AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE TOWN OF MILTON TO PROVIDE CERTAIN ACCIDENTAL DISABILITY RETIREMENT AND MEDICAL BENEFITS TO ANTONIO PICKENS.
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 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 firefighter 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 the town at the grade held by him at the time of his retirement; provided, however, that (1) after he has attained the maximum age for this 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 (2) 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 town under 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 state public employee retirement administration commission, hereinafter referred to as PERAC, to appoint a medical panel composed of 3 physicians who shall examine Antonio Pickens or, if a majority of the retirement board shall agree, forego such examination and review the existing medical records and other relevant information concerning Antonio 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 Antonio Pickens is physically incapacitated for further duty as a firefighter, that the incapacity is likely to be permanent and that the injuries are likely to result in his premature death. The 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 system of the town. Upon the approval of the pension provided for herein and notwithstanding 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 be 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 section 8 of said chapter 32.
SECTION 3. Upon the death of Antonio Pickens before 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 the time that the 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, his wife if at the time of the incident survives him, 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, the allowance shall be paid to the legal guardian for the benefit of any surviving unmarried children, as defined in this section.
SECTION 4. (a) 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’ share 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.
(b) Medical care shall first be provided through the health insurance provided to retired town of Milton employees under chapters 32B and 150E of the General Laws.
(c) 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 of 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 the cost of which exceed applicable benefits limits, but the payment of which is denied solely because of the applicable benefits limit.
(d) Payments made under this section shall meet all other eligibility requirements of the health insurance; provided, however, 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 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 subsection (b).
SECTION 5. Antonio Pickens 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 PERAC under 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 of said chapter 32, with the ability to earn the amount described in said section 91A of said chapter 32 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 discretion, require repayment of that amount to the 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 act 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 under said chapter 32, except to the extent that said chapter 32 conflicts with this act.
SECTION 7. This act shall take effect upon its passage.
Approved, October 6, 2010.