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Borough of East Stroudsburg, PA
Monroe County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of East Stroudsburg 12-5-2000 by Ord. No. 1107, approved 12-5-2000.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Firemen's Relief Association — See Ch. 14.
Retirement system — See Ch. 45.
Social security — See Ch. 53.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also superseded former Ch. 40, Police Pension Fund, adopted 12-19-1972 by Ord. No. 716, approved 12-19-1972. Ordinance No. 1208, adopted 8-5-2008, amended the Stroud Area Regional Police Department Pension Plan to include a deferred retirement option plan (DROP) and a DROP release; said provisions are on file in the Borough offices.
Pursuant to Act 180 of 1972, as amended, there is hereby established the Stroud Area Regional Police Department Police Pension Plan, herein after referred to as the "plan." The provisions of this pension plan shall be retroactive to May 1, 2000.
The plan is to be maintained by the following: a charge against all police officer employees who hold a full-time position in the Stroud Area Regional Police Department and who work an average of not less than 40 hours per week (as set forth in § 40-6B hereof); by payments made to the municipalities which are members of the Department 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 Stroud Area Regional Police Commission; by gifts, grants and bequests received by the plan; and by receipts from investment of the plan. The plan shall be under the direction of the Police Commission under such regulations as it may from time to time, by resolution, prescribe for the benefit of such police employees of the Department as shall receive an honorable discharge therefrom by reason of age and service or service disability. The pension allowed to those who are retired by reason of service-related disabilities shall be in conformity with a uniform scale.
A. 
The Stroud Area Regional Police Department Police Pension Plan shall be managed and administered by the Police Pension Board.
(1) 
The Police Pension Board shall consist of eight members. At least two active full-time police officer/employees who are participants of the plan shall serve on the Pension Board. All members of the Police Pension Board shall be appointed by the Police Commission.
[Amended 1-2-2001 by Ord. No. 1110, approved 1-2-2001]
(2) 
The Police Pension Board may appoint from its members such committees with such powers as they shall determine and may adopt such rules and regulations as may be necessary or appropriate for the conduct of the business of the Police Pension Board, subject to the approval thereof by the Commission.
B. 
A Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the plan shall be appointed by the Commission and shall have primary responsibility for the administration of the pension plan. The duties of the CAO shall be as follows:
(1) 
Supervise and direct the preparation of actuarial reports;
(2) 
Certify and file actuarial valuation reports with the Public Employee Retirement Commission;
(3) 
Make actuarial report information available to the plan members;
(4) 
Annually, determine and submit to the Commission the financial requirements of the pension plan and minimum municipal obligation; and
(5) 
Provide the Commission with a cost estimate of the effect of any proposed benefit plan modification.
A. 
All the funds of this plan shall be held by a trustee or trustees appointed by the Police Commission, in trust, under a trust agreement which shall be a part of this plan for use in providing the benefits of this plan. The trust fund to be created pursuant to this plan is designed to be and shall be the sole source of the benefits provided under the plan.
[Amended 11-6-2001 by Ord. No. 1119, approved 11-6-2001]
B. 
The Commission Treasurer shall forthwith remit to the trustees all funds received for the purposes of the plan or appropriated thereto by the Commission, with memorandum as to the source thereof, and shall secure its receipt thereof. The trustees shall receive the same and invest any funds not currently required for disbursements in the same manner and in the same kinds of securities as are authorized by law for banks chartered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
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 Chief Administrative Officer at direction of the Police Pension Board. The trustees shall annually submit to the Commission 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 the 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.
E. 
The trustees shall be bonded in such amounts as shall be determined by the Commission.
Each police officer employee who is holding a full-time position in the Police Department and who works not less than an average of 40 hours per week for a stated salary or compensation shall become a participant of the plan, with the exception of the Chief of Police.
A. 
The Stroud Area Regional Police Commission agrees to contribute to the plan fund an amount equal to the Act 205 aid received by member municipalities (and remitted to the Commission) from the moneys received from taxes paid upon premiums by foreign casualty insurance companies for purposes of pension, retirement or service-related 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 Commission for future service and disability reserve costs. It shall be the duty of the Commission to apply such payments in accordance with the provisions of this section.
