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BUYNAK v. WILKES-BARRE POLICE PENSION FUND ASSOCIATION (07/17/61)

July 17, 1961

BUYNAK
v.
WILKES-BARRE POLICE PENSION FUND ASSOCIATION, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 189, Jan. T., 1961, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County, Oct. T., 1960, No. 15, in equity, in case of Stephen M. Buynak v. Wilkes-Barre Police Pension Fund Association of the City of Wilkes-Barre. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Theodore A. Evans, with him George I. Puhak, for appellant.

Edward D. Morgan, for appellee.

Before Jones, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Bok and Eagen, JJ.

Author: Jones

[ 404 Pa. Page 492]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BENJAMIN R. JONES.

Stephen M. Buynak [Buynak] was a member of the Police Department of the City of Wilkes-Barre from August 14, 1923 until August 24, 1959 - thirty-six years - on which latter date he retired. Buynak, a contributor to and a member in good standing of the Wilkes-Barre Police Pension Fund Association [Fund]*fn1 was entitled to and is presently receiving a monthly pension of $166.97, equal to one-half his police salary.

On January 18, 1952, the legislature amended the Police Pension Act of 1931, supra. The Act of January 18, 1952 (1951), P.L. 2105, § 1(b), 53 PS § 39303, provides, inter alia: "(b) In addition to the retirement allowance which is authorized to be paid from the police pension fund by this act, and notwithstanding the limitations therein placed upon such retirement allowances and upon contributions, every contributor who shall become entitled to the retirement allowance shall also be entitled to the payment of a 'service increment' in accordance with and subject to the conditions hereinafter set forth." In sub-paragraph 1, this increment is

[ 404 Pa. Page 493]

    declared to be equal to 1/40th of the retirement allowance for each year after the contributor has served the minimum number of years required by ordinance. In computing the increment, no employment is to be considered after the contributor has reached the age of sixty-five years and the increment shall in no case exceed $100 per month. Under sub-paragraph 2, each contributor is required, after the effective date of the amendment, to pay into the retirement fund a monthly sum in addition to his retirement contribution which shall be equal to 1/2 of 1% of his salary, provided that such payment shall not exceed the sum of $1.

Subsequent to the passage of the amendment, the City of Wilkes-Barre took no action thereunder until March 15, 1960 when it passed an ordinance effectuating the provisions of this amendment, which ordinance by its provisions became effective March 15, 1960 except in respect to contributions of members toward service increments which became effective retroactively to January 18, 1952. Under this ordinance every "contributor" to the Fund is eligible for the "service increment" (Section 10.2); each contributor from and after January 18, 1952, shall pay in addition to his pension contribution, a sum equal to 1/2 of 1% of his salary not exceeding $1 per month toward the "service increment" (Section 10.4); Section 10.7 provides: "all officers and employees of the Bureau of Police who are now contributors to the Pension Fund and all those so employed by the City of Wilkes-Barre after the effective date of this amendment if required to become contributors to the Pension Fund, shall be subject to the provisions of this amendment."

Buynak having retired approximately six months prior to the passage of this ordinance but, willing to pay such additional sum or sums as contribution to the "service increment" as may be ...


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