November 18, 2013
2013: Creditable Service & Absence Without Regular Compensation
It is within the discretion of the State Boston Retirement System to allow up to thirty (30) days of creditable service to any member who was continuously absent without regular compensation pursuant to M.G.L. ch. 32, § 4(1)(c). The allowance of creditable service shall not exceed the number of days of continuous absence, if less than thirty, (i.e., 14 days of continuous absence may only be allowed 14 days of creditable service).
In order to be considered for this award of creditable service, the applicable absence must have been authorized by the member’s employer. This includes, but is not limited to, personal leaves of absence and Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) leaves, provided that they are authorized by the employer.
In no event shall a member be granted more than thirty (30) days of creditable service for such absences during the course of his entire membership with the State Boston Retirement System. This thirty (30) day cap applies to all members, including those who may have terminated and reinstated service.
(1) A member whose entire service is in a part-time position shall receive one year of creditable service for each year worked provided the member works the number of hours required by the position held.
(2) A member employed on a part-time basis who becomes full-time shall receive credit for his part-time service on a pro-rated basis as it relates to a full- time position.
(3) A member employed on a full-time basis who becomes part-time shall receive credit for his part-time service on a pro-rated basis as it relates to a full- time position.
(4) Part-time membership service performed on or before November 21, 2000 shall be credited with full-time service. Thereafter, all part-time service shall receive credit in accordance with the rules stated in this regulation.
A "teacher," is any person employed under a contract with the Boston School Committee on a basis of not less than half‑time service who
(a) is deemed to be a teacher by the Boston School Committee and
(b) performs services in a job title included in or substantially similar to those enumerated in Mass. Gen. Laws. c. 32, §1, paragraph 55 ("Teacher") or Mass. Gen. Laws. c.71, §38G, paragraph 19, and
(c) (i) holds a certificate required by the Board of Education of the Commonwealth or
(ii) has been granted a waiver pending certification by the Board of Education, or
(iii) has been approved as an apprentice teacher in accordance with the provisions of St. 1985, c. 188, §21 or
(iv) is exempted from the requirement of certification by the Commissioner of Education upon the request of the superintendent or by law or regulation.
In no event shall the State Boston Retirement System recoup more than 50% of the net amount of the member’s retroactive check. Should there still remain a balance of monies owed to the retirement system, after the issuance of the retroactive check, Board staff shall utilize the Vatalaro formula to collect the balance of monies owed to the State Boston Retirement System.
“has not been continuously a member in service” shall mean that the 75% limitation on an accidental disability retirement allowance of any member, with a membership date prior to January 1, 1988, is applicable, only if:
- the member had an unauthorized leave of absence without pay consisting of 31, or more, consecutive days, since January 1, 1988, but specifically not including any department approved or authorized leaves of absence.
For the purposes of M.G.L. ch. 32, § 7(2)(a)(ii) only, any unauthorized leave, or leaves, of absence without pay consisting of 30, or less, days does not constitute a severance of continuous employment. Thus, any member with a membership date prior to January 1, 1988, who had an unauthorized leave, or leaves, of absence without pay of 30, or less, days since January 1, 1988, shall not be subject to the 75% limitation on an accidental disability retirement allowance.
i. The trustees of the Boston Retirement Board have waived nearly $4 million dollars since 2000, largely monies owed to the retirement system due to incorrect contribution rates. This causes an obvious financial strain on the retirement system.
ii. Effective November 1, 2012, members who are identified as owing monies to the retirement system due to incorrect contribution rates shall be required to make their account whole.
iii. The Vatalaro formula allows a member to repay arrears in those cases where the member’s retirement date is approaching and a lump sum payment would create a financial hardship.
iv. Members-in-service who are in arrears are required to repay any arrears, even if he or she is not yet on the retirement payroll. Repayment may be in a lump sum or installment plan as approved by the Trustees.
v. The Trustees retain their rights to exercise their discretionary power to waive future arrears, as enunciated in MGL ch. 32, § 20(5)(c)(3), which states, in pertinent part: “at the request of a member who has been determined to owe funds to the retirement system, the board may waive repayment or recovery of such amounts….”
