SENATE DOCKET, NO. 2093 FILED ON: 3/30/2009
SENATE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . No. 2044
[LOCAL APPROVAL RECEIVED.]
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Brian A. Joyce
To the Honorable Senate
and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the passage of the accompanying bill:
An Act providing for the payment of certain accident al disability retirement and medical benefits to Antonio Pickens.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
In the Year Two Thousand and Nine
An Act providing for the payment of certain accidental disability retirement and medical benefits to Antonio Pickens.
deferred operation for this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is forthwith to make for the payment of certain retirement and medical benefits to Antonio Pickens, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate
preservation of the public convenience., therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and
by the authority of the same, as follows:
SECTION 1. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary and in order to promote the public good, the Retirement Board of the Town of Milton, shall retire Antonio Pickens, a firefi ghter employed by the Town of Milton who, while responding to a minor motor vehicle accident sustained injuries likely to result in his death. The annual amount of pension payable to Antonio Pickens under this act shall be fixed in an amount equal to the regular rate of compensation which would have been paid had he continued in service as a firefighter in said town at the grade held by him at the time of his retirement, but (a) after he has attained the maximum age for this group, shall be reduced to the appropriate rate for an accidental disability retirement, treating his retirement years as creditable service for determining the amount of his benefits and (b) the retirement allowances payable to him after he has attained the maximum age for his group sh all be increased in the manner provided to all retirees of the town pursuant to any provision of chapter 32 of the General Laws.
SECTION 2 . Before taking action under authority of this act, the Retirement Board of the Town of Milton shall request the sta te Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission
(PERAC) to appoint a medical panel composed of three physicians who shall examine Firefighter Pickens or, if a majority of said Retirement Board shall agree, forego such examination and review the exi sting medical records and other relevant information concerning Firefighter Pickens. The Retirement Board of the Town of Milton shall approve a pension for Antonio Pickens upon receipt of a report from such medical panel which concludes that Firefighter Pi ckens is physically incapacitated for further duty as a firefighter, that such incapacity is likely to be permanent and that such injuries are likely to result in his premature death. Such retirement shall become effective as of the date following the last day on which he is entitled to receive regular compensation. Upon the retirement of Antonio Pickens, the Retirement Board of the Town of Milton shall forthwith pay to him all amounts standing to his credit in the annuity savings fund of the retirement sys tem of said town. Upon the approval of the pension provided for herein and notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, including, but not limited to, section 8 of chapter 32 of the General Laws, Antonio Pickens shall not b e subject to examination or to re-examination by a medical panel or other physician to determine his eligibility or continued eligibility for accidental disability retirement benefits as provided in this section or in said chapter 32.
SECTION 3 . Upon the d eath of Antonio Pickens prior to the maximum age for retirement for his group, if his wife at the time of the incident survives him, and as long as she remains unmarried, the Town of Milton shall pay to his wife an annual annuity equal to the sum of three- fourths of the amount of the pension payable to him at the time of his death, and $687.96 annually adjusted for a cost-of living adjustment for each child of Antonio Pickens for such time as such child is either under 18 years of age or totally physically or mentally incapacitated from working, or over 18 years of age, but under age 22, if a full time student. Upon the death of Antonio Pickens after the maximum age for retirement for his group, if his wife at the time of the incident survives him, she shall be entitled to the same benefits as other surviving spouses under chapter 32, as shall their children. In the event of the death of Antonio Pickens, and if his wife at the time of his death does not survive him, such allowance shall be paid to the legal g uardian for the benefit of any surviving unmarried children, as defined above.
SECTION 4 . Antonio Pickens shall be eligible for health insurance through the Town of Milton on the same basis as all other retirees and shall be responsible for the retirees’ s hare of all premiums. Following his retirement, the Town of Milton shall pay for necessary and reasonable medical expenses for him due to injuries for which he was retired. (i) Medical care shall first be provided through the health insurance provided to r etired Town of Milton employees pursuant to chapters 32B and 150E of the General Laws. (ii) The Town of Milton shall pay to the health care providers all co-payments required by the health insurance policy under which the firefighter is insured. The Town o f Milton shall pay to the health care providers all deductibles required by the health insurance policy under which the firefighter is insured. The Town of Milton shall pay to the health care providers the fees and other expenses for authorized services wh ose costs exceed applicable benefits limits, but whose payment is denied solely because of such applicable benefits limit. (iii) Any such payments pursuant to this section shall meet all other eligibility requirements of said health insurance; provided ho wever, that Antonio Pickens shall not be required to change health care providers; and provided, further, that any changes made by him in health care providers, and any referrals from current health care providers to health care providers who have not rend ered care to him for injury for which he was retired, shall comply with paragraph (i).
SECTION 5. Antonio Pickens shall not have his retirement allowance subject to modification as a result of earnings from alternative employment; provided, however, that h e shall be required to submit earnings reports to PERAC pursuant to section 91A of chapter 32 of the General Laws. Antonio Pickens shall be subject to the limitation of earnings formula as set forth in said section 91A, with the ability to earn the amount described in said section 91A plus an additional $5,000.00. If he earns in excess of these allowable amounts, PERAC shall inform him of the excess amount earned and the amount owed by him to the Retirement Board of the Town of Milton. PERAC shall, in its d iscretion, require repayment of that amount to said retirement board, or may withhold amounts as it deems appropriate from future retirement allowance payments until the amounts owed to the retirement board have been paid in full.
SECTION 6. The retirement allowances payable pursuant to this section shall remain subject to all other provisions of chapter 32 of the General Laws as if they had been granted as accidental disability retirements in the normal course of events pursuant to said chapter 32, except to the extent that said chapter 32 conflicts with this act.