As the MTRS continues to provide essential services remotely, we appreciate your assistance in providing benefits to your employees and retirees during this difficult time.

New State and Federal laws impact post retirement restrictions and paid sick leave

Legislation temporarily changes earnings and hours restrictions for many retired public employees during the Massachusetts State of Emergency.

PERAC Memo #21, 2020 (issued April 13, 2020) details how Chapter 53 of the Acts of 2020 temporarily adjusts earnings and hours restrictions for retired public employees working in the public sector during the Governor’s State of Emergency, which began on March 10, 2020.

Throughout the duration of the Massachusetts State of Emergency, the hours and earnings of retired public employees working in the public sector shall not be included in the calendar year 2020 restrictions, regardless of whether the individual is involved in COVID-19 related work. The exclusion does not apply to disability retirees; their restrictions remain intact.

As a reminder, adherence to post-retirement restrictions is the statutory responsibility of the employer and employee. Please review PERAC Memo #21, 2020 for additional details and an example of how to calculate a retiree’s hours and earnings for calendar year 2020.

Paid sick leave for coronavirus under new federal law should be treated the same as other paid sick leave.

Congress recently passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) which contains provisions for up to ten days of paid sick leave for employees unable to work due to the coronavirus. PERAC, in a recent Coronavirus Update, has determined that, for retirement purposes, this paid leave should be treated the same as an employee’s other paid sick leave. Thus, regular retirement deductions should be withheld and said paid leave will not negatively impact members’ creditable service or regular compensation. The eligibility criteria for this leave are laid out in the legislation, and whether an employee qualifies for the leave is a determination to be made by the employer. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s FFCRA website.

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