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G.C. MURPHY COMPANY v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (05/16/74)

decided: May 16, 1974.

G.C. MURPHY COMPANY, APPELLANT,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of Paul E. Veon, No. B-118270.

COUNSEL

Emil E. Nurick, with him Anderson, Moreland & Bush, for appellant.

Sydney Reuben, Assistant Attorney General, with him Israel Packel, Attorney General, for appellee.

Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.

Author: Blatt

[ 13 Pa. Commw. Page 538]

Paul E. Veon (claimant) was employed by the G. C. Murphy Company (Murphy) for 21 years, most recently as a merchandise and sales manager at its Irwin, Pennsylvania, store. In December of 1972 he was advised by his physician to discontinue his work with Murphy for physical and mental reasons. He then, at 62 years of age, submitted application for a disability retirement pension pursuant to Murphy's Employees' Retirement Plan, a program wholly funded by Murphy.

[ 13 Pa. Commw. Page 539]

His application was approved and became effective January 1, 1973, and the claimant has since been receiving a pension thereunder in the amount of $214.51 per month.

Although the claimant was unable to continue with his previous work, his physician did certify that he was able and available for suitable employment in other types of work. Murphy agrees, however, that it has no suitable employment available for which the claimant was certified as being able to perform. The claimant, therefore, applied for unemployment compensation benefits, which were granted by the Bureau of Employment Security (Bureau). A referee affirmed the grant but determined that the claimant's pension was deductible from compensation payments pursuant to Section 404(d) of the Unemployment Compensation Law, Act of Dec. 5, 1936, Second Ex. Sess., P.L. (1937) 2897, as amended, 43 P.S. § 804(d). On appeal, the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board), ruled that the pension was not deductible under Section 404(d) and, therefore, awarded the claimant full benefits. Murphy has appealed to this Court.

The sole issue before us is whether or not a pension such as that received by this claimant constitutes a "retirement pension" so as to be deductible from unemployment compensation benefits.*fn1 Section 404(d) of the Unemployment Compensation Law is the applicable legislation, and it provides, inter alia :

"Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section each eligible employe who is unemployed with respect to any week ending subsequent to the first day of October, one thousand nine hundred seventy-one, shall be paid with respect to such week, compensation in an amount equal to his weekly benefit rate less the

[ 13 Pa. Commw. Page 540]

    total of . . . (iii) that part of a retirement pension or annuity, if any, received by him under a private pension plan to which a base-year employer of such employe has contributed which is in ...


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