TO:          All Retirement Boards

FROM:    Joseph E. Connarton, Executive Director

RE:          Local Option Increase to Benefits Payable to Widows and Widowers of Disabled Public Employees under § 101 (Chapter 139 of the Acts of 2012)

DATE:      August 1, 2012

The recently enacted FY13 State Budget (Chapter 139 of the Acts of 2012) contained Sections 63, 64 and 65, all addressing the benefits payable to certain surviving spouses of disabled employees pursuant to G.L. c. 32, § 101.  A local option is now available to raise this benefit to $12,000.  (Chapter 32, § 101 now contains the statutory $6,000 benefit as well as a $9,000 supplemental allowance summarized in PERAC Memo #28 / 2010).

The new $12,000 local option must be adopted by the local board and approved by the legislative body.  Acceptance shall be deemed to have occurred upon the filing of a certification of such votes with the Commission.  Upon acceptance, the allowances of all individuals receiving an allowance pursuant to G.L. c. 32, § 101 will be increased to $12,000.  This provision can be accepted at any time.  If the acceptances do not take place, the allowance remains payable at either $6,000 per year or $9,000 if the 2010 local option was properly implemented.

The State Teachers’ and State Employees Retirement Systems shall be deemed to have accepted the new local option, effective July 1, 2012.

We trust the foregoing will be of some assistance to you.