b. Formula for post-retirement repayment of arrears.
i. The Trustees believe that there is a fair way to reconcile the erroneous contribution rate without unnecessarily burdening the member of the retirement system:
- The “Unmodified” retirement allowance, Annuity and Pension for the member shall be calculated as if he had made the required payment;
- The member’s annuity should be recalculated based upon the actual contribution he made to the system;
- The member’s “Modified” total retirement allowance will therefore be equal to the sum of the pension portion (determined as if he had contributed at the correct rate) and an annuity (determined from actual contributions); and,
- At such time as the total sum of the difference between the Modified and Unmodified pension allowances exceeds the amount the Member failed to repay the system, the Member shall receive the Unmodified allowance.
a. The Vatalaro formula is enunciated in the matter of Anthony Vatalaro vs. State Retirement Board, CR-9962 (CRAB March 16, 1987)
c. Option Selection.
i. A member who elected Option B must name the “Boston Retirement Board” as an option B beneficiary to the extent of the arrears only.
- Any net monies above and beyond the arrears will be paid to the other Option B beneficiary or beneficiaries.
- In the event the member elects Option C. the Option C beneficiary is responsible for continuing the Vatalaro repayment until the member’s account is made whole.
a. Any Option C beneficiary must agree to waive that portion being collected until the account is made whole pursuant to MGL ch. 32, §90B.
EFFECTIVE DATE OF RETIREMENT FOR TEACHERS UNDER 10-MONTH CONTRACT
If a member is in service until the school in which he is employed closes for the school year, his retirement shall not take effect earlier that (sic) 12 o’clock midnight on June 30 irrespective of any earlier date, which may be designated on his application.
13.02. Definitions. For purposes of 807 CMR 13.00, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
“Election Opportunity” shall mean the 180-day election “window” available to Transferees in G.L. c. 32, § 5(4). Said election “window” shall begin on the date when the System receives the transfer of the member’s account from the other contributory retirement system.
“RetirementPlus” shall mean the enhanced superannuation retirement allowance provided for in G.L. c. 32, § 5(4). This term includes the Teachers’ Alternate Retirement Program (“TARP”) of the State-Boston Retirement System.
“Transferee” shall mean any member of another chapter 32 Massachusetts contributory retirement system who is transferring his or her membership to the System, or a member of the System who is transferring to another c. 32 contributory retirement system.
13.03. Refunds. (a) Any member who takes a refund of accumulated total deductions pursuant to G.L. c. 32, § 10(4) and after July 1, 2001 re-establishes membership with the System or the State-Boston Retirement System shall be a mandatory participant in RetirementPlus. Any member who takes a refund of accumulated total deductions pursuant to G.L. c. 32, § 10(4) and after July 1, 2001 re-establishes membership with another contributory retirement system, and later transfers to the System, shall be treated like any other Transferee.
13.04. Transfers In.
(a) Except as provided below, any Transferee into the System shall have an Election Opportunity.
(b) Because an election opportunity is irrevocable, any Transferee into the System who, since his/her date of membership (or re-establishment of membership after a refund), has made an election to participate or not participate in RetirementPlus (or who failed to so elect when an opportunity was available), shall not have another Election Opportunity. The rights of such a Transferee shall be governed by his or her previous election or non-election.
(c) Any Transferee into the System who is or was a mandatory participant in RetirementPlus shall not have an Election Opportunity.
13.05 Transfers Out. In transferring a Transferee’s account to another contributory retirement system, the System will transfer the entire account and break out for the other retirement system the “excess” contributions over the normal retirement contribution rate.
Payment schedules for the buyback of military service credit shall be available to a member whose buyback bill exceeds $1,000.00. Payment schedules must be completed within a five-year period or before the member retires, whichever comes first. No interest shall be charged over the period of the payment schedule. The Board may extend the five-year maximum payment period upon a showing by the member that the monthly payment amount for a five-year period would create an undue hardship upon the member.