions shall be by majority vote. The Committee may authorize one of its members to execute any document or documents on behalf of the Committee, may adopt by-laws and regulations as it deems necessary for the conduct of its affairs, and may appoint such accountants, counsel, specialists or such other personnel as it may deem desirable for the proper administration of the plan; provided that all such executions of documents, adoptions of by-laws and regulations, and appointments shall be submitted to the Council for approval.
(2) 
The Committee shall keep a record of all its proceedings and acts which shall relate to the plan, and shall keep all such books of accounts, records and other data as shall be necessary for the proper administration of the plan. All actions of the Committee shall be communicated to the Council in a timely fashion.
E. 
All such reasonable expenses incurred in the administration of the plan, including but not limited to fees for the services of specialists including actuaries, accountants, consultants, and legal counsel shall be approved by the Council and all may be paid from the plan; provided that no such payment shall be contrary to the statutes of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
F. 
No member of the Council or the Committee established pursuant to this article shall incur any liability for any action or failure to act, excepting only liability for its own gross negligence or willful misconduct. The employer shall indemnify each member of the Council and the Committee against any and all claims, loss, damages, expense, and liability arising from any action or failure to act, except for such that is the result of gross negligence or willful misconduct of such member.

§ 46-4 Retirement requirements and benefits.

A. 
Eligibility for normal retirement.
(1) 
A participant in the plan may retire from active employment on the first day of the month following the attainment of age 50; provided that the participant has completed 25 or more years of service with the employer.
[Amended 12-10-2013 by Ord. No. 356]
(2) 
If there is any participant in the plan who was a member of the police force of the employer prior to December 21, 1965, that participant may retire following the attainment of age 60, provided that the participant has completed 20 or more years of service with the employer.
(3) 
A participant shall retire on the first day of the month following the attainment of age 70.
(4) 
In order to become entitled to benefits, a member shall have a maximum period of total police service not less than an aggregate of 25 years part-time and full-time service in New Britain Borough and shall have attained the age of 50 years, after which he may retire from active duty, except that any full-time officer employed by New Britain Borough on the date this article becomes effective has an aggregate of 18 years service in New Britain Borough shall be entitled to benefits.
[Added 6-13-1995 by Ord. No. 264[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
Normal retirement benefit.
(1) 
A participant who shall complete the age and service requirements as set forth in this article shall receive a pension for life in an amount equal to 1/2 of the participant's average monthly compensation, based on the participant's last 36 months of compensation, or that percentage and based on that number of months as shall be prescribed by statute of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania subsequent to the adoption of this article.
(2) 
Such pension shall be payable from the assets of the plan without reduction for the amount of any social security benefits to which the participant may be or become entitled.
[Amended 10-12-2004 by Ord. No. 296]
C. 
Designation of beneficiaries.
(1) 
Each participant shall have the right to name the beneficiary or beneficiaries for pre-retirement death benefits incidental to policies of insurance purchased primarily to fund the participant's pension, provided that the ownership of such policies shall remain in the plan and shall be endorsed to prevent the assignment of ownership to the insured.
(2) 
If the participant shall fail to name a beneficiary or beneficiaries, such benefits as would have accrued to the participant's beneficiary or beneficiaries shall be paid to the participant's estate.
(3) 
Each participant may, from time to time, change the beneficiary or beneficiaries in such form and in such manner as shall be prescribed by the Council, and following such procedure as may be required by the insurance company.
D. 
Widows'/widowers' and children's benefit.
(1) 
In the event of the death of a participant who was receiving a retirement pension, a disability pension, or who had qualified for a retirement pension but had not retired, that participant's widow may be entitled during her lifetime, or so long as she does not remarry, to receive a pension equal to 50% of the "Straight Life Annuity" pension the participant was receiving or would have been receiving had the participant been retired at the time of his death.
(2) 
If no widow/widower survives, or if she/he survives and subsequently dies or remarries, then the child or children under the age of 18 years of the deceased eligible participant shall be entitled to receive a pension calculated at 50% of the pension to which the participant was entitled.
E. 
Termination.
(1) 
If for any reason a participant shall terminate service with the employer prior to becoming vested, that participant shall be entitled to a refund of that participant's contributions, plus interest at a rate of 6% per annum. Such interest shall be uniform for all participants.
(2) 
If a participant shall subsequently return to service and return to the plan the contributions plus interest which were refunded to that participant upon termination, the participant shall be entitled to credit for the prior years of service to the extent of the return of contributions.
(3) 
Nothing in this article shall be construed to allow credit for service not actually given to the employer, except as specifically provided in § 46-6.
F. 
Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP).
[Added 12-10-2013 by Ord. No. 356]
(1) 
Definitions. As used in this subsection, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
DROP
The Deferred Retirement Option Plan created as an optional form of benefit under the existing New Britain Borough Police Pension Plan.
DROP PARTICIPANT ACCOUNT
A separate ledger account created to accumulate the DROP pension benefit for a DROP participant.
MEMBER
A full-time New Britain Borough police officer covered by the plan.
PARTICIPANT
A member who is eligible for normal retirement and who has elected to participate in the DROP program.
PLAN
The New Britain Borough Police Pension Plan adopted pursuant to Act 600.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 767 et seq.
(2) 
