Trial Court Employee Benefits

A complete guide of benefits available to Trial Court Employees.

As a Trial Court employee, you are eligible to receive a wide-ranging array of benefits. These benefits have been either established by the State Retirement Board and the Group Insurance Commission, negotiated through Collective Bargaining Agreements with the Unions representing the Trial Court or established by the Trial Court for all Trial Court employees.

Table of Contents

Overview

The Trial Court offers a competitive benefit package, which features an extensive array of options to consider towards your overall compensation package which include:

  • 75% state paid medical insurance
  • Reasonable Dental and Vision Plans
  • Flexible Spending Accounts and Dependent Care Assistance Programs
  • Low cost basic and optional life insurance
  • Retirement - State Employees’ Pension and a Deferred Compensation 457(b) Plan
  • 12 Paid holidays per year and competitive sick, vacation and personal time
  • Tuition remission program
  • Extended Illness leave program
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Qualified Employer for Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness Program

These benefits are an important part of your total compensation package.  

This summary does not create a contract or pending agreement between the Trial Court and any employee or group of employees. The Trial Court reserves the right to change or alter any or all of such plans, policies and procedures described herein and within its jurisdiction at such time as deemed appropriate, consistent with applicable law

Diversity Equity & Inclusion (DEI)

The Trial Court is committed to fostering an inclusive and just court system that provides a fair, respectful, and dignified court experience for court users and employees. More information can be found on our Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Experience homepage.

Training Opportunities

The Trial Court’s Judicial Institute is to support the administration and delivery of justice by increasing the knowledge, skills, understanding, and capacity of those who work in the Trial Court to successfully carry out our duties and responsibilities, and to treat all individuals with fairness, dignity, and respect. The Judicial Institute provides an array of training and resources to Trial Court employees to develop and deliver professional development, continuing education that is effective, practical, comprehensive, and engaging.

Retirement Benefits

Upon retirement from service with the Massachusetts Trial Court, employees may be entitled to a retirement benefit provided via the State Retirement Board. Employee retirement benefits are provided via a Defined Benefit Plan, which uses a formula to calculate retirement income based on age at retirement, total length of creditable service, and the average of the highest three years of annual salary.

The MSRB administers the Massachusetts State Employees' Retirement System (MSERS) for state employees and certain other employees of public entities. The MSERS is a contributory defined benefit system governed by Massachusetts General Law Chapter 32. The system provides retirement, disability, survivor, and death benefits to its members and their beneficiaries. More information can be found at the State Board of Retirement website.

Effects of Social Security Non-Contributing and your Commonwealth Employment

Your earnings from the Trial Court are not covered under Social Security. When you retire, or if you become disabled, you may receive a pension based on earnings from this job. If you do, and you are also entitled to a benefit from Social Security based on either your own work or the work of your husband or wife, or former husband or wife, your pension may affect the amount of the Social Security benefit you receive. Your Medicare benefits, however, will not be affected. Under the Social Security law, there are two ways your Social Security benefit amount may be affected. More information can be found on the Social Security website.

Massachusetts Deferred Compensation 457 SMART Plan

The Massachusetts Deferred Compensation 457 SMART Plan is the retirement savings program available for Massachusetts Trial Court employees. Eligible employees can save and invest before-tax and after-tax dollars through salary deferrals into a wide array of low fee investment options. More information can be found on the SMART Plan website.

Health, Wellness, Life, and Long-Term Disability Insurance Benefits

The Trial Court offers various health insurance plan options as well as Life Insurance and Long- Term Disability Insurance through the Group Insurance Commission (GIC).

Health Insurance Plans

Dental and Vision Insurance Plans

  • MetLife is the carrier for the dental portion, and Davis Vision is the vision provider for the vision portion of the GIC Dental/Vision Plan. The GIC Dental and Vision plan page will guide you through the plan options.

