840 CMR: PUBLIC EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT ADMINISTRATION
6.03: Privacy Standards
(1) Without the written consent of the data subject or his or her authorized representative, no
retirement board shall disclose to any person outside of the board any personal information contained
in a personnel or medical file which may be identified or associated with the data subject or other
materials or data pertaining to a specifically named individual if such disclosure may constitute an
unwarranted invasion of personal privacy unless such disclosure is required by Federal or State statute
(2) In determining whether personal information other than that contained in a personnel or medical
file is a public record, a retirement board shall balance the seriousness of any invasion of privacy which
release of the record may cause against the public's right to know about the contents of the record, and
shall consider whether the public interest in obtaining the information substantially outweighs the
seriousness of any potential invasion of privacy.
(3) In general, the determination whether release of materials or data may constitute an unwarranted
invasion of personal privacy must be made on a case by case basis. However, the board shall not
release records containing intimate details of a highly personal nature, such as information related to
alcohol or drug problems, mental health problems, or the like, without the written consent of the data
subject or an order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
(4) In making the determination whether the privacy exemption to the public records law limits
disclosure of information a retirement board shall observe the following principles:
(a) Information relating to a member's name, address, and type of retirement (e.g. superannuation,
ordinary disability, accidental disability, veteran status, etc.) is generally a public record;
(b) Medical files or information relating to a specifically named individual, including, the medical
reason for a disability retirement, shall not be considered a public record;
(c) Other material or data relating to a specifically named individual is generally not a public record
if the information contained in the record relates to intimate details of a highly personal nature.
(5) Any record pertaining to meetings of a retirement board including records pertaining to the financial
operation of the board shall be presumed to be a public record unless the record is exempt from
disclosure by 840 CMR 6.12.
(6) If a record contains both public and non-public information, the retirement board shall release as
a public record any segregable portion of such record which is an independent public record.
(7) Retirement board studies and reports based upon personal data held by the board may be
disclosed if all personal identifiers have been removed and no data subject can otherwise be identified
by the nature, content or context of such studies or reports.
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