Eligibility. Effective January 1, 2013, full-time police employees of the New Britain Borough Police Department who have not retired prior to the implementation of the DROP, 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, for a maximum period of 60 months.
(3) 
Written election. A police employee of the New Britain Borough Police Department electing to participate in DROP must complete and execute a "DROP option form" prepared by New Britain Borough, which shall evidence the police employee's participation in DROP. The form must be signed by the police employee and notarized and submitted to New Britain Borough within 60 days prior to the date on which the police employee wishes DROP to be effective. The DROP option notice shall include an irrevocable notice to the Borough, by the police employee, that the police employee shall resign from employment with the New Britain Borough Police Department effective on a specific date (the "resignation date"). In no event shall the resignation date be shorter than 12 months nor longer than 60 months from the execution of the DROP option form. An officer shall cease to work as a New Britain Borough police officer on the officer's resignation date, unless the Borough terminates or honorably discharges the officer prior to the resignation date. In addition, all retirement documents required by the Police Pension Board Administration must be filed and presented to the New Britain Borough Council for acceptance and approval of retirement and payment of pension. Once a retirement application has been approved by the New Britain Borough Council, it is irrevocable.
(4) 
Limitation on pension accrual. After the effective date of the DROP option, the member shall no longer earn or accrue additional years of continuous service for pension purposes.
(5) 
Benefit calculation. For all police pension plan purposes, continuous service of a member 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 New Britain Borough Police Pension Plan. The average applicable compensation of the member for pension calculation purposes shall remain, as it existed on the effective date of commencement of participation in the DROP. Earnings and increases in earnings thereafter shall not be recognized or used for the calculation or determination of any benefits payable by the pension plan. The pension benefit payable to the members shall increase only as a result of cost of living adjustments in effect on the effective date of the member's participation in the DROP or by applicable cost of living adjustments granted thereafter.
(6) 
Payments to the DROP account. The monthly retirement benefits that would have been payable had the member elected to cease employment and receive a normal retirement benefit, shall, upon the member commencing participation in DROP, be paid into the separate account established to receive the participant's monthly pension payments. The account shall be designated as the DROP account. Interest shall be compounded and credited monthly at an annual rate of two percent or at a rate earned by the plan as a whole. All interest credited to the DROP participant account shall be included in the final cash settlement.
(7) 
Early termination. A participant may withdraw from the DROP program at any time and no penalty shall be imposed for early termination of DROP participation. However, the participant shall not be permitted to make any withdrawals from the DROP participant account until DROP participation has ended.
(8) 
Accrual of nonpension benefits. After an 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 and the buyback of accrued but unused sick or vacation time. Prior to participating in the DROP, an officer may request payment for any accrued but unused sick or vacation time which the Borough would, by contract if that is the case, be obligated to buy back from the officer upon retirement. An officer may utilize leave time during DROP period, but the Borough shall not be required to buy back any such unused leave time at the end of the DROP period.
(9) 
Payout. Upon the termination date set forth in the member's DROP option notice or such date as New Britain Borough separates the member from employment, the retirement benefits payable to the member or the member's beneficiary, if applicable, shall be paid to the member or beneficiary and shall no longer be paid to the member's DROP account. Within 30 days following termination of a member's employment pursuant to their participating in the DROP, the balance in the member's DROP account shall be paid to the member in a single lump-sum payment or at the member's option, in any fashion permitted by law. Such payment shall be made subject to any federal withholding as may be required, or as a direct rollover to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). If the participant or beneficiary fails to elect a method of payment within 60 days after the participant's termination date, the retirement system shall pay the balance as a lump sum. As a condition of participation in DROP, the officer acknowledges that New Britain Borough plays no role nor has any responsibility in advising the officer regarding the appropriate payout vehicle. Accordingly, any officer participating in DROP assumes all financial consequences for his/her participation in DROP, including, but not limited to, the manner in which a permitted payout from the DROP account is made. The participating officers agree to hold New Britain Borough harmless for any tax consequences which flow directly or indirectly from the officer's participation in DROP.
(10) 
Disability during DROP. If a member becomes temporarily disabled during his participation in DROP, any such time lost due to disability shall be counted towards the member's resignation date. Upon return to duty, membership in DROP shall continue with the remaining time left prior to the member's resignation date. If eligible, the member shall receive disability pay in the same amount as disabled police officers that are not participating in DROP. In no event shall a member on temporary disability have the ability to draw from his DROP account. However, notwithstanding any other provision in this subsection, if an officer is disabled and has not returned to work as of the date of his required resignation, then such resignation shall take precedence over all other provisions herein and said officer shall be required to resign. Nothing contained in this plan shall be construed as conferring any legal rights upon any police employee or other person to the continuation of employment nor shall participation in the DROP program supersede or limit in any way the right of New Britain Borough to honorably discharge a police employee based upon an inability to perform his or her full duties as a police officer. If a DROP participant becomes eligible for a disability pension benefit due to a permanent disability under Act 600 and terminates employment for any reason, the monthly normal retirement benefit shall cease.