Flex Spending Accounts (FSA)

The Trial Court offers Flexible Spending Accounts through Benefit Strategies. New hires are eligible to enroll within 21 days of hire date. Additionally, new hires can enroll in commuter expense benefits as Commonwealth of Massachusetts employees.

To learn more about Health Care, Dependent Care FSA’s, and Commuter Expense Benefits, please click on the link below for more information.

Employee Assistance Program (Mass4YOU)

Through the Employee Assistance Program - Mass4You, GIC benefits-eligible employees and their families have access to a comprehensive suite of resources and the confidential support needed to achieve better work/life balance, including:

  • Three in-person or Tele-EAP (virtual) counseling visits per issue per year – no cost
  • 30-minute telephonic or in-person legal consultation per issue per year – no cost
  • 30-minute telephonic or in-person mediation consultation per issue per year – no cost
  • Three financial well-being visits (with no time limit) – no cost
  • Discounted rates for ongoing legal, financial and mediation services
  • Work/life qualified referrals, such as childcare, elder care, pet care, identity theft and many others

Phone: Call their 24/7 dedicated line at (844) 263-1982
Web: Visit the Live & Work Well (LAWW) website - (search for benefits provided through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts GIC)

Absence and Leave Policies

Trial Court employees are eligible for a variety of paid and unpaid time from work. Waiting periods may apply. Benefits may vary depending on whether you are a bargaining unit, or confidential employee, or a manager.

  • Family and Medical Leave Options (FMLA and PFML)
  • Sick Leave and Extended Illness Leave Bank (EILB)
  • Massachusetts Emergency Paid Sick Leave (MEPSL)
  • Pregnant Workers Fairness Policy
  • Holiday, Personal, and Vacation Leave
  • Military Leave
  • Leave for Jury Duty, Voting, and Court Appearances
  • Leave for Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking
  • Other Leave: Bereavement, Inclement Weather, and Small Necessities

Trial Court Personnel Policies & Procedures Manual

This manual provides direction, guidance, and general statements of policy and procedure to employees of the Trial Court. View the Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual.

Collective Bargaining Agreements

Certain Trial Court employees are represented by Collective Bargaining Agreements negotiated by the Trial Court. Depending on position, the Trial Court has Collective Bargaining Agreements with OPEIU Local 6 and NAGE.

Probationary Period

New employees are subject to a probationary period of 9 months. The use of accrued, paid vacation leave during a probationary period requires the approval of the employee’s immediate manager.

Massachusetts Trial Court Holiday Schedule

The Trial Court observes 12 paid holidays yearly. For a complete list, view the Trial Court legal holiday schedule.

Payroll Information

Employee Self-Service

Trial Court Employees are required to enter weekly timesheets.Trial Court employees are paid biweekly, via direct deposit with 26 pay periods in the calendar year. By using the Employee Service portal, employees are able to view pay advices, update their personal information and more.

Medicare Tax

All state employees hired on or after April 1st, 1986, are obliged to participate Medicare health coverage and are required to pay the Medicare portion of the Social Security tax.

Trial Court Intranet (Courtyard)

Courtyard is the Trial Court’s internal communications platform. Trial Court employees can access policies, information about benefits and other resources. Courtyard is a one stop shop for all things work related to the Trial Court’s organization. Employees can visit the Courtyard intranet for a complete overview of the organization.

Tuition Remission Program

Full-time permanent employees who have completed their probationary periods, and their spouses, may enroll in any State institution of higher education, excluding the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, and receive remission of part or full tuition for enrollment in a degree program or a continuing education program depending on the policies of the individual college. Approvals are requested through the Human Resources Department.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is a United States government program that was created under the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 to provide indebted professionals a way out of their federal student loan debt burden by working full-time in public service. The PSLF Program forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer. More information can be found on the Federal Student Aid website on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program page.

Credit Union – Metro Credit Union

Employees and their families are eligible to join the Metro Credit Union. This financial service offers employees a complete array of convenient comprehensive services, including automotive and consumer loans. Please visit the Metro Credit Union website for more information.

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