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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE IV CIVIL SERVICE, RETIREMENTS AND PENSIONS
  • CHAPTER 32 RETIREMENT SYSTEMS AND PENSIONS
  • Section 26 Retirement of officers in department of state police

Section 26. (1) As used in this section, the following words shall, unless the context otherwise requires, have the following meanings:—

“Department”, the department of state police.

“Officer”, an officer of the department of state police appointed thereto under section ten of chapter twenty-two C.

“Rating board”, a board having the powers and duties provided for in this section, and consisting of the state surgeon, the commissioner of public health, the colonel of state police, or a subordinate designated by any of them from time to time by a writing filed in the office of the state board of retirement.

(2) (a) Any member in service classified in Group 3 who is an officer of the department of state police shall be retired by the state board of retirement in case the rating board, after an examination of such officer by a registered physician appointed by it, shall report in writing to the state board of retirement that such officer is physically or mentally incapacitated for the performance of duty by reason of (i) illness incurred through no fault of his own in the actual performance of duty or (ii) an injury resulting from an accident occurring during the performance and within the scope of his duty and without contributory negligence on his part, and that such incapacity is likely to be permanent.

(b) Upon retirement under the provisions of this subdivision, a member shall receive a retirement allowance to become effective on the date of his retirement. Payments under such allowance shall be made as provided for in sections twelve and thirteen and the normal yearly amount thereof shall be equal to the sum of:

(i) A yearly amount of annuity equal to the yearly amount of the regular life annuity specified in clause (i) of Option (a) of subdivision (2) of section twelve; and

(ii) A yearly amount of pension equal to seventy-two percent of the annual rate of his regular compensation on the date such illness or injury was incurred, or equal to seventy-two percent of the average annual rate of his regular compensation on the date such illness or injury was incurred, or equal to seventy-two percent of the average annual rate of his regular compensation for the twelve month period for which he last received regular compensation immediately preceding the date his retirement allowance becomes effective, whichever is greater; provided, however, that for any employee who was not a member in service on or before January first, nineteen hundred and eighty-eight or has not been continuously a member in service since such date, the total yearly amount of the sum of such pension and the annuity as determined in accordance with the provision of subparagraph (i) shall not exceed seventy-five percent of the annual rate of regular compensation as determined in the subparagraph; and provided, further, that no individual who is a member in service on January first, nineteen hundred and eighty-eight whose allowance is limited by the seventy-five percent limitation as established in this subparagraph, shall receive an amount of pension that is less than seventy-two percent of such individual’s regular compensation on said January first, nineteen hundred and eighty-eight; and

(iii) A yearly amount of additional pension determined at the rate fixed by the actuary as hereinafter provided, for each surviving unmarried child of such member who is under the age of 18, or, if over that age and under age 22, who is a full-time student at an accredited educational institution, or who was over said age and physically or mentally incapacitated from earning on the date of such member’s retirement. Such additional pension on account of any child shall be paid only so long as such child survives, remains unmarried and is under the age of eighteen or, if over such age remains physically or mentally incapacitated from earning or, if over said age and under the age of 22, is a full-time student at 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. Beginning July first, nineteen hundred and eighty-eight such additional pension shall be fixed at a rate of four hundred and fifty dollars for each eligible child. Beginning July first, nineteen hundred and eighty-nine, such rate shall be increased by an amount equal to the percentage increase in the cost of living determined by the general court for such year pursuant to section one hundred and two.

(iv) Any member retired under this subdivision who is a veteran, as defined in section 1, shall receive an additional yearly retirement allowance of $15 for each year of creditable service or fraction of a year, but the total amount of this additional yearly retirement allowance shall not exceed $300.

(3) (a) Any member in service classified in Group 3 shall be retired by the state board of retirement upon his attaining age 65; provided that any such member in Group 3 who has performed service in the department of state police for not less than twenty years and who has not attained the age of fifty-five may elect to retire pursuant to the provisions of this subdivision.

(b) Any member in service classified in Group 3 who has performed service in the department of state police for not less than twenty years and who has not attained age 65 shall be retired by the state board of retirement if the rating board, after an examination of such member by a registered physician appointed by it, shall report in writing to the state board of retirement that he is physically or mentally incapacitated for the performance of duty and that such incapacity is likely to be permanent.

