Posts tagged "Contributory"

Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission v. Contributory Retirement Appeal Board, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-027-18)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-12331   PUBLIC EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT ADMINISTRATION COMMISSION  vs.  CONTRIBUTORY RETIREMENT APPEAL BOARD & others.[1]       Suffolk.     November 6, 2017. – February 13, 2018.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Gaziano, Lowy, Budd, & Cypher, JJ.     Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission.  Contributory Retirement Appeal Board.  Retirement.  Public Employment, Retirement, Sick leave benefits, Vacation pay, Worker’s compensation.  Words, “Regular compensation.”       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on May 14, 2015.   The case was heard by Peter M. Lauriat, J., on motions for judgment on the pleadings.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Judith A. Corrigan, Special Assistant Attorney General, for the plaintiff. Michael Sacco for retirement board of Swampscott.          CYPHER, J.  The plaintiff, the Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC), appeals from a Superior Court judge’s decision affirming a determination by the Contributory Retirement Appeal Board (CRAB) that sick or vacation payments, when used to supplement workers’ compensation payments, are not “regular compensation” as defined in G. L. c. 32, § 1.  PERAC argues that CRAB’s decision is incorrect as a matter of law.  We disagree, and for the following reasons we affirm the decision of the Superior Court judge. Background.  The relevant facts are not in dispute.  From September 30, 1985, to July 7, 2012, Robert Vernava worked for the town of Swampscott’s department of public works.  On June 13, 2010, Vernava sustained injuries while performing job-related duties.  He began receiving workers’ compensation benefits the same day.  In addition to the workers’ compensation benefits, under G. L. c. 152, § 69, Vernava also received two hours per week of sick or vacation pay (supplemental pay) in order to maintain his union membership and life insurance.[2] Pursuant to G. L. c. 32, § 7, on February 1, 2012, the town of Swampscott filed an application seeking to retire Vernava involuntarily for accidental disability.  On June 28, 2012, the retirement board of Swampscott (board) approved the application and voted to involuntarily retire Vernava due to accidental disability.  Vernava received his workers’ compensation benefits and supplemental pay until July 7, 2012. Under G. L. c. 32, § 7 (2), the effective date of an employee’s accidental disability retirement is the latest of the following:  (1) “the date the injury was sustained;” (2) “the date […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 13, 2018 at 9:00 pm

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Worcester Regional Retirement Board v. Contributory Retirement Appeal Board, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-147-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   17-P-66                                         Appeals Court   WORCESTER REGIONAL RETIREMENT BOARD  vs.  CONTRIBUTORY RETIREMENT APPEAL BOARD & others.[1]     No. 17-P-66.   Worcester.     October 11, 2017. – November 29, 2017.   Present:  Milkey, Massing, & Ditkoff, JJ.     Contributory Retirement Appeal Board.  County, Retirement board. Municipal Corporations, Retirement board, Pensions.  Public Employment, Retirement, Retirement benefits.  Retirement.  Pension.     Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on September 15, 2015.   The case was heard by Shannon Frison, J., on motions for judgment on the pleadings.     Michael Sacco for the plaintiff. Thomas F. Gibson for Middlesex County Retirement Board.     MASSING, J.  The Worcester Regional Retirement Board (WRRB) appeals from a judgment of the Superior Court, which affirmed a decision of the Contributory Retirement Appeal Board (CRAB) requiring the WRRB to permit a former member to purchase nine additional months of creditable service.[2]  At issue is whether the WRRB is responsible for not having enrolled the employee, Brian Pierce, as of the day he became eligible for membership, or whether Pierce had an affirmative obligation to ensure that he had been enrolled as of his start date.  CRAB determined that the responsibility lay with the WRRB, not the employee; that the retirement system records should be corrected to reflect Pierce’s nine months of uncredited membership; and that Pierce should be permitted to buy back the time of which he had erroneously been deprived.  Discerning no legal error or abuse of discretion on CRAB’s part, we affirm. Background.  Pierce began permanent, full-time employment as a third-class lineman for the Princeton Municipal Light Department, which is a member unit of the Worcester Regional Retirement System (WRRS), on December 6, 1982.  On October 24, 1983, Pierce completed a new entrant enrollment form “[i]n order that [he] may be properly enrolled” in the WRRS.[3]  The WRRB stamped the form as received on November 18, 1983.  The form correctly indicated that Pierce’s full-time permanent employment had begun on December 6, 1982.  The WRRB enrolled Pierce as a member as of September 1, 1983, crediting him with service prior to its receipt of his enrollment form, but not for the first nine months of his employment starting on December 6, 1982. Pierce’s service with the town of Princeton ended on May 1, 1986, when he took a similar position with the Middleborough Light Department. […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - November 29, 2017 at 4:44 pm

