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