Retirement Board of Stoneham v. Contributory Retirement Appeal Board

Christine DeFelice, a part-time employee for the Stoneham school department, sought retroactive membership in the Stoneham retirement system based on a nine-week period during which she worked over thirty hours per week. The municipal retirement board granted DeFelice retroactive membership in the retirement system for the nine-week period but denied her membership for the subsequent time during which she remained a part-time employee. The Contributory Retirement Appeal Board reversed, concluding that the board was statutorily precluded from terminating the membership of individuals who had been granted membership in a retirement system and continued working for the same municipal employer. The superior court reversed. The Supreme Judicial Court reversed, holding (1) a municipal retirement board does not possess absolute discretion to terminate a part-time employee’s membership in a retirement system to which that board has granted the employee membership; and (2) a “separation from [an employee’s] service” under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 32, 3(1)(a)(i) does not occur when a part-time employee working two jobs for the same municipal employer ceases to work only one of those jobs. View "Retirement Board of Stoneham v. Contributory Retirement Appeal Board" on Justia Law