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BAKER v. RETIREMENT BOARD ALLEGHENY COUNTY (06/01/53)

June 1, 1953

BAKER
v.
RETIREMENT BOARD OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY, APPELLANT



Appeal, No. 80, March T., 1953, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Jan. T. 1953, No. 1588, in case of Walter Baker v. Retirement Board of Allegheny County. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

John P. Hester, for appellant.

John A. Metz, Jr., with him John A. Metz, for appellee.

Before Stern, C.j., Stearne, Jones, Chidsey, Musmanno and Arnold, JJ.

Author: Musmanno

[ 374 Pa. Page 166]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE MUSMANNO

On September 24, 1928, Walter Baker, having terminated 20 years service as a policeman of the City of Pittsburgh, applied to the Police Pension Fund Association of the City of Pittsburgh for the pension due him. The pension was awarded and became effective as of January 1, 1929.

[ 374 Pa. Page 167]

On October 1, 1928, Baker became an employe of the County of Allegheny in the capacity of a court officer. As a county employe he made regular payments into the County Retirement Fund from October, 1928 until June 30, 1952, when he retired. He now applied to the Allegheny County Retirement Board for county retirement allowance, but his request was denied on the basis that the Amendment to the Retirement Act, approved by the Governor March 31, 1937, P.L. 191, ยง 12 (16 P.S. 326) prohibited such allowance. That amendment provides: "... Hereafter no person who, at the time of his employment as a county employe, is receiving or is eligible to receive retirement allowance from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, or any other political subdivision thereof, shall be eligible to receive a retirement allowance from the county retirement system."

An amicable action in Mandamus was instituted, the matter was argued before a court en banc in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, and an appeal was taken to this Court from the decision of the lower court which ordered the Retirement Board to make monthly payments to Baker in accordance with the original Retirement Act.

The only question before us, therefore, is whether the 1937 Amendment, enacted almost nine years after Baker became a county employe and had begun his payments into the retirement fund, was retroactive to October 1, 1928, thus barring his right to county retirement allowance.

The language of the amendatory act is prospective in that it provides that " Hereafter no person who, at the time of his employment as a county employe, is receiving or is eligible to receive retirement allowance from... any other ...


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