MTRS benefits and resources
NEW, March 2018: Revised Part 2 and training video on how to complete it
If you’ve already completed the “old” Part 2 for a retiring employee, you do not have to complete this new version.
To learn what’s new, and for the section-by-section instructions on how to complete Part 2, please take a few minutes to watch the video.
What is this?
- This is Part 2 of our retirement application.
- It is the service and salary history portion of the application that is to be completed by payroll administrators.
- It is five pages long, and, unlike the Part 2 that appears in the downloadable application that is accessible to members, is interactive. Be sure to download the form to your desktop before entering any data.
For the complete 19-page application, see Retirement Application .
What is the process?
- Step 1: The retiring member will present you with a printed copy of Part 2 of his or her retirement application. Members applying for superannuation (regular and RetirementPlus) or termination retirement are required to use this application. They are instructed to print the application—which includes Part 2 in a non-interactive version—and bring Part 2 to you for completion. Neither Part 1, which is completed by the applicant, nor Part 2 may be submitted by e-mail or via the web.
- Step 2: You are to complete Part 2, make a copy for your records, and return Part 2 to the member. It is the member’s responsibility to send us both Part 1 and Part 2 together. You are welcome to complete the copy of Part 2 that they bring you, or come to this page and access this interactive version so that you may complete Part 2 onscreen. In all cases, you must have a hard copy that you sign and return to the member. It is not possible to submit Part 2 by e-mail or via the web.
What is this?
This is Part 2 of our refund application, which is to be completed by payroll administrators.
As of July 25, 2016, there is just one refund application form available for members; within the application, the member will select how he or she wishes to receive the payment—as either a direct refund to him or herself, or a full or partial rollover to an eligible plan.
Part 2 is the service and salary history portion of the application. You will find that it is very similar to Part 2 of the Retirement Application.
It is two pages long, and, unlike the Part 2 that appears in the downloadable application that is accessible to members, is interactive. Be sure to download the form to your desktop before entering any data.
For the application that is available to members, see Refund Application .
What is the process?
- Step 1: The refund applicant will present you with a printed copy of Part 2 of his or her refund application. Members applying for a refund are instructed to use this application. They are instructed to print the application—which includes Part 2 in a non-interactive format—and bring Part 2 to you for completion. Neither Part 1, which is completed by the applicant, nor Part 2 may be submitted by e-mail or via the web.
- Step 2: You should complete and return Part 2 directly to the applicant after you have issued the applicant’s final paycheck. It is then the applicant’s responsibility to submit both Part 1 and Part 2 to the MTRS’s main office. Please note that the applicant cannot submit this application until after his or her last day of service, and we cannot process the refund until after we have received and posted the applicant’s final payroll deduction.
You are welcome to complete the copy of Part 2 that they bring you, or come to this page and access this interactive version so that you may complete Part 2 onscreen. In all cases, you must have a hard copy that you sign and return to the member. It is not possible to submit Part 2 by e-mail or via the web.
For use by districts that do not participate in the GIC-RMT program
|NOTE: As announced in our e-mail of February 6, 2015, all districts that do not participate in the GIC-RMT program can now maintain their individual retirees’ insurance deductions using MyTRS, our online reporting system, instead of this form-based process. All group rate insurance changes must still be maintained by the MTRS.|
Insurance coverage for retired members of the MTRS is not provided by the MTRS, but, rather, is a local contractual benefit. Most school districts offer continued insurance coverage to their retirees, and, for those, the MTRS is able to deduct the retiree’s portion of the monthly premium from his or her retirement allowance and forward that portion to the city of town treasurer on a monthly basis. Please note, however, that unlike active member health insurance deductions–which are withheld on a pre-tax basis–the IRS requires that retirees’ insurance premiums be withheld on an after-tax basis.
Below are the forms for districts that do not participate in the GIC-RMT program to follow when requesting to set up, cancel or change retiree insurance coverage. Please submit requests by the first of each month (e.g., changes effective April 1 should be received by the MTRS by March 1). Changes received after the first of the month will be processed as soon as possible but are more likely to be processed on the following month’s warrant retroactive to the original date.
What is the process?
- To report insurance rate changes for your retired employees, please:
- Complete the appropriate individual or group insurance change form (see completed examples, below).
- Submit your completed form as an attachment to an e-mail to email@example.com.
- Watch for an e-mail from us notifying you that we have processed your change.
Please submit requests by the first of each month (e.g., changes effective April 1 should be received by the MTRS by March 1). Changes received after the first of the month will be processed as soon as possible, but are more likely to be processed on the following month’s warrant, and be effective retroactive to the original date.
DOs and DON’Ts
- Please DO:
- Provide only the MTRS retiree’s name (unless the member’s spouse is also a MTRS retiree or a surviving beneficiary with his or her own MyTRS account).
- Use only our forms above, and make sure that your forms are complete, including plan codes. Plan codes are abbreviated names of each plan (PPO and HMO alone are insufficient). To receive a copy of the plan code list from 2013, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Requesting plan codes.”
- Please DON’T:
- Send duplicate, incomplete or faxed forms.
- Stockpile your changes. Requests are processed on a first-come, first-served basis, so submit your updates as soon as possible, and refrain from holding changes in an effort to submit only one form with multiple updates.
- E-mail full Social Security numbers (provide the last four digits only).
- Refund or bill retirees directly if you have already submitted the change to us. If we have received your request, we will process it retroactively, when needed, based on the effective date you provided.
- Submit requests with custom calculations, such as retroactive bills, credits or refunds. Our system will automatically calculate adjustments based on coverage dates.
