Who is eligible to receive an ordinary disability retirement allowance?
Any member is eligible, providing that they meet the service requirements listed below, who is permanently incapacitated from performing the essential duties of his or her position, and the incapacitation is not work-related.
What are the service requirements for ordinary disability retirement?
The service requirements for ordinary disability retirement differ among veterans, non-veterans and depend upon whether a system has accepted a specific local option.
Service requirements vary. Applicants who file for ordinary disability retirement on or after January 12, l988, from the State Retirement System, the Teachers' Retirement System and any other system that has accepted the provisions of G. L. c. 32 § 6(1), must have been granted at least ten years of creditable service. Most systems have accepted this provision. In the handful of systems which have not accepted the provision, a member must have at least 15 years of creditable service in order to apply for ordinary disability retirement.
Members who are veterans must have been granted at least ten years of creditable service.
What is the benefit payable when a person is awarded an ordinary disability retirement?
For non-veterans, the benefit payable is the same as would be payable for a regular or "superannuation" retirement, utilizing a formula using age, creditable service and the average of a person's three highest years of regular compensation. For persons under the age of 55, the age factor will be "bumped up" to 55, providing a larger benefit.
For veterans, the benefit payable is the annuity plus a yearly amount of pension equal to one-half the average annual rate of regular compensation for the twelve month period immediately preceding the effective date of their retirement allowance.
Is there any benefit to a non-veteran over the age of 55 applying for ordinary disability retirement benefits?
This guide is only concerned with the Massachusetts public pension system. A non-veteran over the age of 55 would receive the exact same financial benefit as a superannuation retirement when they apply for ordinary disability retirement over the age of 55. They would also be subject to certain earnings limitations and subject to periodic reexamination. That being said, there may be benefits to choosing an ordinary disability retirement over a superannuation retirement. If a person retires under disability, there is always the opportunity for them to return to service pursuant to G.L. c. 32, § 8. Also, being out on a disability retirement may be beneficial for certain programs. The decision of which benefit to apply for is a personal matter, and each individual must weigh the pros and cons of their particular circumstances.