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Retirement Board of Stoneham v. Contributory Retirement Appeal Board, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-189-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-12098   Retirement Board OF STONEHAM  vs.  Contributory Retirement Appeal Board & another.[1]       Middlesex.     October 5, 2016. – December 22, 2016.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Botsford, Lenk, Hines, Gaziano, Lowy, & Budd, JJ.     Retirement.  Municipal Corporations, Retirement board.  Public Employment, Retirement.  Contributory Retirement Appeal Board.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on February 6, 2014.   The case was heard by Robert L. Ullmann, J., on motions for judgment on the pleadings.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Douglas S. Martland, Assistant Attorney General, for Contributory Retirement Appeal Board. Thomas F. Gibson for Christine DeFelice. Michael Sacco for the plaintiff.     LOWY, J.  This case requires us to answer two questions:  (1) whether a municipal retirement board possesses absolute discretion to terminate a part-time employee’s membership in a retirement system to which that board has granted the employee membership; and (2) even if such a board does not have the power to terminate a part-time employee’s membership, whether a “separation from [an employee’s] service” under G. L. c. 32, § 3 (1) (a) (i), occurs when a part-time employee working two jobs for the same municipal employer ceases to work only one of those jobs.  We answer both questions in the negative and reverse the judgment of the Superior Court. Background.  Christine DeFelice began working on a part-time basis for the Stoneham school department (department) in November, 2000.  In April, 2001, she took on a second part-time job with the department to fill a temporary vacancy, increasing her weekly workload from nineteen and one-half hours per week to over thirty hours per week for the ensuing nine weeks.  At the end of the nine-week period, DeFelice continued to work for the department on a part-time basis until at least June, 2009, only occasionally working more than nineteen and one-half hours per week.[2] In 2009, DeFelice sought retroactive membership in the Stoneham retirement system as an employee of the department, based on the nine-week period in 2001 during which she worked over thirty hours per week.  Under the membership eligibility criteria for part-time employees established by the Stoneham retirement board (board) that were in effect during 2001, Stoneham employees were eligible for membership in the retirement system if they were […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - December 23, 2016 at 12:28 am

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Ouellette v. Contributory Retirement Appeal Board, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-125-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   13-P-291                                        Appeals Court   JACQUELINE OUELLETTE  vs.  CONTRIBUTORY RETIREMENT APPEAL BOARD & others.[1] No. 13-P-291. Suffolk.     December 9, 2013. – September 30, 2014.   Present:  Grainger, Brown, & Carhart, JJ. Public Employment, Accidental disability retirement, Retirement, Retirement benefits.  Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission.  Contributory Retirement Appeal Board.  Retirement.  Administrative Law, Agency’s interpretation of statute.  Words, “Member in service.”       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on December 3, 2009.   The case was heard by Bonnie H. MacLeod, J., on a motion for judgment on the pleadings.     John M. Becker for the plaintiff. Kirk G. Hanson, Assistant Attorney General, for Contributory Retirement Appeal Board & another.      BROWN, J.  At issue in this appeal is whether the Contributory Retirement Appeal Board (CRAB) properly concluded that the accidental disability retirement allowance of Jacqueline Ouellette was subject to the statutory cap set forth in G. L. c. 32, § 7(2)(a)(ii). Background.  Ouellette worked for the city of Haverhill as a police officer from January, 1981, until December 5, 2003.  On March 3, 2004, the Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC) approved Ouellette’s application, submitted through the Haverhill retirement board (board), for a voluntary superannuation (regular) retirement, effective December 31, 2003.  See G. L. c. 32, § 5. On August 14, 2005, the plaintiff applied for an accidental disability retirement allowance, claiming posttraumatic stress disorder stemming from two incidents that occurred in November, 2003.  After two medical panel reviews, PERAC unanimously certified that Ouellette satisfied all the statutory criteria for accidental disability retirement.[2]  See G. L. c. 32, § 7(1). On February 27, 2008, upon granting Ouellette’s request  for accidental disability retirement, effective February 14, 2005, PERAC imposed, pursuant to G. L. c. 32, § 7(2)(a)(ii), a seventy-five percent cap on her disability retirement allowance.  General Laws c. 32, § 7(2)(a)(ii), as appearing in St. 1987,    c. 697, § 33, provides in pertinent part that “for any employee who was not a member in service on or before January [1, 1988,] or who has not been continuously a member in service since that date, the total yearly amount . . . as determined in accordance with the provisions of clause (i) shall not exceed seventy-five percent of the annual rate of regular compensation as determined in this paragraph . . . . “  PERAC reasoned that the plaintiff was not a member in service continuously until […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - September 30, 2014 at 10:13 pm