B. 
Participant contributions.
(1) 
Participants shall contribute up to 5% of their monthly compensation to the plan, as required.
(2) 
If an actuarial study shows that the condition of the Police Pension Fund of the Department is such that payments into the fund by participants may be reduced below 5% or eliminated, and that if such payments are reduced or eliminated, contributions by the Commission will not be required to keep the fund actuarially sound, the Commission may, on an annual basis by resolution, reduce or eliminate payments into the fund by participants.
(3) 
The monthly compensation of a participant is the amount paid as a W-2 wage subject to state and local taxes as compensation referenced in § 40-7B.
(4) 
Any police officer who for any reason whatsoever shall be unable to receive a pension after having contributed any charge to the plan established pursuant to the provision of this chapter shall be entitled to a refund of all such moneys paid by him into such plan, with such interest at the rate of 5 1/2% per annum after discontinuance of his employment in the Department. If such discontinuance is due to death, such money shall be paid to his beneficiary or beneficiaries or, in the absence of such designation, to his personal representative. The police officer shall have no other claim to the accumulated assets of the plan.
(5) 
Any police officer who had ceased employment and participation in the plan or any other plan for which service is credited by Section 11 of this plan and had received a refund of employee contributions plus interest in accordance with Subsection B(4) may, upon return to plan membership, reinstate credit for prior service with the repayment of a sum equal to the total prior refund distribution plus interest calculated at the rate of 5.5% interest per annum from the date of the prior distribution refund to the date of repayment.
A. 
Normal retirement date. The normal retirement date for a participant shall be the first day of the month following his or her 50th birthday, provided that the participant has completed 25 years of credited service, and the participant does not continue employment with the Police Department. If a participant after normal retirement date continues employment with the Police Department, his retirement will commence upon his giving written notice of retirement to the Commission. If a participant has not completed 25 years of credited service upon attaining the age of 50, his retirement may not commence until he has completed 25 years of credited service.
B. 
Normal retirement benefit.
[Amended 11-6-2001 by Ord. No. 1119, approved 11-6-2001]
(1) 
The retirement benefit of a participant shall be equal to 1/2 of his average monthly compensation received during the last 36 months of employment, continuing for life in equal monthly payments and ceasing in the month of death. The normal retirement benefit is not offset by the commencement of benefits from the Social Security Administration at age 62 or later.
(2) 
"Compensation" means compensation reportable as state and local wages on Form W-2 and excludes payments for accrued vacation, accrued sick days, severance pay, or similar non-reoccurring compensation.
(3) 
A police officer who retires with service in excess of 25 years shall have his pension increased by $100 a month for each full year of service in excess of 25 years. The maximum service increment benefit for services over 25 years shall be $100 per month.
C. 
Early retirement benefit.
(1) 
If a member police officer with 20 or more years' service terminates employment prior to the completion of superannuation retirement age and service requirements, the police officer shall be entitled to receive an early retirement benefit under the plan as specified below by filing with the Commission a written notice of intent to receive an actuarially reduced early retirement benefit. The early retirement benefit shall become effective as of the date the application is filed or the date designated on the application, whichever is later, and shall be the actuarial equivalent of a partial superannuation retirement benefit calculated as follows:
(2) 
A partial superannuation retirement benefit shall be determined by applying the percentage that the member's years of service bears to the years of service that the member would have rendered had the member continued to be employed until this superannuation retirement date to the gross pension amount calculated in accordance with Subsection B using the monthly average compensation during the appropriate period prior to his termination of employment.
(3) 
The actuarial equivalent of the partial superannuation retirement benefit shall be determined by actuarially reducing the partial superannuation retirement benefit to reflect that it will commence on the effective date of the early retirement rather than on the date on which the member would have completed superannuation age and service requirements. The actuarial reduction shall be calculated using the actuarial assumptions reported in the last actuarial valuation report filed with the Public Employee Retirement Commission under the Act of December 18, 1984 (P.L. 1005, No. 205), known as the "Municipal Pension Plan Funding Standard and Recovery Act."[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 895.101 et seq.