(c) Upon retirement under this subdivision, a member shall receive a retirement allowance to become effective on the date of the member’s retirement. Payments under such retirement allowance shall be made as provided for in sections 12 and 13 and the normal yearly amount of the retirement allowance shall be equal to 60 per cent of the average annual rate of the member’s regular compensation during the 12-month period of the member’s creditable service immediately preceding the date the member’s retirement allowance becomes effective; provided, that for members who became members in service before April 2, 2012, the total amount of the allowance shall be increased by one-twelfth of 3 per cent for each full month of service in excess of 20 years of service and prior to the last day of the month in which such member will reach the age of 55; provided, further, that for a member who became a member in service on or after April 2, 2012, the normal yearly amount of the retirement allowance shall be equal to 50 per cent of the average annual rate of the member’s regular compensation during the 12-month period of the member’s creditable service immediately preceding the date the member’s retirement allowance becomes effective, and the total amount of the allowance shall be increased by one-twelfth of 2.5 per cent for each full month of service in excess of 20 years of service and prior to the last day of the month in which such member will reach the age of 55; provided, further, that such retirement allowance shall in no case exceed 75 per cent of such regular compensation; provided, further, that for a member who became such a member before April 2, 2012, if such member shall reach the member’s fifty-fifth birthday and shall not have completed such 20 years of service, the amount of the member’s retirement allowance shall be calculated by subtracting from such normal yearly amount one-twelfth of 3 per cent for each full month of service that the member’s service is less than 20 years; and provided, further, that for a member who became such a member on or after April 2, 2012, if such member shall reach the member’s fifty-fifth birthday and shall not have completed such 20 years of service, the amount of the member’s retirement allowance shall be calculated by subtracting from such normal yearly amount one-twelfth of 2.5 per cent for each full month of service that the member’s service is less than 20 years. Any member retired under this subdivision who is a veteran as defined in section 1 shall receive an additional yearly retirement allowance of $15 for each year of creditable service or fraction of such a year; provided, that the total amount of said additional retirement allowance shall not exceed $300 in any case.

(4) Sections five, six, and subdivisions (1) to (3), inclusive, of section ten shall not apply to any member so classified in Group 3. Section seven shall not apply to any member so classified to whom the provisions of subdivision (2) of this section are applicable. Notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary, sections five B, eight, and fifteen shall apply to any member so classified.

(5) (a) The commission shall require, after consultation with the rating board, any person retired for disability pursuant to the provisions of section 6, 7, or 26 who upon return to active service would so return in the position of a sworn member of the department of state police to participate in an evaluation to determine whether the member is able to perform the essential duties of the position from which he retired or a similar position within the department for which he is qualified without a medical or vocational rehabilitation program, or whether such member’s return to his position or similar position within the department would likely be expedited by participation in a medical or vocational rehabilitation program.

Such evaluation shall occur once per year during the first two-year period next succeeding the date of his retirement, once in each three-year period thereafter, and at any time upon the written request by any such member; provided, however, that an initial evaluation shall occur as soon as possible after October 1, 1996 for any member who has been retired for more than two years and has not participated previously in such an evaluation. Such evaluations shall occur not more frequently than once in any 12 month period; provided, however, that the commission may excuse a member from such evaluation based on its determination that such evaluation is unwarranted due to the catastrophic nature of the member’s illness or injury; and provided, further, that any member who has been retired for disability under the provisions of section 6, 7, or 26 for more than ten years and has during such time complied with the evaluation requirements under this paragraph shall not be required to participate in any further such evaluations.

Such evaluations shall include a medical examination for the purpose of assessing the total mental and physical condition of the member and one of the physicians to perform such medical examination shall be the state police surgeon.

If, following the evaluation, the commission determines that such retired member may benefit from such a rehabilitation program and that such a program is cost effective, the state board of retirement shall provide such rehabilitation program for such member and shall pay the costs of the program less any benefits payable under insurance policies of the member for such programs and less any scholarships or grants otherwise available for such programs. Such rehabilitation program shall include only such services as shall appear on a list of services approved by the commission. Any such member who is unreasonably denied access to such program may appeal such denial to the contributory retirement appeals board.

If the retired member fails to complete the program without good cause, said member’s rights in and to the pension provided for in section 6, 7 or 26 shall immediately be suspended. Said member may appeal his suspension to the contributory retirement appeals board.

Upon the completion of the rehabilitation program the rating board shall require the member to submit to a medical examination; provided, however, that if the board believes that an examination is unwarranted, the board shall file a statement of fact with the commission, stating the reasons why the examination is unwarranted. If the commission rejects this statement, the board shall conduct the examination.

The examination required pursuant to this section shall, at a minimum, determine the scope of the member’s physical capabilities in light of the completed rehabilitation program and whether the member is able to perform the essential duties of his position or the essential duties of a similar position within the department given the member’s condition. If such member shall fail to appear at any such required examination without good cause, all his rights in and to the retirement allowance provided for in section 6, 7 or 26 shall be terminated by the rating board; provided, however, that the member shall be given written notice and an opportunity to be heard prior to such termination. Said member may appeal such termination to the contributory retirement appeals board.

