If you at any point in your career worked in the public sector in Massachusetts and took a refund of your money when you left you may be able to re-establish credit through a service purchase. 

If you have been thinking about buying back service, now is the time to act. Members who entered service before April 2, 2012 had until April 2, 2013 to enter into a buyback agreement at the current regular buyback interest rate of 4%. Once you enter into an agreement you can pay the bill directly, use funds from your SMART Plan account, or take up to five years to pay your balance through payroll deductions at the regular buyback interest rate.

Pursuant to Section 9 of Chapter 176 of the Acts of 2011, this interest rate will double to 8% after April 2, 2013 for members in service prior to April 2, 2012. The interest rate for members who entered service on or after April 2, 2012 will change to 8% after they have been in service for one year. This change in the interest rate only applies to certain buybacks. Other types of buybacks such as Contract Service Buyback, Probationary Service and Veterans Service Buyback will not be affected by this change.



  • 4% - Regular Interest Rate
  • 8% - New Interest Rate after 1 year of membership or after April 2, 2013, whichever comes later.
  • Remember: the longer you wait to complete your buyback the more expensive it could get. Download a Buyback application and return your completed form to our Boston office located at 1 Winter Street, 8th Floor, Boston, 02108, if you would like to begin a buyback.

Forms may be submitted by:

  • E-mail  as a PDF to buyback@tre.state.ma.us
    • You will receive an automated response when request is received
  • Fax to (617) 723-1438
    • Please save your transmission report for your records
  • US Mail, post marked by 4/2/2012, to:

    State Board of Retirement
    Attn: Buyback Unit
    One Winter Street, 8th Floor
    Boston, MA 02108

For submissions received at the State Board of Retirement via fax, e-mail or in person, the "filed on" date will be the date received.

US mail after April 2, 2013, the "filed on" date will be the date postmarked.


Service Types Impacted by Interest Rate Change

  • Out-of-State Public School Teaching Service - §3(4)
  • Nun’s Bill/Non-Public, Private School Teaching Service prior to 1973, §3(4)(a)
  • Refunded Service from Massachusetts Retirement Systems, §3(6)
  • Prior non-membership Massachusetts service with a city, town or county, §3(5)


Service Remaining at Regular Buyback Interest Rate of 4%
(These Buybacks are not affected by the change)

  • Contract Service, §4(1)(s)
  • Elected Official, §4(1)(o)
  • Intermittent Police/Call Fire Fighter, §4(2)(b)
  • Provisional, Part-Time, Temporary, Seasonal - State Agency, §4(2)(c)
  • Educational Collaborative - prior to state take-over, §4(1)
  • Commonwealth Take-over, §4(d)
  • Peace Corp Service, §4(1)r
  • Probationary Service (first six months generally prior to the mid-1980's)