Proudly serving Massachusetts educators since 1914

Established on July 1, 1914, the Massachusetts Teachers’ Retirement System is the largest of the Commonwealth’s 104 contributory retirement systems. We provide retirement, disability and survivor benefits to more than 94,000 active educators and over 67,000 retirees and survivors.

Mission statement

To ensure that members of the Massachusetts Teachers’ Retirement System achieve and maintain a successful and secure retirement through responsible benefits administration, financial integrity and the provision of outstanding services.

So reads our mission statement. If you have any questions about MTRS benefits or our services—or have any feedback or suggestions for us at any time—please let us know. We are here to serve you!

Type of plan

The MTRS is a defined benefit retirement plan that operates as a qualified plan under section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code. Under the MTRS defined benefit plan, retirement benefits are determined according to a set formula, and the amount is guaranteed regardless of fluctuations in the pension fund’s performance; retirement benefits are payable for a retiree’s lifetime.

Governance

The MTRS is governed by the Massachusetts Teachers’ Retirement Board, which is comprised of seven members.

Membership

Eligibility for membership in the MTRS is primarily determined by the definition of “teacher” in M.G.L. c. 32, §1. However, other sections of Chapter 32, Chapter 71 §89(y), as well as the MTRS regulation on membership eligibility also set out criteria for membership. In general, individuals employed as teachers or administrators in a Massachusetts public school outside of the City of Boston, or in any educational collaborative or charter school in Massachusetts (and who meet the eligibility requirements) are required to become members of the MTRS.

Eligibility requirements for superannuation retirement benefits

  • Tier 1 members (effective membership date before April 2, 2012): EITHER age 55 with a minimum of 10 years of creditable service, OR any age with a minimum of 20 years of creditable service
  • Tier 2 members (effective membership date on or after April 2, 2012): Age 60 with a minimum of 10 years of creditable service

Actuarial data as of 1/1/2021

MTRS Facts at a glance: For highlights of the system’s demographics, funding, investment performance and benefits paid to Massachusetts residents by county, see our one-page MTRS Facts at a glance, 2019 

 Active members  96,527
Average age  43.6
Average annual salary  $79,463
Benefit recipients 68,780
Average age  73.7
Average annual benefit  $46,702
Total annual benefits paid  $3.21 billion

Source: PERAC Actuarial Valuation Report 2021

Asset management

The assets of the MTRS are managed by the Pension Reserves Investment Management (PRIM) Board.

Oversight

The MTRS and all Massachusetts public contributory retirement systems are overseen by the Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC).