Plan Benefits Information

Please also review WRRS Supplemental Regulations

In Massachusetts, after ten years of creditable service in a public employee retirement system, you are considered vested and are eligible to apply for retirement if you meet your specific age requirement.

The following requirement must be met to be eligible to retire under normal superannuation retirement.

Members Prior to April 2, 2012

Group 1 Employees
At least 10 years of creditable service and at least age 55.
At least 20 years of creditable service, no age requirement.

Group 4 Employees (Firefighters, Police Officers, Public Safety, Light Department Linemen and Supervisors)
At least age 55, no minimum service requirements.
At least 20 years of creditable service, no age requirement.

Members Who First Become Members on or after April 2, 2012 

Group 1 Employees

At least  age 60 with 10 years of creditable service, 20 year creditable service retirement abolished.

Group 4 Employees

20 year retirement abolished.

Although there is no age requirement for pre-April 2, 2012 members that have at least twenty (20) years of creditable service, the further below the maximum age factor (Age 65 for Group 1 and Age 55 for Group 4) you are at retirement, the lower your benefit. Read about your retirement options below to learn more about benefits.

The exceptions to the retirement eligibility rules, as quoted from the Massachusetts Public Employee Retirement Guide, are as follows:

“Any individual whose membership in a public employee retirement system began before January 1, 1978, and who maintains an annuity savings fund account with that retirement system is eligible to receive a superannuation retirement allowance at age 55 or later, regardless of how many years of creditable service he/she has completed.”

Retirement Options
As an active member, you contribute a portion of your salary to your retirement each time you are paid. Upon reaching eligibility and retiring, you will receive a monthly retirement allowance for life. The amount of this allowance is directly based on your age, salary average and number of years in the system.

There are three options from which to choose when retiring. Once you retire you cannot change your option.

Option A
This option provides the largest benefit. All benefits will cease upon your death. There will be no benefits for your survivors under this option.

Option B
Under this option you will receive slightly less than under Option A. Your beneficiary(s) will receive as a one-time payment your remaining annuity balance,* if any, upon your death. There is no lifetime benefit for your beneficiary under this option.

Under an Option B retirement, you may elect any person or persons to be your beneficiary. The beneficiary need not be related to you.

*Your annuity balance starts with your total accumulated deductions upon retirement, and decreases each month by the annuity portion of your monthly allowance (non-pension portion).

Option C
This is the only option that provides a lifetime benefit for your survivor. Upon your death, your survivor will receive 2/3 of your allowance for the remainder of her or his life.

Your survivor must be your parent, child, sibling, spouse or former spouse (who has not remarried prior to your retirement).

If your survivor predeceases you, you are not allowed to select a replacement. Instead, what is commonly referred to as the “pop-up” provision kicks in, and your allowance will automatically be switched to that of an Option A.

For those who retired before 1/12/1988, the “pop-up” provision does not apply.

Contact the Retirement Office for more information about your retirement options.