Accidental Disability: Allowances

  • What makes up an accidental disability retirement allowance?

    An accidental disability allowance consists of two parts: an annuity and a pension. The allowance is payable on the last day of each month.
  • How is my annuity calculated?

    Annuity

    Your annuity is based upon your total accumulated deductions, with related interest, and your age on the date of retirement.
  • How is my pension calculated?

    Pension

    Your yearly pension is equal to 72% of the annual rate of regular compensation that you were earning on the date your injury was sustained, or 72% of the average annual rate of regular compensation for the twelve month period for which you last received regular compensation, whichever amount is greater.

    Your yearly pension portion of the allowance if you are working in a permanent position will be equal to 72% of the annual rate of regular compensation on the date such injury was sustained or such hazard was undergone.

    If you are injured and return to work in a permanent position and your initial injury is exacerbated by a later on-the-job injury your pension will be 72% of the average annual rate of regular compensation on the date of the later injury that exacerbated the initial injury. Thus, if you received salary increases, returned to work, and later were re-injured, the formula will take the salary increase into consideration.

    If you are in a temporary or acting position on the date your injury was sustained or hazard undergone, the retirement allowance is based on the annual rate of regular compensation in your permanent position on the date such injury was sustained or such hazard was undergone, or the average annual rate of your regular compensation in your permanent position for the 12-month period for which you last received regular compensation immediately preceding the date your retirement allowance becomes effective, whichever is greater.

    For any employee who was not a member-in-service on or before January 1, 1988 or who has not been continuously a member-in-service since that date, the total yearly amount of the sum of such pension and the annuity as determined shall not exceed 75% of the annual rate of regular compensation; and provided that no individual who was a member-in-service on January 1, 1988, whose allowance is limited by the 75% limitation as established in this paragraph, shall receive an amount of pension that is less than 72% of such individual's regular compensation on January 1, 1988.

    Members retiring under one of the presumptions, G.L. c. 32, §§ 94, 94A, and 94B need not provide an injury date. In presumption cases, the date of injury for purposes of calculating the allowance will be the date that the member last received regular compensation.

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Additional Pension for Children

  • Is there an additional pension benefit to which I am entitled if my children are eligible?

    Systems that have not accepted G. L. c. 32, § 7(2)(a)(iii)

    In systems that have not elected to accept the provisions of G. L. c. 32, § 7(2)(a)(iii), you will receive a yearly amount of additional pension of $312.00 for each of your surviving, unmarried children who are under the age of 18, or who are over said age but physically or mentally incapacitated from earning on the date of your retirement, or who are over age 18 but under age 22 and a full-time student at an accredited educational institution.

    Systems that have accepted G. L. c. 32, § 7(2)(a)(iii)
    After July 1, 1988, if you were a member of the State Retirement System, the Teachers’ Retirement System, or any other system electing to accept the provisions of G. L. c. 32, § 7(2)(a)(iii), the yearly amount of additional pension you received on account of each of your eligible children was $450.00.  However, this amount has been increased by an amount equal to the percentage increase of the cost-of-living each year, as determined by the General Court for retirement allowances, pensions, and annuities.  As of July 1, 2015, the additional annual pension for eligible children was $846.12.
  • How long will I continue to receive an additional pension on account of my children?

    Payments will continue as long as the child survives, remains unmarried and is under age 18 or if the child is over age 18, for so long as the child remains a full-time student at an accredited educational institution and is under 22 years of age. If a child is physically or mentally incapacitated from earning, payments would continue for the duration of the child's incapacity.

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Limitations on Benefits

  • Is there a limitation on the retirement allowance payable to an accidental disability retiree?

    There is a limitation on the allowance of any Group 1, 2, or 4 retiree, regardless of classification, who became a member-in-service after January 1, 1988, or who has not been a member-in-service continuously since January 1, 1988.

    The annual retirement allowance (the sum of pension and annuity, exclusive of payments made for eligible children) of such retirees cannot exceed 75% of the annual rate of regular compensation used to calculate the allowance.
  • I was a member-in-service on or before January 1, 1988. Is my accidental disability retirement allowance subject to this limitation?