(11) 
Death. If a DROP member dies before the DROP account balances are paid, the participant's beneficiary under Act 600 shall have the same rights as the member to withdraw the account balance. The monthly benefit credited to the participant's DROP participant account during the month of the participant's death shall be the final monthly benefit for DROP participation. If the death of a DROP member is in the performance of duties so as to trigger the killed-in-service benefit afforded under Act 51, the killed-in-service benefit shall be paid as set forth in Act 51.
(12) 
Forfeiture of benefits. Notwithstanding an officer's participation in the DROP, an 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. §§ 1311–1314, shall forfeit his right to receive a pension, including any amounts currently deposited in the DROP account. In such a case, the member shall only be entitled to receive the contributions, if any, made by the member to the plan, without interest.
(13) 
Account manager. The Borough and the Association will mutually agree upon an investment manager to administer the DROP accounts. The Borough and the Association further agree that the Borough shall not be responsible for any investment loss incurred in the plan or any/all DROP accounts or for the failure of an investment or investments to earn a specific or expected return or to earn as much as any other opportunity, whether or not such other investment opportunity was offered or available to participants in the plan. As a condition of participation in the DROP, participating officers agree to hold the Borough harmless for any financial loss incurred as the result of any aspect of DROP participation, including the initial decision to enter DROP.
(14) 
Cost of management for DROP. The Association and the Borough agree that any costs or fees associated with the management of the DROP accounts shall be paid directly from the Police Pension Plan and not by the Borough.
(15) 
Amendment. Any amendments to this DROP plan shall be consistent with the provisions covering deferred retirement option plan 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 may only be amended by a written instrument, not by any oral agreement or past practice.
(16) 
Construction. In the consideration of applications and claims under this Deferred Retirement Option Program, the provisions in this Subsection F shall prevail over any provisions of Article I of his chapter deemed to be inconsistent with the provisions of this Subsection F.
G. 
Nonalienation of benefits and vesting.
(1) 
No benefit under the plan shall be subject in any manner to anticipation, alienation, sale, transfer, assignment, pledge, encumbrance, or charge. Nor shall any such benefits be in any manner liable for or subject to garnishment, attachment, execution, levy, or other legal process.
(2) 
In the event that any participant should cease to be employed, for any reason, as a full-time police officer of the Borough of New Britain before completing superannuation retirement age and service requirements hereunder, but after having completed 12 years of total service, such participant shall be entitled to vest his or her retirement benefits by filing with Borough Council, within 90 days of the date he or she ceases to be a full-time police officer, a written notice of his or her intention to vest. Upon reaching the date which would have been his or her superannuation retirement date if he or she had continued to be employed as a full-time police officer, he or she shall be paid a partial superannuation retirement allowance determined by applying the percentage his or her years of service bears to the years of service which he or she would have rendered had he or she continued to work until his or her superannuation retirement date to the gross pension, using however, the monthly average salary during the thirty-six-month period immediately prior to his or her termination of employment.
[Amended 10-12-2004 by Ord. No. 296]
H. 
Disability benefit. A participant who becomes totally and permanently disabled so that he cannot perform his normal duties as a police officer as a result of a service connected accident or occurrence, shall be entitled to receive the normal retirement benefit for life, or for so long as the disability remains both total and permanent.
[Added 2-11-1997 by Ord. No. 272]
I. 
Surviving spouses; retirement in consequence of permanent injury.
[Added 9-9-2002 by Ord. No. 291]
(1) 
The surviving spouse of a member of the police force or a member who retires on pension who dies, or if no spouse survives, or if he or 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 a member of the police force or a member who retires on pension who dies, shall, during his or her lifetime, in the case of a surviving spouse, or until reaching the age of 18 years, or if attending college, under or attaining the age of 23 years, in the case of a child or children, be entitled to receive a pension calculated at no less than 50 per centum of the pension the member was receiving or would have been receiving had he or she been retired at the time of death.
(2) 
The surviving spouse of a member of the police force who dies before his or her pension has vested, or if no spouse survives, or if he or she survives and subsequently dies, the child or children under the age of 18 years, 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.
(3) 
Any member of the police force who retires in consequence of a permanent injury incurred in service shall receive a pension calculated at a rate of no less than 50 per centum 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. Section 301 et seq.) shall have his or her disability benefit offset or reduced by the amount of such benefit.
(4) 
The surviving spouse of a member of the police force who is killed in service, or if no spouse survives, or if he or she survives and subsequently dies, 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 a pension calculated at 100 per centum of the member's salary at the time of death.
(5) 
The governing body of the Borough of New Britain may, on an annual basis, by ordinance or resolution, reduce or eliminate payments into the fund by members without the necessity of conducting an actuarial study.
(6) 
For purposes of this article, the phrase "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.
(7) 
Insofar as these amendments affect the benefits available to surviving spouses, the amendments shall apply to surviving spouses whose spouse died on or before April 17, 2002, and who were not remarried as of that date.
(8) 
Nothing herein shall be deemed to amend, change, or repeal any of the provisions of this article except for the provisions of this article which are contrary to the requirements of Act 30 of 2002,[3] and to the specific provisions of this article.
[3]
Editor's Note: See 53 Pa.C.S.A. § 767.

