Dear School District Superintendents, Charter School and Education Collaborative Directors, Business Managers, Payroll Officers, Personnel Administrators and Town Treasurers,
As you begin another busy hiring and MTRS enrollment season, I want to take this opportunity to remind you of the importance of ensuring that your employees are properly enrolled in our system. Enrolling employees who do not qualify for membership in the MTRS will result in serious consequences at retirement for those who believe they are participating in our RetirementPlus plan.
Specifically, please note:
1) Pursuant to our membership eligibility requirements (807 CMR 4.02), ensure that:
a) the individual’s contract requires that the person be certified by the ESE as a condition of employment; and
b) if a member takes another position within the district, assess whether the new position allows the member to remain in the MTRS system.
As noted above and in the example below, enrolling employees who do not qualify for membership in the MTRS will result in serious consequences at retirement for those who believe they are participating in our RetirementPlus plan.
Example: A pre-4/2/2012 member at age 58 with 34 years of service who was enrolled in the MTRS–but serving in a position that did not require ESE certification–would think that she would receive 80% of her final salary average under RetirementPlus. However, because she should not have been a member of the MTRS, she would only be entitled to 61.2% under the regular formula, and would either have to take the reduced pension or go back to work.
2) If you have any individuals serving in the positions listed below, review the information carefully. For your reference, similar notes were also included in our broadcast e-mail of December 18, 2012.
- ROTC instructors: If your district has an ROTC program and the instructors are NOT required to be ESE-certified as a condition of their employment, those instructors are NOT eligible for MTRS membership.
- Occupational and Physical Therapists: If your district employs occupational and physical therapists who are required to have and maintain a certification from the Board of Allied Health Professionals as a condition of employment and meet our contract and full-time requirements, those therapists are eligible for MTRS membership.
- Athletic Directors: Many districts pay a full-time employee who is eligible for MTRS membership because of their primary role in the district, generally a teacher, to serve as a part-time athletic director. Some districts have decided to hire a full-time athletic director. If your district has a full-time athletic director and your athletic director is NOT required to be ESE-certified as a condition of his or her employment, your athletic director is NOT eligible for MTRS membership. Compensation for part-time athletic directors who are otherwise MTRS-eligible is subject to our Regular compensation requirements.
- Board Certified Behavioral Analysts (BCBAs): The MTRS has received several calls regarding non-ESE-certified BCBAs. If you have a BCBA on staff and your BCBA is NOT required to be ESE-certified as a condition of his or her employment, your BCBA is NOT eligible for MTRS membership.
If you have any employees who may be improperly enrolled in the MTRS at this time, and you need assistance correcting their situations, please contact us so we can work together to resolve any issues as soon as possible.