D. 
Disability retirement benefit.
(1) 
If a participant shall qualify for a permanent and total service-related disability benefit under the provisions of the plan, and such service-related disability is confirmed by the Police Pension Board, such participant shall be eligible to receive a disability benefit from the plan.
(2) 
In the event of permanent service-related disability, benefits shall become payable to an injured police officer in an amount equal to 50% of the normal retirement benefit.
[Amended 1-2-2001 by Ord. No. 1110, approved 1-2-2001]
(3) 
"Total and permanent disability" means a physical or mental condition of a member resulting from bodily injury or disease or mental disorder contracted, without fault or misconduct on such officer's part, from the performance of such officer's duties in the Police Department which renders the member incapable of continuing in the employment as a police officer for the Department.
(4) 
A determination by the Commission or its designated agent that a participant is totally and permanently disabled shall be required for such member to receive a disability benefit under the plan. Before making such determination, the Commission or its designated agent shall secure the opinion of one or more practicing physicians licensed to practice medicine in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Commission shall have the right to require a physical examination and a redetermination at its opinion.
E. 
Preretirement death benefit.
(1) 
Nonservice-related death. If a participant dies prior to completing eligibility for retirement, the participant's named beneficiary shall be entitled to receive a refund of the participant's contribution with interest as specified in § 40-6B(4).
(2) 
Service-related death. When a member is killed in service, the police officer's spouse who has not remarried, or children under 18 years of age, shall be entitled to receive a pension benefit.[2] The amount of pension shall be 100% of that officer's retirement benefit, calculated as if the officer had attained the age and service requirements specified in Subsection A as of the day the officer died. The pension shall cease when the spouse subsequently dies or remarries or when the children reach the age of 18.
[2]
Editor’s Note: Killed-in-service death benefits were repealed 4-20-2010 by Ord. No. 1233.
F. 
Survivor benefits.
(1) 
Benefits shall accrue to widows, widowers and certain minor children of members who are entitled to benefits by reason of age and service or service-related disability.
(2) 
The widow or widower of a member of the police force, or a member who retired on pension having met the age and service requirement or who has retired on disability pension, or if no widow or widower survives, or if he or she survives and subsequently dies or remarries, then the child or children under the age of 18 years of such member of the police force, shall, during his or her lifetime or so long as she or he does not remarry in the case of a widow or widower, or until the age of 18 years in the case of a child or children, be entitled to receive a pension calculated at the rate of 50% of the pension the officer was receiving or would have been receiving had the member been retired at the time of death.
G. 
Accrued benefit and vested benefit.
(1) 
Accrued benefit. A member's accrued benefit as of any applicable date will be equal to the product obtained by multiplying the normal retirement benefit determined in accordance with Subsection B using average monthly compensation as of the date employment terminated by a fraction, the numerator of which is the years of service to the date employment terminated and the denominator of which is the total years of service the member would have earned if the member continued to work to the normal retirement date.
(2) 
Vested benefit. A member who terminates employment with the Department prior to the member's normal retirement date shall have a vested benefit calculated by multiplying the member's accrued benefit by the following applicable percentage:
Years of Service
Vesting Percentage
Less than 12 years
0%
12 years or more
100%
H. 
Cost-of-living adjustment.
(1) 
The Stroud Area Regional Police Commission shall have the authority, upon the recommendation of the Police Pension Board, to provide by resolution for a cost-of-living increase for those participants in the plan receiving retirement benefits and who qualify under applicable law. These cost-of-living increases may be granted, provided, however, that such cost-of-living increase shall not exceed the following:
(a) 
The percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index from the year in which the police officer last worked.
(b) 
In no case shall the total police pension benefits exceed 75% of the salary used for computing basic retirement benefits.
(c) 
The total cost-of-living increase shall not exceed 30%.
