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EDWARD ALBRIGHT v. CITY SHAMOKIN (03/21/80)

filed: March 21, 1980.

EDWARD ALBRIGHT
v.
THE CITY OF SHAMOKIN, APPELLANT



No. 69 October Term, 1979, Appeal from Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Action-Law, of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, entered December 11, 1978, at No. 785 May Term, 1975.

COUNSEL

Sanford S. Marateck, Shamokin, for appellant.

Guy W. Schlesinger, Shamokin, for appellee.

Wieand, Louik and Robinson, JJ.*fn*

Author: Wieand

[ 277 Pa. Super. Page 345]

The issue in this appeal is whether the City of Shamokin can discontinue the payment of benefits to a retired employee after the City determined that its pension ordinance failed to comply with requirements of the enabling legislation.

Edward Albright entered the employ of the City of Shamokin in April, 1963, as a laborer in the street department.

[ 277 Pa. Super. Page 346]

On December 17, 1969, the City enacted an ordinance which provided retirement benefits for certain qualifying employees. The ordinance provided that the "Normal Retirement Date shall be the first day of the month following the Member's sixty-fifth (65th) birthday and the completion of ten (10) years of Credited Service, whichever is later." The ordinance provided for a minimum retirement benefit of $50 per month. All contributions to the plan were made by the City; the employees were not required to contribute. The City, however, reserved "the right to discontinue its contributions for any reason at any time."

Albright applied for a pension on March 27, 1973. He was then 67 years of age and had completed ten years and one month of service. The pension committee approved Albright's pension and fixed his retirement benefit at $100 per month. He thereupon retired from his employment and was paid benefits for eleven months.

In April, 1974, the City enacted a new ordinance, which required employee contributions and a minimum of twelve years of service to qualify for retirement. It also provided:

"All former officers and employees of the city presently receiving compensation from a previous pension plan shall, upon the affirmative vote of seventy-five per centum (75%) of all members thereof, elect to be covered by the retirement system established by this ordinance and the acceptance of the city of this ordinance shall constitute a repeal of any existing system covering officers and employees contemplated under this ordinance. In such case, the moneys and securities existing in said pension fund shall be transferred to the fund established by this ordinance."

Pursuant thereto, the sum of $38,000 was transferred from the old plan to the new plan. Albright, however, was notified that his payments would be stopped because he had not fulfilled the minimum requirement of twelve years of service required by the new plan. The trial court found that Albright was entitled to receive ...


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