- Combine plan rates. If a retiree has one plan, and his or her spouse or dependent has another, please list each on a separate line, showing each plan code and rate. Deductions are set up by plan, not by total deduction amount.
- Submit partial-month deductions. The MTRS requires deductions on a full-month basis. Employers who choose to pro-rate coverage within a month will need to make arrangements with retirees for any partial-coverage months.
- Include any calculations on the form. If a member requires a retroactive adjustment, provide the effective date only.
- Refer retirees to the MTRS to discuss insurance benefits and coverage. We will certainly answer calls related to delays in processing deduction changes, but we do not have the expertise to discuss the types of plans that you offer.
- E-mail your forms to individual MTRS representatives, as they will be returned.
Additional notes, instructions, and completed example forms
- If you provide a retroactive date but have already refunded or billed the retiree, please make a note in the Comments box on the form.
- If your request requires a retroactive correction, we will assume that we must process an adjustment for the bill or refund associated with the change based on the effective date of the change, unless it is otherwise stated on the request.
- Insurance deductions are always deducted one month prior to effective period. For example, premiums for April 1 are deducted on March 31.
Example: Retiree Insurance Change Form
Example: Group Rate Premium Change Form
Service purchase forms
What is this?
- This is our vocational work experience service purchase form.
- It is the same four-page, interactive form available to members.
You are welcome either to complete the copy of page two that members provide, or to access this interactive version. Either way you choose to complete your part is fine; the advantage of the online interactive version is that you may more easily type in your data. In all cases, the completed form must be printed out and signed. It is not possible for the applicant or you to submit the form either by e-mail or via the web.
What is the process?
Members applying to purchase this service are instructed to print the application, complete page one and bring the application to you for completion of page two. Depending on the applicant’s service history, you may be asked to complete Section 4, Section 5, or both:
- If your school or school district has a vocational education program, your current and former employees will be asking you to complete Section 4, to verify their Chapter 74-approved program service. Section 4 consists of your contact info and three fields: the start date of the applicant’s employment in a Chapter 74-approved program with your district; the name of that Chapter 74-approved program ; and, the applicant’s position title and subject area at the time.
- If yours is the district in which the applicant most recently established membership service in the MTRS, members will be asking you to complete Section 5. Section 5 consists of your contact info and four fields: the start date of the applicant’s employment in your district, and the applicant’s position title, annual contract rate and employment status (full-time or part-time and percentage).
- Just as you’ve done with our other service purchase forms, please complete, sign and return the form directly to the member. It is then the applicant’s responsibility to submit the two-page application to the MTRS.
What is this?
- This is our Substitute, temporary or part-time service purchase form.
- This is the same six-page, interactive form available to our members.
You are welcome either to complete the copy of the form that members provide or to access the interactive version on this page. Either way you choose to complete your part is fine; the advantage of the online interactive version is that you may more easily type in your data. In all cases, the completed form must be printed out and signed. It is not possible for the applicant or you to submit the form either by e-mail or via the web.
For newly enrolled employees transferring into the MTRS from another Massachusetts public retirement system:
The Social Security Protection Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-203) requires state and local employers who hire individuals for non-Social Security covered positions on or after January 1, 2005 to provide these new hires with Form 1945. This notice explains the possible reduction in the employee’s future Social Security benefit as a result of the Windfall Elimination Provision and Government Pension Offset . The new hire must sign the notice, acknowledging that he or she is aware of this possible reduction, and then you must send it to:
Massachusetts Teachers’ Retirement System
c/o Employer Services
500 Rutherford Avenue, Suite 210
Charlestown, MA 02129-1628
Please be sure to send these forms directly to our main office, and not with your monthly payroll deduction reports to our lockbox in Philadelphia.
To obtain the form as well as more information on the notice itself, instructions for its use and how the form can be ordered, please visit Social Security’s website at http://www.ssa.gov/forms/ssa-1945.pdf.
Member enrollment process
When members of the teachers’ retirement system who are serving in the National Guard or active reserves are mobilized in a time of national emergency they continue to accrue retirement service credit for as long as they remain on active duty. During that period, the member’s employer (the school district, region, city or town) is responsible for paying an amount to the retirement system equal to what the member would have contributed through payroll deductions.
- PERAC Memo #39 of 2001: Military Service Credit Provisions for Members Called to Active Military Duty
- PERAC Memo #15 of 2006: Military Pay Act (Chapter 77 of the Acts of 2005)
How to report and submit contributions for military service
Teachers serving in the military may receive no pay, full pay or partial pay from the school district where they are employed. Some towns elect to pay the member the difference between his or her military pay and what would have been earned teaching. In instances where the member receives pay from the district, retirement contributions must be deducted from that pay and reported to the MTRS. The employer is only responsible for making up the remainder. If the member is being paid a full salary, then regular contributions are deducted and reported and the employer is not required to make any additional payment.
We have designed a simple form for districts to use when submitting contributions on behalf of members serving in the military. This enables us to identify the member and the amount of creditable service to assign to the period of military absence. We require that all funds for members’ military service be submitted separately from the district’s regular retirement deductions. The law requires that these sums be accounted for separately and deposited in a special account that is independent of members’ annuity savings accounts.
In order for a member to be eligible to receive retirement credit for time served in the military, after his or her discharge or release, he or she had to return to membership service within the applicable time period based on the length of his or her military service. In the event that the member quits teaching and withdraws from the retirement system without receiving a pension benefit, all funds submitted on his or her behalf will be returned to the employer.
For more information
In all instances it is advisable to call an MTRS Employer Services Representative, at 617-679-6895, for assistance when a teacher is ordered to active military duty.
Rehiring of a retired Massachusetts public retiree