§ 46-5 Contributions.

A. 
Contributions of the employer.
(1) 
It shall be the liability of the employer to fund the past service liability as determined by the actuary, provided that such liability may be funded over a period not to exceed 30 years, such period commencing with the passage of this article.
(2) 
It shall be the liability of the employer to fund for the future service cost of the plan.
(3) 
It shall be the responsibility of the employer to maintain the actuarial soundness of the plan.
(4) 
Contributions to the plan paid by the employer shall be at an amount determined by an annual actuarial study, which study shall be completed on a calendar-year basis.
B. 
Contributions of the participants.
(1) 
Where positions covered by the plan are included in an agreement under the Federal Social Security Act, monthly contributions paid to the plan by the participants shall be at a rate calculated by multiplying the social security offset percentage listed in § 46-4B(2) by 3% and then subtracting the resultant percentage from 5%. Such contributions shall be on that portion of monthly compensation for which social security taxes are payable. Contributions to the plan paid by the participants on that portion of monthly compensation that exceeds the amount for which social security taxes are paid shall be at the rate of 5%.
(2) 
Contributions to the plan paid by the participants may be reduced or eliminated if a current actuarial study indicates that such reduction or elimination for that year will not adversely affect the actuarial soundness of the plan. Should the current actuarial study so indicate, the reduction or elimination of contributions by the participants shall be effected by resolution, and shall be effective for one calendar year only.
C. 
Allocation of commonwealth funds. The payments made by the State Treasurer to the employer from the monies received from the taxes paid on the premiums of foreign casualty insurance companies for purposes of retirement or disability benefit pensions for municipal employees shall be used as follows:
(1) 
To reduce the unfunded liability, or after such liability is funded;
(2) 
To apply against the annual obligation of the employer for future service cost, or to the extent that the payments may be in excess of such obligation;
(3) 
To reduce or eliminate the contributions paid by the participants.
D. 
Allocation of assets of existing pension plans. Any assets of any existing pension plans for the police employees of the Borough are hereby transferred to the plan established pursuant to this article, and shall be applied against the unfunded liability.
E. 
Gifts, bequests, and grants. All other monies and property received by the plan, including gifts, bequests, devises, and grants shall be applied against the employer portion of the future service cost unless otherwise specifically provided.

§ 46-6 Credit for military service.

Any participant in the plan with at least six months of service with the employer who thereafter shall enter the military service of the United States of America shall have credited to that participant's service record for pension benefit purposes only the initial term of military service of the participant, provided that the participant returns to service with the employer within six months after said participant's separation from such military service.

