Creditable Service for Retirement (MSRB)

As a member-in-service you earn creditable service toward a retirement allowance for the time during which you contributed a percentage of your salary to the retirement system.

Overview

If you are a full-time employee, you will earn one year of creditable service for each year completed. For those employed on a less than full-time basis, you will earn an amount of service equal to a percentage of the full-time service rate. For example, if you are employed on a half-time basis you will receive 50% or 6-month service for each year completed.

Special Note

Please note, as of August, 1973, M.G.L. c.32, §1 excluded from the definition of “employee” any person whose compensation for service rendered to the Commonwealth was derived from the subsidiary account 03 of the appropriation of any department.

If you provided contract service prior to August 1973, you may do a regular buyback of this service. If you provided contract service to the Commonwealth after August, 1973 and currently remain an active employee and a member in–service of the MSERS, please refer to the section on Contract Service Purchase.

Vesting and Eligibility

Being vested means you are eligible to receive a retirement allowance. You are vested in the State system if you have at least ten years of full-time service. To be eligible to retire, you need to meet one of the following conditions:

  • You entered state service prior to April 2, 2012 and you have 20 years of full-time creditable service at any age, or  
  • You entered state service prior to April 2, 2012 and you attain the age of 55 with ten years of creditable service, or
  • You entered state service on or after April 2, 2012 and you attain the age of 60 if retiring from Group 1, with ten years of creditable service.

If you leave state service after you are vested, you may leave your retirement contributions in the system and receive a state pension once you meet the minimum age requirement.

Benefits for Dual Members

In 2010 the method changed for determining benefits for individuals who are employed by two different governmental units and are members in two different retirement systems at the same time. Under the changes a person would be paid an allowance that is calculated as if their employment was solely in each position within each retirement system so that each benefit is separately calculated by each retirement system.

The changes do not apply to persons who as of January 1, 2010 were vested and who received regular compensation from two or more units in more than one retirement system. It also does not apply to any member who did not receive regular compensation from each of two or more units concurrently on or after January 1, 2010.

Note for Elected Officials and Dual Members

If you have service while in elected office; service in a position where you were compensated less than $5000.00 annually; or service as a dual member, i.e. a member in more than one retirement system at the same time, please contact the Board.

Pension law changes have affected whether, and how much, these types of service can be considered creditable service for retirement purposes.

Service After Age 70

Important Notice: Chapter 32, Section 90G3/4 Repealed (Affects Active Employees Approaching Age 70)

A change to Chapter 32, repealing section 90G¾ was enacted as part of the fiscal year 2018 state budget and is effective as of July 1, 2017. That section previously required an active member of a public retirement system who reached the age of 70, and wished to continue to accrue creditable service after that age and to continue making contributions, had to elect to do so.

As a result of this repeal, the MSRB will no longer issue a letter to active members approaching age 70 advising them of this requirement. All otherwise eligible members will continue to contribute to the retirement system. All choices made regarding 90G¾ before July 1, 2017 will remain in effect.

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