    No, provided your member-in-service status has been continuous since that date. However, if your service has not been continuous since January 1, 1988, your allowance will be subject to the limitation.

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Workers' Compensation Offset/Accidental Disability

  • Am I required by law to file for the Workers' Compensation benefits to which I am entitled?

    If the injury for which you seek accidental disability benefits is also covered by Workers' Compensation benefits, you must, as a condition to filing for disability retirement, also file for Workers' Compensation benefits. If you neglect to file, your retirement board will file on your behalf. Failure to cooperate with your retirement board will result in suspension of your right to receive a disability retirement allowance.
  • Does my receipt of Workers' Compensation payments affect my accidental disability retirement allowance?

    If the payments that you receive under Workers' Compensation are based on the same injury for which you retired, your Workers' Compensation benefit will be offset against your retirement allowance, and will reduce the pension portion of your allowance, leaving the annuity portion unaffected. Workers' Compensation payments that are based on a different injury will not affect your retirement allowance.

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Third Party Recovery/Accidental Disability

  • Must recovery be sought from "third parties" that cause the accidental disability or death of public employees?

    Members or their beneficiaries who are entitled to accidental disability or death benefits must exercise their right to recover lost wages from such third parties. Amounts recovered on account of lost wages are offset against the pension benefit and, therefore, reduce the pension portion of the retirement allowance.
  • What steps must a retirement board take if a member or beneficiary fails to fully prosecute such rights?

    Retirement boards may prosecute such rights on a member's behalf. If a member or beneficiary fails to cooperate, the board may, during the period of such failure, suspend the right of the member or beneficiary to further payment.

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Ordinary Disability: Allowances

  • How is an ordinary disability allowance for a non-veteran calculated?

    Non-Veterans who were members prior to April 2, 2012

    An ordinary disability retirement allowance is calculated as though the non-veteran is being retired for superannuation at age 55 if under age 55, or at the actual age if over 55, with the amount of creditable service the member has actually achieved. Non-veteran members of Group 2 and 4 who become members on or after April 2, 2012 will still have this formula apply to them.

    Non-Veterans who became members of Group 1 on or after April 2, 2012
    An ordinary disability retirement allowance is calculated as though the non-veteran Group 1 member is being retired for superannuation at age 60 if under age 60, or at the actual age if over 60, with the amount of creditable service the member has actually achieved.
  • How is a veteran's ordinary disability allowance calculated?

    A veteran retired for ordinary disability will receive an allowance consisting of an annuity based on age and accumulated deductions, plus related interest, and a pension equal to 50% of the annual rate of regular compensation for the last year immediately preceding retirement for which he or she received regular compensation.
  • Is there a special provision that applies to veterans who are 55 or older?

    The allowance of a veteran retired for ordinary disability after becoming age 55 will not be less than the allowance he or she would receive if retired for superannuation.

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Workers' Compensation Offset/Ordinary Disability

  • Does my receipt of Workers' Compensation payments affect my ordinary disability retirement allowance?

    If the payments you receive under Workers' Compensation are based on the same injury for which you retired, your Workers' Compensation benefit will be offset against your retirement allowance, and will reduce the pension portion of your allowance, leaving the annuity portion unaffected. Workers' Compensation payments that are based on a different injury will not affect your retirement allowance.

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Third Party Recovery/Ordinary Disability

  • Must recovery be sought from "third parties" that cause the ordinary disability of public employees?

    Members or their beneficiaries who are entitled to ordinary disability must exercise their right to recover lost wages from such third parties. Amounts recovered on account of lost wages are offset against the pension benefit and, therefore, reduce the pension portion of the retirement allowance.
  • What steps must a retirement board take if a member or beneficiary fails to fully prosecute such rights?

    Retirement boards may prosecute such rights on a member's behalf. If a member or beneficiary fails to cooperate, the board may, during the period of such failure, suspend the right of the member or beneficiary to further payment.

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