§ 46-7 Termination of plan.

Upon termination of the plan, the assets shall be distributed as follows.
A. 
Sufficient funds shall be maintained to provide the pension benefits prescribed in § 46-4 for all participants who have retired prior to the termination of the plan, or who are eligible to retire at the time of the termination of the plan.
B. 
Sufficient funds shall be maintained to provide the vested pension benefits, if included in this article, for all participants who are eligible for such benefits.
C. 
Of the remaining funds, those which can be identified as contributions of the employer, or contributions other than from participants or from the commonwealth allocations, shall be distributed as the Council sees fit, provided that such distribution is made on a uniform basis.
D. 
All funds in excess of the funds described in Subsections A, B and C above shall be returned to the commonwealth as unused funds pursuant to the Act of May 12, 1943, P.L. 259, as amended, 72 P.S. § 2263.1 et seq.

§ 46-8 Participant's rights and municipality's right to terminate.

A. 
Neither the establishment of the plan hereby created, nor any modification thereof, nor the creation of any fund or account, nor the payment of any benefits, shall be construed as giving to any participant or other person any legal or equitable right against the employer, or any officer or employee thereof, or the Council except as herein provided.
B. 
Under no circumstances shall the plan hereby created constitute a contract for continuing employment for any participant or in any manner obligate the employer to continue or to discontinue the services of an employee.
C. 
This plan has been established and shall be maintained by the employer in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The plan shall continue for such period as may be required by such laws; provided that the employer may, by its own action, discontinue this plan should such laws provide, and the employer reserves the right to take such action in its sole and absolute discretion. Upon termination, the employer shall have no liability hereunder other than that imposed by law.

§ 46-9 Investments.

A. 
All investments by the Council of the assets of this plan shall comply with such regulations as the state and the Council shall establish for the purpose of investing such funds.
B. 
The Council may also purchase retirement annuities, or retirement income endowment policies, or a combination of both, which provide a cash value with which to fund pensions; provided that the Council shall determine the value of any policies purchased, the company with which the contracts shall be made, and the time to purchase such policies. The Council shall also have the obligation to insure that the policies purchased provide benefits on a uniform scale, and that such policies are endorsed to the ownership of the plan.

§ 46-10 Amendments.

The Council reserves the right to amend at any time in whole or in part, any or all of the provisions of the plan; provided that no such amendment shall authorize or permit any part of the plan to be used or diverted to purposes other than for the exclusive benefit of the participants, their beneficiaries, or their estates. Nor shall any amendment divest a participant of benefits vested if included in this article. All such amendments shall comply with the applicable statutes of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

§ 46-11 Construction of plan.

A. 
This plan shall be constructed according to the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and all provisions hereof shall be administered according to the laws of such commonwealth.
B. 
Wherever any words are used herein in the masculine gender, they shall be construed as though they were also used in the feminine gender in all cases where they would so apply; and wherever any words are used herein in the singular form, they shall be construed as though they were also used in the plural form in all cases where they would so apply.
C. 
Headings of articles and paragraphs of this instrument are inserted for convenience of reference. They constitute no part of this plan, and are not to be considered in the construction thereof.
[Adopted 9-9-2008 by Ord. No. 327; amended in its entirety 11-10-2015 by Ord. No. 367[1]]
[1]
Editor’s Note: This ordinance provided that it would be effective retroactive to 1-1-2008.

§ 46-12 Establishment of plan; effective date.

A pension plan is hereby established for the Borough's full-time, nonuniformed employees pursuant to and in compliance with the Borough Code, as amended. Such plan shall be under the direction of Borough Council of the Borough of New Britain and shall be applied under such regulations as Borough Council may prescribe. The effective date of this article generally shall be January 1, 2008. However, this article, except as it revises the existing nonuniformed employees pension plan, is intended as a continuation of that plan for state aid purposes. In addition, revisions made subsequent to such effective date are separately identified.

