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  • Acts
  • 2000
  • Chapter 178 AN ACT DIRECTING THE RETIREMENT BOARD OF THE CITY OF WORCESTER TO RETIRE MICHAEL P. COAKLEY, A FIREFIGHTER OF THE CITY OF WORCESTER.

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 city of Worcester shall retire Michael P. Coakley, a firefighter of the city of Worcester who, as a result of serious injuries sustained while in the performance of his duties on December 3, 1999, is totally and permanently incapacitated from further service as a firefighter. The annual amount of pension payable to Michael P. Coakley 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 city at the grade held by him at the time of his retirement, but (a) after he has attained the maximum age for his group, his retirement 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 shall be increased in the manner provided to all retirees of the city pursuant to any provision of chapter 32 of the General Laws.

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 Michael P. Coakley, the retirement board of the city of Worcester shall forthwith pay to him all amounts standing to his credit in the annuity savings fund of the retirement system of said city.

SECTION 2. Upon the death of Michael P. Coakley prior to the maximum age for his group, if his wife at the time of the incident survives him, and as long as she remains unmarried, the city of Worcester 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 $527.28 annually adjusted for a cost-of-living adjustment for each child of Michael P. Coakley 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 Michael P. Coakley 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 Michael P. Coakley, and if his wife at the time of the incident does not survive him, such allowance shall be paid to the legal guardian for the benefit of any surviving unmarried children, as defined above.

SECTION 3. Michael P. Coakley shall be eligible for health insurance through the city of Worcester on the same basis as all other retirees and be responsible for the retirees' share of all premiums.

SECTION 4. Following the retirement of Michael P. Coakley, the city of Worcester 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 retired city of Worcester employees pursuant to chapters 32B and 150E of the General Laws.

(ii) The city of Worcester shall pay to the health care providers all co-payments required by the health insurance policy under which the firefighter is insured. The city of Worcester shall pay to the health care providers all deductibles required by the health insurance policy under which the firefighter is insured. The city of Worcester shall pay to the health care providers the fees and other expenses for authorized services whose 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, however, that Michael P. Coakley 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 rendered care to him for injury for which he was retired, shall comply with paragraph (i).

SECTION 5. 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, Michael P. Coakley shall not be subject to examination or 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 6. Michael P. Coakley shall not have his retirement allowance subject to modification as a result of earnings from alternative employment; provided, however, that he shall be required to submit earnings reports to the public employee retirement administration pursuant to section 91A of chapter 32 of the General Laws.

Michael P. Coakley 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 $2,500.00. If he earns in excess of these allowable amounts, the public employee retirement administration shall inform him of the excess amount earned and the amount owed by him to the retirement board of the city of Worcester. The retirement administration shall, in its discretion, 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 7. 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.

Approved August 6, 2000.