Through the MARIS/Robert C. Minue Project, the Massachusetts State Retirement Board (MSRB) and staff have kicked off the transition to its new innovative computer system, MARIS (MAssachusetts Retirement Information System). For most MSERS members, the transition to MARIS will have little impact. If needed, MARIS/Robert C. Minue Project updates will be posted here as soon as they become available, so please check back periodically.

(Please note: The implementation of MARIS applies only to the Massachusetts State Employees' Retirement System (MSERS) and does not affect any other Massachusetts public employee retirement system.)

 

MARIS/ROBERT C. MINUE PROJECT GENERAL FAQ's

What is the MARIS/Robert C. Minue Project and what is occurring?

When will the change to MARIS take place?

RETIREE'S MARIS FAQ's

Will there be any changes to my benefit amount (Except those receiving dependent stipends or who have alternate payee deductions made)?

Will there be any changes to benefit amounts – (Dependent Stipends / Alternate Payees)

How will I know of any changes to my net benefit amount?

May I make voluntary changes to my retirement account during this period?

How would I report the death of a retiree or beneficiary during this period?

1099-R's / Tax Reporting

ACTIVE MEMBER'S MARIS FAQ's

May I file a retirement application during this period?

If I have previously filed a retirement application will the start of my retirement benefits be affected?

Will I be able to obtain retirement benefit estimates?

Will other benefit requests previously submitted be affected?

If submitted a refund/rollover request can I check on its status?

If I have questions, how may I contact the Board?


 


MARIS/ROBERT C. MINUE PROJECT GENERAL FAQ's


What is the MARIS/Robert C. Minue Project and what is occurring?

MARIS replaces the MSRB's forty-year-old computer system which processes the thousands of annual transactions managed by MSRB staff such as retirement applications, service purchases, refunds/rollovers.

Retirees and other benefit recipients of the State Employees Retirement System (”MSERS”) may observe some changes as a result of our switchover. Active employee members will be affected less so.

(The MARIS changes do not apply to members of the Massachusetts Teachers Retirement System or any other Massachusetts public employee retirement system.)

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When will the change to MARIS take place?

For retirees, beneficiaries, and other benefit recipients, the first monthly benefit payment using MARIS will be the regularly scheduled payment on January 31, 2017. Retirees will continue to receive your benefit payments in the same manner as they currently receive them, either by direct deposit or paper check on the last business day of each month.

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RETIREE'S MARIS FAQ's


Will there be any changes to my benefit amount (Except those receiving dependent stipends or who have alternate payee deductions made)?

For retirees, the gross benefit amount is not changing, and no other MSERS aspect of a retiree's benefit such as health insurance deductions is changing. 

MARIS is more precise with the tax withholding on the various components that make up the monthly benefit, i.e. the annuity portion of the monthly payment (pre-tax payroll contributions made on or after 1/12/1988 while an active employee).

As a result, some retirees may see a very slight increase in the monthly net benefit payment. The net benefit is the amount deposited to the retiree's account after any deductions for taxes and health insurance, etc.

Please note: You may also see a slight change in your tax withholding's due to the newly updated IRS 2017 Tax Withholding Tables. For more information, please consult with your professional Tax Advisor.

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Will there be any changes to benefit amounts – (Dependent Stipends / Alternate Payees)?

If a retiree receives either: (1) additional dependent stipend payments, or (2) has an alternate payee payment deducted as a result of a divorce agreement, under MARIS the dependent stipend and alternate payee payments will be paid directly to those recipients (via their own separate direct deposit account), rather than be included in a member's monthly benefit payment.

If a member has previously supplied updated payee information to the MSRB, and there are no changes they wish to make, they do not need to act further. If they need to update this information, please refer to the following instructions:

Members with Dependent Stipend:

If you have previously supplied updated stipend payee information to the MSRB, and there are no changes you wish to make, you do not need to act further. If you need to update this information, please contact our administrator, Joseph Martin, at (617) 367-9333 ext. 458 for additional instructions.

Alternate Payees:

As we have previously communicated, under MARIS you will be paid directly on the last business day of each month. If you have previously supplied direct deposit information to the MSRB and there are no changes you wish to make you do not need to act further. If you need to update this information, please contact our administrator, Barbie Welch, at (617) 367-9333 ext. 348 for additional instructions.

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How will I know of any changes to my net benefit amount?

Each current retiree and benefit recipient received a benefit payment statement by mail for the payments received on November 30, 2016 and December 30, 2016. Retirees and benefit recipients will also receive a benefit payment statement by mail for payments received on January 31, 2017. We would ask members to compare the information on the statements and contact us with any questions.

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May I make voluntary changes to my retirement account during the transition to MARIS?

Retirees and their families, may submit changes such as a change of address, a change of direct deposit account, change of an Option B beneficiary, or a change to your tax withholding amount. 

For active members, changes include a change of beneficiary information.

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How would I report the death of a retiree or beneficiary during this period?

Members or their families may continue to contact us with this information.

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1099-R's / Tax Reporting

As in the past, in January 2017 retirees and benefit recipients will receive by mail one Form 1099-R for the 2016 calendar year tax reporting. (Please note, any retiree and/or benefit recipient who receives more than one benefit, will receive a separate Form 1099-R for each benefit.)

Beginning in January 2018 if an individual receives either: (1) additional dependent stipend payments, or (2) an alternate payee payment as a result of a divorce agreement, under MARIS those individuals will receive their own Form 1099-R and will not be included in the member's Form 1099-R.

Important Note: For the tax year 2016, tax reporting will remain the same as past years.

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ACTIVE MEMBER'S MARIS FAQ's


May I file a retirement application during the transition to MARIS?

Members may continue to file retirement applications with us.

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If I have previously filed a retirement application will the start of my retirement benefits be affected?

Depending on the retirement date requested, there is a strong likelihood of a delay in the issuance of the first benefit payment. We will be able to communicate more information about the extent of any delays once we have gone live with MARIS. If members are planning to retire after January 2017, they may wish to wait to submit their retirement applications until that time.

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Will I be able to obtain retirement benefit estimates?

Yes. Members will be able to obtain retirement benefit estimates from the MSRB during the transition.

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Will other benefit requests previously submitted be affected?

Due to the recent voluntary incentive program for Executive Branch employees, and other ongoing employee activity such as the separation of manual toll collectors from MassDOT, the volume of benefit and related requests to our office increased significantly. As a result, it may take a little longer for us to get back to you, answer your individual questions and process your benefit requests.

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If submitted a refund/rollover request can I check on its status?

Yes. Members may contact us to check the status of their refund/rollover request.

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If I have questions, how may I contact the Board?

You may contact our offices at (617) 367-7770, or toll-free (800) 392-6014 (In MA Only); via email at srb@tre.state.ma.us.

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