Berkshire County Seal -Green

Learn more about us

Plan ahead to avoid financial surprises as you approach retirement. We are here to help, so give us a call.

GETTING READY TO RETIRE

3 years before you plan to retire:

 

1.     Set an approximate retirement date and get an estimate.

2.     Verify your service, date of birth, spouse’s date of birth, veteran status.  Note

        that your service is not determined solely by your hire date. Please report any

        discrepancies to the Retirement office.

3.     Do you have prior service or military service you could buy back?

4.     Make sure you understand how your pension may affect your potential Social

        Security benefits (WEP and GPO).  

5.     Considerations for retirement: Age (the most important factor), years of

        creditable service, and your three highest consecutive years average salary.

6.     Keep in mind that working for a Massachusetts public employer after

        retirement has restrictions.

7.     Get information from your employer regarding your health and life insurance        

        benefits after retirement.

 

2-3 months before planned retirement:

 

1.     Make an appointment to meet with Retirement staff. If you are married, your

        spouse should accompany you.

2.     Select Option A, Option B or Option C as described below:

 

        Option A means that you will receive your full retirement allowance in monthly

        payments as long as you live. All allowance payments will cease upon your

        death and no benefits will be provided for your survivors.

 

        Option B provides you with a lifetime allowance, which is approximately 0.5%

        less per month than Option A. The annuity portion of your allowance is

        reduced to allow a potential benefit for your beneficiary(ies). Upon your death,

        your surviving beneficiary(ies) of record, or if there is no beneficiary living, the

        person or persons appearing in the judgment of your retirement board to be

        entitled thereto will be paid the unexpended balance of your accumulated total

        deductions, if any, from the annuity reserve account. Although your retirement

        allowance is not reduced because of the depletion of your accumulated

        deductions, it is generally the case that your deductions are used up within

        eight to twelve years of your retirement, depending upon your age at

        retirement. Any remaining balance is to be paid to your beneficiary(ies) in the

        event of your death. Under Option B, you may designate any person(s) or

        charity or institution as your beneficiary. You may, at any time after retirement,

        change your Option B beneficiary (but not your option selection).

 

        Option C is also known as the joint and last survivor allowance. Selecting this

        option means that the allowance payments that you would receive during your        

        lifetime would be approximately 11.5% less than those you would receive under

        Option A. Upon your death, your designated beneficiary will be paid a monthly

        allowance for the remainder of his or her lifetime. That allowance will be equal

        to two-thirds of the allowance, which was being paid to you at the time of your

        death. The monthly allowance you receive under Option C depends upon life

        expectancy factors for you and your designated beneficiary. You may name

        only one beneficiary under Option C. The eligible beneficiaries are limited to

        your spouse, your former spouse (provided he or she has not remarried at the

        time the Option C benefit becomes payable to you), your child, your parent, or

        your sibling. You may not change your Option C beneficiary after your

        retirement becomes effective.

 

        NOTE: On the day of the appointment, please bring:

 

    •   Your marriage certificate (if applicable)

    •   Your birth certificate

    •   Your spouse’s birth certificate

 

Plan ahead

Fireman-on-radio