§ 46-13 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BOROUGH COUNCIL
The governing body of the Borough of New Britain acting in the capacity of administrator of the nonuniformed pension plan established pursuant to this article.
COMMITTEE
The persons who may be appointed to serve in an advisory capacity to the Borough Council in the administration of the plan.
CONTRIBUTION
The monies paid by the employer to the plan and/ or the payroll deductions made monthly from the salaries of the participants and paid to the plan; except that "contributions" in § 46-15D shall mean total contributions paid by the participant and accumulated during the period of employment and participation in this plan.
EMPLOYER
The Borough of New Britain.
FUTURE SERVICE LIABILITY
The value of any participant's benefits which shall accrue by virtue of that participant's service rendered subsequent to the enactment of this article.
PARTICIPANT
Every person duly appointed from time to time by the employer as a full-time nonuniformed employee working not less than 35 hours per week at a definite salary, subject to reasonable vacation and sick leave, to be included in the plan upon date of hire.
PLAN
The nonuniformed pension plan established pursuant to this article.
SALARY
The amount of compensation received by a participant in each and every month, including base pay, overtime pay, longevity pay, shift differential, and any other such increments. The term "salary" shall include regular payments made for vacation time, sick time, compensation time, personal days and bereavement leave but shall not include lump sum payments for any unused days for any of the foregoing listed benefits.
SERVICE
Total aggregate service, not necessarily continuous, with the employer.
TERMINATION
The cessation of service by the participant for any reason including disability, resignation and employee termination. Death shall not be considered a termination within the meaning of this article. Voluntary leaves of absence without pay shall not be considered a termination for the purposes of this article; but no period of such leave shall be computed in the total service for pension benefit purposes. Leaves of absence with pay shall not be considered a termination within the meaning of this article (provided that the municipality is able to certify to the Department of the Auditor General that such participant on a leave of absence with pay is within the definition of a participant as set forth herein); but such leaves may be computed in the total service for pension benefit purposes.
UNFUNDED LIABILITY
The present value of any participant's benefits accrued prior to the enactment of this article by virtue of that participant's prior service.

§ 46-14 Administration.

A. 
The Borough Council shall administer the plan by such regulations as shall from time to time be necessary for the effective maintenance of the plan, provided that no regulation shall be contrary to the statutes of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and/or applicable federal regulations. Borough Council may appoint such accountants, counsel, specialists or such other personnel as it deems desirable for the proper administration of the plan.
B. 
The Borough Council may, in its discretion, appoint a Committee to act as an advisory body to the Borough Council in the administration of the plan according to the regulations established pursuant to this article.
C. 
All such reasonable expenses incurred in the administration of the plan, including, but not limited to, fees for the services of specialists including actuaries, accountants, consultants and legal counsel, shall be approved by Borough Council and all may be paid from the plan, provided that no such payment shall be contrary to the statutes of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
D. 
No member of Borough Council or the Committee established pursuant to this article shall incur any liability for any action or failure to act, excepting only liability for its own gross negligence or willful misconduct. The employer shall indemnify each member of Borough Council and the Committee against any and all claims, loss, damages, expense and liability arising from any action or failure to act, except for such that is the result of gross negligence or willful misconduct of such member.

§ 46-15 Retirement requirements and benefits.