(2) 
No cost-of-living increase shall be granted which would impair the actuarial soundness of the Stroud Area Regional Police Department Police Pension Plan. Prior to making a recommendation of any cost-of-living increase, the Police Pension Board shall direct the fund actuary to submit a written cost estimate of the funding cost of such an adjustment.
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 Commission to discharge any police employee or to treat him or her without regard to the effect which such treatment might have upon him or her as a member of the plan.
Except insofar as may otherwise be required by law, no benefit 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 voided, 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. 
Intervening military service. Any member of the police force of the Stroud Area Regional Police Department who has been a regularly appointed employee of the Department for a period of six months and who thereafter shall enter into the military service of the United States shall have credited to his or her employment record for pension or disability benefits all of the time spent by him or her in such service of the United States military if such person returns or has heretofore returned to his employment within six months after his or her separation from the service.
B. 
Nonintervening military service.
(1) 
A police officer may purchase military service time to be applied to his or her pension pursuant to the terms and conditions of 53 P.S. § 770. Every member of the Police Pension Plan and of the Stroud Area Regional Police Department who has not served in such employment prior to entering the military service of the United States of America shall be entitled to full service credit for each year of military service or a fraction thereof, not to exceed five years upon purchasing of credit, for such nonintervening military service to be computed by applying the average normal cost rate for Borough and Township Police Pension Plans as certified by the Public Employee Retirement Commission, but not to exceed 10%, to the member's averaged annual rate of compensation over the first three years of municipal service and multiplying the result by the number of years and fractional part of a year of creditable nonintervening military service being purchased together with interest at the rate of 4 3/4% compounded annually from the date of initial entry into municipal service to the date of payment.
(2) 
Members of the Police Pension Plan shall be eligible to receive military service credit as provided in this section, provided that he or she is not entitled to receive, eligible to receive now or in the future or is receiving retirement benefits for such service under a retirement system administered and wholly or partially paid for by any other governmental agency, with the exception of a member eligible to receive or receiving military retirement pay earned by a combination of active duty and nonactive duty with a reserve or national guard component of the armed forces, which retirement pay is payable only upon the attainment of a specified age and period of service under 10 U.S.C. § 67 (related to retired pay for nonregular service).
Any member of the police force of the Stroud Area Regional Police Department who was a member of the Borough of Stroudsburg, the Borough of East Stroudsburg or the Township of Stroud Police Department on the day preceding his commencement of employment with the Stroud Area Regional Police Department shall have credited to his employment record for pension or disability benefits all of the time spent by him or her in the employ of the Borough of Stroudsburg, the Borough of East Stroudsburg and the Township of Stroud Police Department, provided that he/she has repaid to the plan fund any prior refund distribution with interest, as provided for in § 40-6B(5).
Notwithstanding any information that is made available by the Stroud Area Regional Police Commission, the Police Pension Board or the trustees to members of the plan through the distribution of descriptive booklets, bulletin board notices, payroll notices or oral announcement, any member of the plan may examine the plan and all amendments thereto at the main office of the Stroud Area Regional Police Department at such mutually convenient time as is arranged by the members and a representative of the Commission and/or the Board of Trustees.
A. 
Administrative expenses. The expenses of administration of the plan established by this chapter, including the compensation of the actuary and the bond for the trustees of the plan, exclusive of the payment of retirement or disability benefits, may be paid from plan assets.
B. 
Amendment of chapter. Insofar as the provisions of this chapter are the same as statutory provisions, they shall be subject to change or repeal to comply with any future statutory provisions, and the provisions of this chapter may be amended or repealed if statutory authority be granted therefor or if statutory restrictions or mandates are eliminated and discretion vested in the Commission.
C. 
Transfers of assets and liabilities of prior fund. All assets and liabilities of the active police officers in the Police Pension Funds created under the Borough of Stroudsburg, the Borough of East Stroudsburg and the Township of Stroud shall be immediately transferred to the plan established pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. The transfer of the assets of the preexisting Police Pension Plan shall be subject to all rights and benefits of the police officers who are members of and participants in said preexisting pension plans established as aforesaid.