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JOAN COOK v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (04/10/86)

decided: April 10, 1986.

JOAN COOK, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PUBLIC SCHOOL EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT BOARD, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Public School Employees' Retirement Board in the case of In Re: Claim of Joan Cook, S.S. No. 566-34-4472.

COUNSEL

Lynne L. Wilson, for petitioner.

Nicholas Joseph Marcucci, Assistant Counsel, for respondent.

Judge Craig, and Senior Judges Blatt and Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.

Author: Craig

[ 96 Pa. Commw. Page 329]

Joan Cook, a member of the Public School Employees' Retirement System (PSERS), appeals a decision of the Public School Employees' Retirement Board, which denied her request to purchase service credit for out-of-state teaching service under the Public School Employees' Retirement Code, 24 Pa. C.S. § 8304(a).

Ms. Cook worked as a full-time teacher in the California Public School System at various times between September, 1952 and June, 1970. During that time, she accumulated 8.055 years of credited service in the California State Teachers' Retirement System, which then vested. In August, 1970, Ms. Cook withdrew her contributions from the California system and terminated her membership.

In September, 1977, Ms. Cook became employed as a full-time teacher in the State College Area School District and is presently employed there. In 1977, she became an active member of the PSERS, and had earned seven years of credited school service in the PSERS as of June, 1984. In 1984, she applied to purchase retirement credit for the 8.055 years of teaching service which she accumulated while teaching in the California system. By letter dated February 16, 1984, the Purchase of Service section of the PSERS denied Ms. Cook's request. She then requested an administrative hearing.

Before the hearing examiner, the parties agreed to stipulate the facts. Relying upon Barcus v. Commonwealth, 76 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 62, 463 A.2d 490 (1983), the hearing examiner concluded that Ms. Cook

[ 96 Pa. Commw. Page 330]

    was statutorily entitled to purchase retirement credit, and recommended to the Public School Employees' Retirement Board that her request be granted. However, the board denied the request. Ms. Cook now appeals to this court.

The Public School Employees' Retirement Code, 24 Pa. C.S. § 8304(a) states:

An active member . . . shall be eligible to receive Class T-C service credit for [service in any public school in any state other than this Commonwealth] provided he is not entitled to receive, eligible to receive now or in the future, or is receiving retirement benefits for such service under a retirement system ...


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