PERAC's MASSACHUSETTS PUBLIC EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT GUIDE
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Main Guide

     
This guide is designed to familiarize you with contributory retirement systems for public employees. The contents do not affect the contractual rights between a system and its members and, in the case of any conflict, Chapter 32 of the Massachusetts General Laws and the regulations promulgated by the Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission shall govern. All citations noted in this document are from G.L. c. 32 unless otherwise indicated.

Updates to This Guide This guide reflects changes and amendments to the law through the enactment of Chapter 176 of the Acts of 2011.

 
THE MASSACHUSETTS RETIREMENT SYSTEM STRUCTURE

Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission
All 105 retirement systems are overseen by the Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC).

105 Contributory Retirement Systems
There are 105 contributory retirement systems for public employees in Massachusetts. A retirement board governs each system and all boards, although operating independently, are bound together under one retirement law—Chapter 32 of the Massachusetts General Laws—that establishes benefits, contribution requirements, and an accounting and funds structure for all systems.

There are several categories of retirement systems or boards:

County and Regional Boards
These boards are the retirement administrators for county employees and employees of smaller towns and units within counties that do not have their own boards. In counties that have been abolished, regional retirement boards are the retirement administrators for retirees and current employees.

Municipal Boards
These boards are the retirement administrators for individual cities and larger towns within the Commonwealth.

State Board
This is the board for all state employees. There are also some smaller non-state units that are administered by this board.

Teachers’ Board
This board covers all public school teachers in Massachusetts, with the exception of Boston teachers. The Boston Retirement Board administers the benefits of the Boston teachers, although the state is responsible for the cost.

Other Boards
Six other boards are established by Chapter 32: Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency, Massachusetts Port Authority, Blue Hills Regional School Employees, Greater Lawrence Sanitary District, Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical School District, and Massachusetts Water Resources Authority.

Pension Reserves Investment Management (PRIM) Board
This board is not a retirement board, but is charged with general supervision of the investment and reinvestment of the Pension Reserves Investment Trust (PRIT) Fund for the state employees, state teachers, and other participating/purchasing retirement systems.

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