For the purpose of conducting a medical examination under this section, the commission may appoint either a single physician or a three-member panel to examine the retired member; provided, however, that the single physician shall be the state police surgeon or one of the three members of the medical panel to examine the member,

(b) If not more than two years immediately following the date on which a member is retired for disability under section 6, 7, or 26 who, upon return to active service in the same position, would so return in the position of a sworn member of the department of state police, a medical panel, following an examination conducted in accordance with paragraph (a), determines that such retired member is able to perform the essential duties of the position from which he retired or a similar position within the department for which he is qualified, as determined by the colonel, or so finds following the completion of a rehabilitation program required under paragraph (a), the rating board shall notify the public employee retirement administration commission and the colonel shall, subject to the provisions of section 24A of chapter 22C, return the member to such position and his disability retirement shall be revoked.

If the position shall pay less than the position from which such member shall have retired, such member shall be granted an amount from the department equal to the difference between the regular compensation of the position to which the member is restored and the regular compensation the member would have received had he been restored to the position from which he retired.

If more than two years immediately following the date on which a member is retired for disability under section 6, 7, or 26 who, upon return to active service, would so return in the position of a sworn member of the department of state police, a medical panel, following an examination conducted in accordance with paragraph (a), determines that such retired member is able to perform the essential duties of any position within the department for which he is qualified, as determined by the colonel, or so finds following the completion of a rehabilitation program required under paragraph (a), the rating board shall notify the public employee retirement administration commission and the colonel and, subject to the provisions of section 24A of chapter 22C, the member shall be granted preference for the next available position for which he is so qualified and upon his return to active service his disability retirement shall be revoked.

If the position shall pay less than the position from which such member shall have retired, such member shall be granted an amount from the department equal to the difference between the regular compensation of the position to which the member is restored and the regular compensation the member would have received had he been restored to the position from which he retired.

(c) Upon return to active service, such member shall again become a member in service and regular deductions shall again be made from his regular compensation. Any creditable service in effect for him at the time of his retirement for disability shall thereupon be restored to full force and effect. In addition, the member shall receive creditable service for the period during which he was retired provided, however, that as a condition to receiving creditable service for any such period the member shall be required to make contributions as though he was an active member serving in the position from which he retired during that period.

If the member is subsequently retired for disability pursuant to subdivision (2) due to the same condition or an aggravation of the same condition for which he had previously retired within one year immediately following the date on which he was first permitted to perform the functions of his position following his return to active service under paragraph (b) or if a criminal history inquiry or screening for controlled substances, as defined under section 1 of chapter 94C, reveals a disqualifying condition that arose prior to such return to active service, the retirement allowance paid to the member as a result of such subsequent retirement shall not exceed the amount of the retirement allowance paid to the member as a result of his previous retirement.

If a retired member of the department files for reinstatement after three years of separation from the department, the colonel shall have discretion to determine the terms and conditions of such member’s eligibility for promotional examinations, seniority in rank, and longevity for purposes of promotion.

The colonel may promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purpose of this section.

(d) Nothing in this subdivision shall excuse an employer or a member returned to work under the provisions of this section from compliance with the provisions of section 103 of chapter 93.

(e) If as a result of a medical report by a medical panel convened pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (a), as a result of the submission of earnings information under section 91A, or as the result of the completion of a rehabilitation program as provided for under paragraph (a), or under subdivision (5) of section 21, the commission finds that such retired member is engaged or is able to engage in gainful occupation and that the annual rate of his actual or potential earnings is less than his regular compensation as defined in this subdivision, but is more than the difference between such regular compensation plus the sum of $5,000, and the normal yearly amount of his pension, then the yearly amount of his pension shall be reduced, and if his actual or potential earnings are more than such regular compensation, his pension shall be suspended.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, if such member submits earnings information pursuant to section 91A, indicating earnings in excess of regular compensation, as herein described, such member’s pension shall be reduced as provided for in this paragraph and shall not be increased for a period of one year unless such medical report finds that the mental or physical condition of such member has deteriorated. If the annual rate of his earnings should later be changed, the yearly amount of his pension shall be further modified by reinstating, increasing, reducing, or suspending it, as the case may be.

For purposes of this paragraph, regular compensation means, subject to further definition by regulations of the public employee retirement administration commission, regular compensation which would have been payable during the preceding year had the member continued in service in the grade held by him at the time he was retired. The public employee retirement administration commission shall, subject to the provisions of section 50 of chapter 7, promulgate regulations establishing, and providing a system for annually adjusting for inflation and such other equitable factors as the commission deems relevant, the fair amount of outside income that may be earned by a member retired pursuant to section 6, 7, or 26 and shall promulgate regulations for the determination of the potential earnings of any such retired member based upon such member’s functional capacity, age, education, experience and, if applicable, the denial of placement under paragraph (b) and the reason therefor.

The member shall be given written notice and an opportunity to be heard prior to any such modification and any such modification may be appealed by the member to the contributory retirement appeals board.