Codified in M.G.L. c. 32, s. 5(4), RetirementPlus increases retirement benefits for eligible and participating members who have completed 30 years of service (at least 20 of which are membership service with the MTRS or the Boston Retirement System as a teacher), and subject to the statutory maximum of 80 percent, as follows:
- for members with effective membership dates before April 2, 2012, an additional 2 percent for each full year of creditable service in excess of 24 years (e.g., at 30 years of creditable service, an additional 12%, or 6 years x 2%).
- for members with effective membership dates on or after April 2, 2012, an additional 2 percent for each full year of creditable service in excess of 23 years (e.g., at 30 years of service, an additional 14%, or 7 years x 2%).
The contribution rate for RetirementPlus participants is a flat 11%.
In February 2001, then-current members of the MTRS were mailed an Election Form and given until June 30, 2001 to affirmatively elect to participate in RetirementPlus. On or after July 1, 2001:
- Members who transfer into the MTRS from another Massachusetts contributory retirement system have 180 days in which to elect to participate in RetirementPlus; if they do not respond, they are not enrolled in RetirementPlus.
- New members are automatically subject to RetirementPlus.
For tables showing the percentages of salary average allowed by age, years of service and formula (regular or RetirementPlus), please see “Retirement percentage” charts.
I am participating in RetirementPlus. What does this mean for my retirement benefit?
If you are participating in RetirementPlus—because you either elected to participate or you became a member of the MTRS on or after July 1, 2001—you will be eligible to receive a RetirementPlus enhanced benefit if, at the time of your retirement, you:
- have accrued 30 or more years of creditable service, at least 20 of which are membership service with the MTRS or the Boston Retirement System as a teacher, and,
- have contributed at the RetirementPlus rate of 11% for at least five years, or have made accelerated payments to meet this contribution requirement.
However, if you are participating in RetirementPlus because you elected to participate in RetirementPlus, and you:
- do not accumulate 30 years of creditable service by your date of retirement, you will receive a retirement benefit calculated under the regular formula, and a refund of your RetirementPlus contributions, plus regular interest.
- retire with 30 or more years of creditable service, but fewer than 20 of your years are as a member of the MTRS or the Boston Retirement System as a teacher, you will receive the regular retirement benefit and a refund of your RetirementPlus contributions, plus regular interest.
Please note that if you are participating in RetirementPlus because you became a member of the MTRS on or after July 1, 2001, and you do not meet the criteria to be eligible for the enhanced RetirementPlus benefit, you are not entitled to a refund as your contribution rate of 11% was mandatory.
I am not participating in RetirementPlus because I elected not to participate (or I didn’t submit a timely election form). Can I elect in now?
No—your election opportunity was a one-time chance. If you do not elect to participate (or, in the case of members who are transferring into the MTRS from another Massachusetts contributory retirement system, miss your 180-day deadline for submitting your form), you cannot later opt in. If, however, you leave MTRS service, take a refund of your annuity savings account and then return to MTRS service, you will return as a new member and automatically be subject to RetirementPlus and the contribution rate of 11%.
How do I know if I am subject to RetirementPlus?
- transferred to the MTRS from another Massachusetts contributory retirement system on or after July 1, 2001, you have 180 days from the date that you transfer into the MTRS to enroll in RetirementPlus. If you submitted (or submit) an affirmative election within 180 days, you will be subject to RetirementPlus.
- joined the MTRS as a new member to a Massachusetts public retirement system on or after July 1, 2001, you are automatically enrolled in RetirementPlus.
- were a member of the MTRS prior to July 1, 2001, you had until June 30, 2001 to elect to participate in RetirementPlus. If you did not submit a timely, affirmative election, you were not enrolled in RetirementPlus and your contribution rate remained the same.