A. 
Eligibility for normal retirement. A participant in the plan may retire from active employment on the first day of the month following the attainment of age 65, provided that the participant has completed 10 or more years of service with the employer.
B. 
Normal retirement benefit.
(1) 
A participant whose date of hire occurred before January 1, 2015, who shall complete the age and service requirements as set forth in this article shall receive a pension for life in the amount equal to 0.5% for each full year of service (up to a maximum of 50 years) times the participant's average monthly salary over the participant's last 36 months of employment, or that percentage and based on that number of months as shall be prescribed by statute of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania subsequent to the adoption of this article. The maximum benefit shall be 25% of such member's average monthly salary, so calculated. The eligible member may elect to have the monthly benefit paid in the form of a joint and fifty-percent survivor annuity, or any other actuarially equivalent option available, to be calculated at the time benefits become payable. This election may be made during the period of six months ending on the date on which payments commence and is revocable in writing during this election period.
[Amended 7-12-2016 by Ord. No. 374]
(2) 
A participant whose date of hire occurred on or after January 1, 2015, shall have established, by the employer, a defined contribution pension plan. The employer shall contribute to such plan at least annually, an amount equal to 5% of such participant's salary, as such is defined in this chapter, provided, however, that the maximum annual contribution shall be $3,800. Such participant who shall have completed the age and service requirements as set forth in this article shall receive such defined contribution pension in a lump sum equal to the cash balance of the participant's defined contribution account.
(3) 
Subject further to those limitations imposed by the statutes of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, no offset or reduction from the benefit here provided for shall be made for any social security retirement benefits, workmen's compensation or other benefits to which the participant is also entitled.
(4) 
The benefit herein provided shall be payable solely from the assets of the plan.
C. 
Vested benefit.
(1) 
A vested deferred monthly benefit shall be provided for any participant whose date of hire occurred before January 1, 2015, and whose termination date occurs prior to the participant's normal retirement date, provided that the participant shall have completed a minimum of 10 years of service with the employer and shall have notified the employer in writing of such intention to vest within 30 days of the participant's date of termination. This benefit shall be computed in the same manner as set forth in this article. Such vested deferred monthly benefit shall be paid to the participant upon attainment of that participant's normal retirement age as set forth in this article.
(2) 
A vested deferred benefit shall be provided for any participant whose date of hire occurred on or after January 1, 2015, and whose termination date occurs prior to the participant's normal retirement date, provided that the participant shall have completed a minimum of 10 years of service with the employer and shall have notified the employer of such intention to vest within 30 days of the participant's date of termination. This benefit shall be the value of such participant's defined contribution plan account, the distribution of which, however, shall be deferred as hereinafter set forth. The cash balance of the participant's defined contribution retirement account shall be paid to the participant upon attainment of that participant's normal retirement age as set forth in this article.
(3) 
The surviving spouse of a participant who dies before his or her pension has vested shall be entitled to receive repayment of all money which the participant invested in the pension fund, plus interest, or other increases in value of the participant's investment in the pension fund, unless the participant has designated another beneficiary for this purpose.
(4) 
The employer's contributions, along with interest or other increases related to the employer's contributions to the cash balance of a participant's defined contribution retirement account set aside for any participant whose date of hire occurred on or after January 1, 2015, and who did not complete the minimum of 10 years of service set forth above shall be considered forfeited and used to defray any current or future required employer contributions to this plan.
D. 
Termination.
(1) 
If for any reason a participant shall terminate service with the employer prior to becoming vested, that participant shall be entitled to a refund of that participant's contributions plus interest at a rate of 6% per annum. Such interest shall be uniform for all participants.
(2) 
If a participant shall subsequently return to service and return to the plan the contributions plus interest which were refunded to the participant upon termination, the participant shall be entitled to credit for the prior years of service to the extent of the return of contributions.
(3) 
Nothing in this article shall be construed to allow credit for service not actually given to the employer, except as specifically provided for in Article VI.
E. 
Survivor benefit.
(1) 
As to those participants whose date of hire occurred before January l, 2015, the following survivor benefits apply:
[Amended 7-12-2016 by Ord. No. 374]
(a) 
In the event of the death of a participant who was vested but not yet receiving a retirement pension, or who had qualified for a normal retirement pension but had not yet retired, that participant's spouse, so long as the spouse does not remarry, shall be entitled to receive a monthly pension equal to 50% of the pension the participant was entitled to or would have been receiving had the participant been retired at the time of the participant's death.
(b) 
If no spouse survives, or if a spouse survives and subsequently dies or remarries, then the child or children under the age of 18 years of the deceased eligible participant shall be entitled to receive a monthly pension equal to 50% of the pension to which the participant was entitled.
(2) 
For those participants whose date of hire occurred on or after January 1, 2015, the following survivor benefits apply:
(a) 
In the event of the death of a participant who was vested but had not yet received the balance of the defined contribution account, or who had qualified for a normal retirement pension but had not yet retired, that participant's spouse shall be entitled to receive the value of the retirement account of the participant by filing an appropriate written request with the employer.
(b) 
In the event of the death of a participant who was vested but not yet receiving a retirement pension, or who had qualified for a normal retirement pension but had not yet retired and who is not survived by a spouse, the value of such participant's defined contribution retirement account shall be distributed in accordance with the most recent beneficiary designation form on file with the employer, and if none then unto his or her estate.
F. 
Nonalienation of benefits and vesting. No benefit under the plan shall be subject in any manner to anticipation, alienation, sale, transfer, assignment, pledge, encumbrance, or charge. Nor shall any such benefits be in any manner liable for or subject to garnishment, attachment, execution, levy or other legal process. Further, all benefits granted herein shall vest in the participant upon completion of the requirements for eligibility, and that participant's benefits shall continue in the amount and in the form in which that participant first became entitled to them.
[Amended 7-12-2016 by Ord. No. 374]

§ 46-16 Contributions.

