No. 604 January Term, 1977, Appeal from Order of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania entered July 19, 1977 at No. 1741, C.D. 1975.
Gerald Gornish, Acting Atty. Gen., Joseph Kenneth Hegedus, Deputy Atty. Gen., Norman J. Watkins, Deputy Atty. Gen., Chief, Civil Litigation, Harrisburg, for appellants.
Richard B. Sigmond, Philadelphia, for appellees.
Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix, Manderino and Larsen, JJ. Pomeroy, former J., did not participate in the decision of this case. Nix, J., filed a concurring and dissenting opinion. Larsen, J., dissents and believes the suit should be dismissed, as there are no issues which are presently existing which can be decided by the Court.
"Credited service" is one of two variables in the basic formula for calculating retirement benefits under the State Employes' Retirement Code of 1959.*fn1 Under the Code of 1959, as amended, "credited service" also determines employees' eligibility for benefits.*fn2
Section 204(1) of the Code of 1959, which sets forth the method for computing "credited service," provides:
"In computing the length of service of a contributor for retirement purposes, a year of service shall mean a period of twelve (12) months during which a contributor is a State employe and for which he receives an annual salary or other compensation. The time during which a State employe is on furlough or on leave of absence without pay shall not be counted in computing the credited service or the final average salary of the contributor . . . ."
Until 1969, appellant State Employes' Retirement Board computed salaried part-time employees' "credited service" at a rate of one full year for every twelve months a salaried part-time employee received a salary. Beginning in 1969, the Board gave such employees less than a full year of credit for each twelve months a salary was received. The portion of credit granted reflected the percentage of a full-time schedule a salaried part-time employee worked.*fn3
Appellees instituted a class action in the Commonwealth Court on behalf of all part-time employees of the Commonwealth who are paid an annual salary.*fn4 Appellees sought a writ of mandamus directing the Board and other appellants to compute salaried part-time employees' "credited service" as it was computed until 1969. On appellees' motion for partial judgment on the pleadings, a unanimous Commonwealth Court ...