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IRENE K. TROTZ v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (07/15/85)

decided: July 15, 1985.

IRENE K. TROTZ, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, STATE EMPLOYES' RETIREMENT BOARD, RESPONDENT. IRENE K. TROTZ, PETITIONER V. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PUBLIC SCHOOL EMPLOYES' RETIREMENT BOARD, RESPONDENT



Appeals from the Order of the State Employees' Retirement Board in case of In the Matter of: Irene K. Trotz, SS No. 181-18-5645, dated April 25, 1984, and from the Order of the Public School Employes' Retirement System in case of Re: Irene K. Trotz, SS No. 181-18-5645, dated April 26, 1984.

COUNSEL

William F. Patterson, for petitioner.

Nicholas Joseph Marcucci, Assistant Counsel, for respondent.

Judges MacPhail and Colins, and Senior Judge Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 90 Pa. Commw. Page 390]

Irene K. Trotz (Petitioner) appeals here from decisions of the State Employees' Retirement Board and the Public School Employes' Retirement Board which denied her the right to purchase credit from either the State Employes' Retirement System (SERS) or the Public School Employes' Retirement System (PSERS) for employment by the University of Pittsburgh (University). Petitioner's appeals from these adjudications were consolidated for argument before this Court.

Our scope of review in the instant case is limited to a determination of whether the decisions appealed from are in accordance with the law, whether there has been a violation of Petitioner's constitutional rights, whether appropriate administrative proceedings were followed by the Commonwealth agencies and whether all findings of fact necessary to support the decisions are supported by substantial evidence. Section 704 of the Administrative Agency Law, 2 Pa. C.S. ยง 704. Whether Petitioner qualified as a State employee or a school employee for the purpose of retirement benefits is a matter of law which this Court may review. See Luckhardt v. State Employees' Retirement Board, 74 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 393, 459 A.2d 1347 (1983).

Petitioner was employed by the Commonwealth in 1978, at which time she was a member of the SERS. She sought to purchase retirement credits*fn1 for her previons employment by the University from 1945 to 1950 and from 1956 through 1961.

[ 90 Pa. Commw. Page 391]

At issue before the State Employees' Retirement Board was whether Petitioner's employment by the University was either State service*fn2 or creditable non-state service.*fn3 Petitioner here argues only that said employment was State service.

Section 5102 of the State Employees' Retirement Code (SER Code), provides in pertinent part that a "State employee" is

[a]ny person holding a State office or position under the Commonwealth, employed by the State Government of the Commonwealth, in any capacity whatsoever, except an independent contractor or any person compensated on a fee basis, and shall include members of the General Assembly, and any officer or employee of the following:

(1) the Department of Education, State-owned educational institutions, community colleges, and The Pennsylvania State University, except an employee ...


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