Pension Reform III, effective November 16, 2011, created a new benefit structure for individuals who became members of Massachusetts public retirement systems on or after April 2, 2012.

How they differ, by provision

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ProvisionMembership Tier 1Membership Tier 2
Effective membership dateBefore April 2, 2012On or after April 2, 2012
When eligible to retire (superannuation)EITHER 20 years of creditable service, at any age,
OR at age 55 with 10 years of creditable service.

Pre-1978 members are eligible to retire upon reaching age 55, with no minimum service requirement.
At age 60 with at least 10 years of creditable service
Termination retirement formulaAvailableNot available
Age factorsOne age factor table; maximum factor of 0.025 reached at age 65Two age factor tables; one for members with 30 years of service, and another for members without 30 years of service; maximum factor of 0.025 reached at age 67
Final salary average period3 years5 years
RetirementPlus additional 2% begins...After 24 years of service (i.e., with 30 years of creditable service, the additional R+ percentage is 12%)After 23 years of service (i.e., with 30 years of creditable service, the additional R+ percentage is 14%)
Contribution rateDoes not changeWhen the member has 30 years of creditable service, the contribution rate is decreased by 3%.

Note: For Tier 2 members participating in RetirementPlus, the contribution rate will decrease from 11% to 8%; for those not participating in RetirementPlus, the contribution rate will decrease from 9%, plus 2% on earnings over $30,000/year, to 6%, plus 2% on earnings over $30,000/year.
Active data benefit formula for member-survivorsIf member is under age 55 at the time of death, his or her age is increased by the number of years and months to reach age 55 (age factor 0.015); survivor's age increased by same period.If member is under age 60 at the time of death, his or her age is increased by the number of years and months to reach age 60 (without 30 years of creditable service, the age factor is 0.0145; with 30 years of creditable service, the age factor is 0.01625); survivor's age increased by the same period.
Ordinary disability retirement benefit formula for nonveteransIf member is under age 55 at the time of retirement, the age factor for 55 is used (0.015).If member is under age 60 at the time of retirement, the age factor for 60 is used (without 30 years of creditable service, the age factor is 0.0145; with 30 years of creditable service, the age factor is 0.01625).
Ordinary disability retirement excludableBegins when retiree attains age 55Begins when retiree attains age 60
Right to buyback interest on §3 SCPs after 4/2/2013None; all §3 purchases subject to actuarial interest after 4/2/2013If member had previously taken a refund from a MA contributory retirement system, then he or she may purchase §3 service at buyback interest if the purchase is made within one year of returning to MA public service.