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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE IV CIVIL SERVICE, RETIREMENTS AND PENSIONS
  • CHAPTER 32 RETIREMENT SYSTEMS AND PENSIONS
  • Section 100 Pensions to surviving spouses of firefighters, police officers or corrections officers killed in performance of duties

Section 100. Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter or any other general or special law to the contrary, if a firefighter while in the performance of his duties and as the result of an accident while responding to or returning from an alarm of fire or any emergency, or as the result of an accident involving a fire department vehicle, which the firefighter is operating or in which he is riding, or while at the scene of a fire or any emergency is killed or sustains injuries which result in his death, or if a police officer while in the performance of his duties and as the result of an assault on his person or as a result of an accident involving a police department vehicle which he is operating or in which he is riding in the performance of his duties as a police officer is killed or sustains injuries which result in his death, or if a corrections officer while in the performance of his duties and as the result of an assault on his person is killed or sustains injuries which result in his death, there shall be paid to the surviving spouse of such firefighter, police officer or corrections officer an annual amount of pension which shall be equal to the amount of salary which would have been paid to such firefighter, police officer or corrections officer had he continued in service in the position held by him at the time of his death; provided, however, that the amount of pension immediately payable shall be equal to the maximum salary set for the position whether or not such firefighter, police officer or corrections officer had reached the maximum at the time of his death. In the event of the death of any surviving spouse eligible to receive a pension under this section, and in case there is any child of such deceased firefighter, police officer or corrections officer, there shall be paid to the legal guardian for the benefit of each such child the sum of three hundred and twelve dollars per annum in addition to a payment equal to seventy-two per cent of the pension which said surviving spouse was receiving at the time of such surviving spouse’s death, such payment to be made in proportionate shares to the legal guardian for the benefit of each such child until such time as all such children have attained age eighteen or have attained age 22 if full-time students, and such payment shall continue for the benefit of such children who are over age eighteen and physically or mentally incapacitated from earning. The words “full-time student” shall mean a child who is in full-time attendance in an accredited educational institution offering full-time courses of study equivalent to or higher than secondary school study. The words “accredited educational institution” shall mean any school, college or university that is licensed, approved or accredited, as the case may be, in the state in which it is located.

The benefits provided by this section shall be in the alternative to the benefits provided by any other section of this chapter; provided, however, that if any such deceased firefighter, police officer or corrections officer was a member of a contributory retirement system established under the provisions of section twenty, any accumulated total deductions credited to his account in the annuity savings fund of such system shall be paid in one sum in accordance with the provisions of subdivision (2) of section eleven, to his surviving beneficiary or beneficiaries entitled thereto.

The benefits payable under this section to the surviving spouse of such deceased firefighter, police officer or corrections officer shall be paid as follows:— if the decedent was a member of the state employees’ retirement system, the Massachusetts Port Authority employees’ retirement system or any county, city or town contributory retirement system, as the case may be, established under the provisions of sections one to twenty-eight, inclusive, or under corresponding provisions of earlier laws, and subject thereto, or any contributory retirement system established for the employees of any governmental unit under the provisions of any special law, from the same appropriation, and in the same manner, as accidental death benefits payable under the provisions of section nine; if the decedent was not a member of a contributory retirement system, from the same appropriation, and in the same manner, as annuities to dependents payable under the provisions of section eighty-nine or section eighty-nine A.

If any firefighter, police officer or corrections officer is killed or sustains injuries resulting in his death in the manner set forth in this section, and he was so killed or sustained such injuries while assisting another governmental unit, pursuant to the provisions of subdivision (4) of section seven, the benefits provided by this section shall be paid to the surviving spouse as provided in the preceding paragraph, but the governmental unit which requested such assistance shall annually, on or before January fifteenth, reimburse the governmental unit which had employed such deceased firefighter, police officer or corrections officer in the amount of any benefits paid to his surviving spouse during the preceding calendar year.

The presumptions created by sections ninety-four, ninety-four A and ninety-four B shall not be applicable to the death of any firefighter, police officer or corrections officer for which a pension is provided under this section.

This section shall be administered by the state board of retirement as to employees of the commonwealth or the metropolitan district commission; by the appropriate retirement board, established under section twenty, having jurisdiction in the governmental unit in which any such firefighter or police officer was employed at the time of his death; or by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority police retirement board; or if such firefighter, police officer, or corrections officer was employed by a town and was not a member of any contributory retirement system, by the board of selectmen of such town.

For purposes of this section, the word “firefighter” shall include members of the Massachusetts military reservation fire department.