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WALLOW v. YORK RETIREMENT BOARD (11/14/55)

November 14, 1955

WALLOW
v.
YORK RETIREMENT BOARD, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 10, May T., 1956, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of York County, Oct. T., 1954, No. 127, in case of C. F. W. Wallow v. Officers and Employees Retirement Board of the City of York, Pennsylvania. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Lavere C. Senft, with him John W. Heller, III, and Herbert B. Cohen, for appellants.

Henry B. Leader, with him McLean Stock, and Stock & Leader, for appellee.

Before Stearne, Jones, Chidsey, Musmanno and Arnold, JJ.

Author: Jones

[ 383 Pa. Page 201]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE JONES

Pursuant to authority conferred by the Act of May 23, 1945, P.L. 903, 53 PS ยงยง 12198-4371, et seq., the City of York established, by ordinance of February 14, 1947, a retirement system for its officers and employees in the manner, under the conditions, and subject to the qualifications set forth in the Act. The provisions of the ordinance followed closely the specified authorizations of the Act and added several further sections.

Section 17 of the ordinance, which was one of the added sections, provided that no compensation should be paid to any person entitled to retirement under the ordinance prior to the first day of March, 1949. But the right of any person to receive compensation after that date was to become vested whenever, on or after the effective date of the ordinance (viz., March 1, 1947), such person should meet the requirements set

[ 383 Pa. Page 202]

    forth in the ordinance. The ordinance further provided that any person whose right to receive compensation should become vested between the effective date of the ordinance and the first day of March, 1949, and who should cease to be in the service of the City prior to the first day of March, 1949, either because of the voluntary or involuntary termination of his employment, should retain his right to receive after March 1, 1949, the compensation to which he had become entitled, under the provisions of the ordinance, by continuing his contributions until March 1, 1949, at the same rate as when he ceased to be in the service of the City.

At the effective date of the retirement ordinance (viz., March 1, 1947), Wallow, the plaintiff, had been employed by the City of Work as a draftsman and chief engineer for upwards of twenty years and was then past sixty years of age. He was discharged on January 5, 1948, by action of the City Council. Wallow had joined the retirement system upon the adoption of the ordinance and had continued his contributions to the retirement fund not only to the date of his discharge but thereafter until March 25, 1949, when the retirement board refused to accept further contributions from him. One of the requirements to qualify for retirement compensation, as set forth in the ordinance, is a provision that the applicant-employee be sixty years of age or older and have served as a City employee for twenty years or more. See Section 4(a) of the Act and the ordinance.

Having both the age and length of service required for retirement, Wallow made demand, subsequent to March 1, 1949, for the retirement compensation allegedly due him. His demand having been refused, he instituted the present action in mandamus ...


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