All active members contribute a percentage of their salary towards their retirement. This contribution is deposited into an annuity account on behalf of the member. A statement of the annuity account balance is mailed to all active members yearly.
The amount you contribute into the system is defined according to when you entered state service. Refer to our benefit guide file size 4MB for more detailed information. The contribution rate for new state employees except for State Police is set at 9% of your salary plus an additional 2% for any amount earned over $30,000.
SERS is a Defined Benefit System
A defined benefit system generally calculates your retirement benefit based on a combination of your years of service and your age. The amount you contribute does not affect the calculation of your benefit.
Generally, members are eligible to retire with 10 years of service at age 55 or 20 years of service at any age. Once you retire, you are eligible for a monthly retirement benefit for the rest of your life. Depending on the retirement option you chose at the time of retirement, your beneficiary will qualify for a retirement benefit for life in the event of your death.
If you are in groups 1, 2, or 4, our simple to use pension calculator can give you a general idea of what your retirement benefit will be. Final calculations are not done until you apply to retire. The SERS Retirement Guide has detailed information on how to calculate your retirement.
Retiring is a Simple Process
Retirement applications are accepted up to 120 days before your date of retirement or up to 60 days after your date of retirement to qualify for a retroactive payment. Retirement applications received more than 60 days after your last date of employment will not be processed until 15 days after they are received.
If you have questions about the process, walk-in appointments are available at both our Boston and Springfield offices. You can also call either office with your questions.
All required applications are available in the Forms & Publications section.
What to Include with Your Retirement Application
All retirement applications need to include a copy of your birth certificate, a tax withholding form, veteran's discharge papers (if applicable), a direct deposit form and a signed copy of the option you are choosing.
If you are married, your spouse must sign and witness your option form.
If you are naming a beneficiary under Option C a copy of their birth certificate must accompany the application. If your option C beneficiary is also your spouse, a copy of your marriage license is required with the application.
Before You Retire
If you have suffered an injury or illness that prevents you from performing your duties at work, you may be eligible for a disability retirement. Board approval is required for a Disability retirement.
Buying Back Prior Service
If you ever worked for another State, City, County, or Municipality and took a refund of your money when you left, you may be eligible to buy your time back. In order for all of this time to qualify, you must complete the buyback before you retire. Please see our buyback information page for more.
If you believe you should retire under Group 2 or Group 4, you must submit a group classification questionnaire and be approved by the Board prior to retiring. See our Group Classification Information for more.
Leaving State Service
If you leave state service prior to being eligible to retire, you can take a refund of your annuity. Please see our refund information page for more.