Posts tagged "Retirement"

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NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , , ,

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

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Garney v. Massachusetts Teachers’ Retirement System (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-143-14)

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   SJC-11493 RONALD T. GARNEY  vs.  MASSACHUSETTS TEACHERS’ RETIREMENT SYSTEM. Worcester.     April 10, 2014. – August 18, 2014.   Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.[1] Retirement.  Public Employment, Forfeiture of retirement benefits.  School and School Committee, Retirement benefits.     Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on January 14, 2010.   The case was heard by John S. McCann, J., on motions for judgment on the pleadings.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.   Robert G. Fabino (James H. Salvie, Special Assistant Attorney General, with him) for the defendant. Michael C. Donahue for the plaintiff.     CORDY, J.  This case concerns the scope of the pension forfeiture requirement of G. L. c. 32, § 15 (4), and specifically whether forfeiture is warranted where a teacher has engaged in criminal activity that endangers children generally, but does not involve the students whom he taught, the school district for which he worked, or the use of his status as a teacher.  The plaintiff, Ronald T. Garney, a ninth grade science teacher, was arrested in 2006 for the purchase and possession of child pornography.  Shortly after his arrest, he received notice that he would be dismissed from his position for conduct unbecoming a teacher and resigned prior to his dismissal.  He subsequently pleaded guilty to purchasing and possessing child pornography.  In August, 2007, when he reached retirement age, Garney filed a retirement application with the defendant, the Massachusetts Teachers’ Retirement System (MTRS), and received retirement benefits until 2009, when the MTRS board (board) issued a decision concluding that Garney’s benefits were forfeited by operation of G. L. c. 32, § 15 (4), due to his convictions.[2]  A District Court judge affirmed the board’s decision, and Garney petitioned for certiorari review in the Superior Court pursuant to G. L. c. 249, § 4.  A Superior Court judge reversed the decision of the District Court and vacated the decision of the board.  MTRS appealed, and we transferred its appeal to this court on our own motion. Although cognizant of the severity of the offenses of which Garney was convicted, we conclude that on the specific facts of this case, those offenses neither directly involved his position as a teacher nor contravened a particular law applicable to that position, and therefore did not come within the forfeiture provision of […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 18, 2014 at 4:43 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Retirement Board of Somerville v. Buonomo, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-062-14)

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     SJC‑11413   RETIREMENT BOARD OF SOMERVILLE  vs.  JOHN BUONOMO & others.[1]   Middlesex.     January 9, 2014.  ‑  April 2, 2014. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.     Retirement.  Public Employment, Forfeiture of retirement benefits.  Register of Probate.  Practice, Civil, Action in nature of certiorari.     Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on July 20, 2010.   Motions for judgment on the pleadings were heard by Thomas R. Murtagh, J.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.   Matthew J. Buckley for the plaintiff. Nicholas Poser for the defendant.       SPINA, J.  In 2009, John Buonomo was convicted of eighteen counts of breaking into a depository, G. L. c. 266, § 16, eight counts of larceny under $ 250, G. L. c. 266, § 30 (1), and eight counts of embezzlement by a public officer, G. L. c. 266, § 51.  He committed these offenses during the time that he held office as register of probate of Middlesex County.  At issue is whether, pursuant to G. L. c. 32, § 15, and as a consequence of his convictions, Buonomo forfeited the retirement allowance that he previously had earned as a member of the board of aldermen for the city of Somerville.  Based on the language and intent of G. L. c. 32, § 15 (4), inserted by St. 1987, c. 697, § 47, we conclude that even though Buonomo’s convictions involved violations of the laws applicable to his office or position as register of probate, he nonetheless forfeited his entitlement to a retirement allowance from the retirement board of Somerville (board) related to his prior service as a member of the board of aldermen.  There is no requirement in § 15 (4) that the public office to which a member’s criminal convictions relate be the same as the public office from which that member is receiving a retirement allowance.  Accordingly, we reverse the decision of the Superior Court that reached a contrary conclusion. 1.  Statutory framework.  The provisions of G. L. c. 32, § 15, pertain to dereliction of duty by a member of a contributory retirement system for public employees.  See State Bd. of Retirement v. Bulger, 446 Mass. 169, 170 (2006).  General Laws c. 32, § 15 (4), provides: “In no event shall any member after final conviction of a criminal offense involving violation of the laws applicable to his office […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 2, 2014 at 3:38 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , ,

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

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Herrick v. Essex Regional Retirement Board, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-132-13)

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‑11239   ROBERT D. HERRICK  vs.  ESSEX REGIONAL RETIREMENT BOARD & another.[1]       Essex.     March 5, 2013.  ‑  July 15, 2013. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.       Public Employment, Retirement benefits, Forfeiture of pension.  Judgment, Interest.  Practice, Civil, Interest.  Municipal Corporations, Pensions.  County, Retirement board.  Contract, Damages.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on March 24, 2005.   Following review by the Appeals Court, 77 Mass. App. Ct. 645 (2010), a motion for assessment of damages was heard by Howard J. Whitehead, J., and corrected judgment was entered by him.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Michael Sacco for Essex Regional Retirement Board. H. Ernest Stone for the plaintiff.       GANTS, J.  The questions on appeal are whether plaintiff Robert Herrick, a member of a public employee contributory retirement system governed by G. L. c. 32, §§ 1-28, inclusive, is entitled to prejudgment interest on a retroactive award of superannuation retirement benefits and, if so, at what rate of interest.  We hold that the plaintiff is not entitled to interest at a rate of twelve per cent per annum pursuant to G. L. c. 231, § 6C, because his suit was not an action “based on contractual obligations.”  We further hold that the plaintiff is not entitled to twelve per cent annual interest pursuant to G. L. c. 231, § 6H, because interest in this case is “otherwise provided by law” under G. L. c. 32, § 20 (5) (c) (2).  We interpret § 20 (5) (c) (2) to provide that, where, as here, a retirement board makes a legal error in denying retirement benefits that is corrected by a court, the plaintiff is entitled to a rate of interest determined by the board’s actuary “so that the actuarial equivalent of the pension or benefit to which the member or beneficiary was correctly entitled shall be paid.”     Background.  The plaintiff worked for twenty-seven years as a custodian and maintenance mechanic for the Wenham Housing Authority and was a member of the Essex Regional Retirement System.[2]  On May 1, 2003, he was charged with sexually assaulting his daughter and, that same day, resigned his position.  On May 6, he submitted an application for voluntary superannuation retirement pursuant to G. L. c. 32, § 5 (1) (a).  On […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 15, 2013 at 6:32 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , , ,

WATCH: Mayor Menino Announces His Retirement

After 20 years of serving as mayor of Boston, Mayor Thomas M. Menino officially announced on Thursday he would not seek re-election. Menino, who after two decades is the city’s longest-serving mayor, announced his decision in front of a large crowd of family, friends and supporters at Faneuil Hall’s Great Hall.  “I am here with the people I love, to tell the city I love, that I will leave the job that I love,” Menino said. “I can run, I can win, and I can lead, but not ‘in-the-neighborhoods-all-the-time,’ as I like,” he said.  SOUTH END PATCH: Facebook | Twitter | E-mail Updates South End Patch

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 28, 2013 at 11:35 pm

Categories: Arrests   Tags: , , , ,

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