A. 
Contributions of the employer. Contributions to the plan by the employer shall be in an amount determined by the annual minimum municipal obligation (MMO) calculation, prepared in accordance with Act 205 of 1984,[1] which is certified to the governing body of the Borough by September 30 and included in the Borough budget for the following year.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 895.101 et seq.
B. 
Contributions of participants.
(1) 
Participants whose employment began prior to January 1, 2015, are not currently required or permitted to contribute to the plan. Any future changes in the contribution requirement for participants may be enacted by ordinance or resolution.
(2) 
Participants whose employment began subsequent to January 1, 2015, may, but are not required to, contribute to their defined contribution plan. Such voluntary contributions shall be made on a pre-tax basis.
[Amended 7-12-2016 by Ord. No. 374]
C. 
Allocation of commonwealth funds. Any payments made by the State Treasurer to the employer from the monies received from the taxes paid on the premiums of foreign casualty insurance companies for purposes of retirement or disability benefit pensions for municipal employees shall be used as follows:
(1) 
To reduce the unfunded liability; or
(2) 
After such liability is funded, to apply against the annual obligation of the employer for future service cost; or
(3) 
To the extent that the payments may be in excess of such obligations, to reduce or eliminate the contributions paid by the participants
D. 
Allocation of assets of existing pension plans. Any assets of any existing pension plans for the full-time nonuniformed employees of the Borough are hereby transferred to the plan established pursuant to this article and shall be applied against the unfunded liability.
E. 
Gifts, bequests and grants. All other monies and property received by the plan, including gifts, bequests, devises and grants shall be applied equally against the participant and the employer portions of the future service cost unless otherwise specifically provided.

§ 46-17 Credit for military service.

Any participant in the plan with at least six months of service with the employer who thereafter shall enter the military service of the United States of America shall have credited to the participant's employment record for pension benefit purposes all of the time spent by the participant in such military service, provided that the participant returns to service with the employer within six months after said participant's separation from such military service.

§ 46-18 Termination of plan.

Upon termination of the plan, the assets shall be distributed as follows:
A. 
Sufficient funds shall be maintained to provide the pension benefits prescribed in Article IV for all participants who have retired prior to the termination of the plan, or who are eligible to retire at the time of the termination of the plan.
B. 
Sufficient funds shall be maintained to provide vested pension benefits prescribed in Article IV for all participants who are eligible for such benefits.
C. 
Any funds representing contributions from the remaining participants shall be returned to such participants with interest at a rate of 6% per annum.
D. 
Of the remaining funds, those which can be identified as contributions of the employer, or contributions other than those identified as unused commonwealth allocations, shall be distributed as the Borough Council sees fit, provided that such distribution is made on a uniform basis.
E. 
All funds in excess of the funds described in Subsections A, B, C and D above shall be returned to the Commonwealth as unused funds pursuant to the act of May 12, 1943, P.L. 259, No. 120, as amended, 72 P.S. § 2263.1, et. seq.

§ 46-19 Participant's rights and municipality's right to terminate.

A. 
Neither the establishment of the plan hereby created, nor any modification thereof, nor the creation of any fund or account, nor the payment of any benefits, shall be construed as giving to any participant or other person any legal or equitable right against the employer or any officer or employee thereof or the Borough Council except as herein provided.
B. 
Under no circumstance shall the plan hereby created constitute a contract for continuing employment for any participant or in any manner obligate the employer to continue or to discontinue the services of an employee.
C. 
This plan has been established and shall be maintained by the employer in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The plan shall continue for such period as may be required by such laws, provided that the employer may, by its own action, discontinue the plan should such laws provide, and the employer reserves the right to take such action in its sole and absolute discretion. Upon termination, the employer shall have no liability hereunder other than that imposed by law.

§ 46-20 Investments.

All investments by the Borough Council of the assets of this plan shall comply with any applicable state statutes, rules and regulations with respect to municipal investments for nonuniformed pension funds and with such regulations as the Borough Council shall establish for the purpose of investing such funds.

§ 46-21 Amendments.

Borough Council reserves the right to amend, at any time in whole or in part, any or all of the provisions of the plan, provided that no such amendment shall authorize or permit any part of the plan to be used or diverted to purposes other than for the exclusive benefit of the participants, their beneficiaries, or their estates. Nor shall any amendment divest a participant of benefits vested by the provisions of Article IV. All such amendments shall comply with the applicable statutes of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

§ 46-22 Construction of plan.

A. 
The plan shall be construed according to the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and all provisions hereof shall be administered according to the laws of such Commonwealth.
B. 
Wherever any words are used herein in the masculine gender, they shall be construed as though they were also used in the feminine gender in all cases where they would so apply; and wherever any words used herein are in the singular form, they shall be construed as though they were also used in the plural form in all cases where they would so apply.
C. 
Headings of articles and paragraphs of this instrument are inserted for convenience of reference. They constitute no part of this plan and are not to be considered in the construction thereof.