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Hull Retirement Board v. Contributory Retirement Appeal Board, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-116-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   13-P-1825                                       Appeals Court   HULL RETIREMENT BOARD  vs.  CONTRIBUTORY RETIREMENT APPEAL BOARD & others.[1] No. 13-P-1825.     September 16, 2014.     Contributory Retirement Appeal Board.  Municipal Corporations, Retirement board, Police.  Police, Retirement.  Public Employment, Paid leave, Accidental disability retirement, Retirement.  Retirement.     The Hull retirement board (board) appeals from a Superior Court judgment affirming a decision of the contributory retirement appeal board (CRAB) upholding a division of administrative law appeals (DALA) magistrate’s determination requiring the board to amend the effective retirement date of defendant David Leary.  We affirm.   1.  Background.  Leary was a police officer in the town of Hull (town).  On November 19, 2001, he sustained an injury on the job and was placed on accidental injury leave with full pay.  See G. L. c. 41, § 111F, as amended through St. 1990, c. 313.  Leary remained on § 111F leave until April 15, 2003, when the chief of police (chief) removed him from paid injury leave status and placed him on an unpaid leave of absence.  Leary believed the chief’s action did not comply with the law, and sought to have the town reinstate his § 111F benefits.  In the meantime, in July, 2003, Leary applied for accidental disability retirement under G. L. c. 32, § 7.  The board approved Leary’s application on January 30, 2004.  His disability retirement allowance became effective as of April 15, 2003, the last day that Leary received compensation in the form of his § 111F benefits.   Notwithstanding his application for retirement and the subsequent approval of that application, Leary continued to seek payment of § 111F benefits from the town, specifically for the period between April 15, 2003, and January 30, 2004.  An agreement for payment initially was reached but unraveled when, on the advice of defendant public employee retirement administration commission (PERAC), the board refused to change Leary’s effective retirement date from April 15, 2003, to January 30, 2004.  In 2006, Leary filed suit, seeking enforcement of his agreement with the town.   In March, 2008, Leary and the town entered into a settlement agreement, later reduced to a judgment, whereby the town would pay Leary $ 44,424.47 in additional § 111F benefits to cover the period from April 15, 2003, to January 30, 2004.  Pursuant to the agreement, the funds were placed in an escrow account, with release to Leary “pending the outcome of Leary’s efforts to get the […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - September 16, 2014 at 6:22 pm

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Massachusetts Teachers’ Retirement System v. Contributory Retirement Appeal Board, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-162-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750;  (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us     SJC‑11287   MASSACHUSETTS TEACHERS’ RETIREMENT SYSTEM  vs.  CONTRIBUTORY RETIREMENT APPEAL BOARD & another.[1]     Suffolk.     May 6, 2013.  ‑  August 28, 2013. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.     Contributory Retirement Appeal Board.  Retirement.  Public Employment, Retirement.  School and School Committee, Retirement benefits.  Interest.  Administrative Law, Regulations, Agency’s interpretation of regulation, Agency’s interpretation of statute.  Regulation.  Statute, Construction.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on August 20, 2010.   The case was heard by Janet L. Sanders, J., on a motion for judgment on the pleadings.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     James C. O’Leary (James H. Salvie, Special Assistant Attorney General, with him) for the plaintiff. Kirk G. Hanson, Assistant Attorney General, for Contributory Retirement Appeals Board. Timothy J. Smyth, for Boston Retirement Board, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.     DUFFLY, J.  We are called upon to settle a dispute between two administrative agencies, the Massachusetts Teachers’ Retirement System (MTRS) and the Contributory Retirement Appeal Board (CRAB), concerning the validity of a regulation promulgated by MTRS. James T. Walsh had been a professional electrician for many years when, in 1980, he was certified by the Department of Education to teach in his occupational field.  In October, 1987, he began full-time employment at a vocational school and became a member of MTRS.  In December, 2005, before the effective date of his retirement the following June, Walsh applied to MTRS to increase his anticipated retirement allowance by adding to his “creditable service” (his years of service as a member of MTRS) through the “buyback” of three years of creditable service, based on his work experience as an electrician.  Walsh sought credit for service performed from February 1, 1977, through January 31, 1980.  This buyback required Walsh to pay certain “makeup payments” into the annuity savings fund of MTRS, in accordance with a formula set forth in G. L. c. 32, § 4 (1) (h1/2) (trade service credit statute).  That statutory formula calls for “buyback interest” to be paid on such makeup payments.  Pursuant to 807 Code Mass. Regs. § 14.05 (2005), a regulation promulgated by MTRS, MTRS assessed buyback interest to commence as of February 1, 1977, the beginning of the three-year period for which Walsh sought trade service credit. […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 29, 2013 at 1:09 am

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