Massachusetts State Employee Retirement System (MSERS)


Participation in the Massachusetts State Employee Retirement System (MSERS) is mandatory, paid by you on a pre-tax basis, in lieu of Social Security (OASDI). This may impact your future Social Security benefits.

The plan is a Defined Benefit Plan. You contribute 9% on your whole salary (up to 64% of IRS compensation limit) and an additional 2% on your salary above $30,000. The plan is designed to provide you a monthly income based on your age, salary and service at the time you retire. You are vested in the MSERS plan when you have attained 10 years of full-time creditable service.

Details can be found at www.mass.gov/treasury/retirement/.

State Retirement Board Video Presentation (if not able to view in Internet Explorer, try Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari)

Optional Retirement Program (ORP)


ORP is an alternative to the MSERS (Massachusetts State Employee Retirement System) for eligible professional employees hired as of September 1, 2011 and current employees not vested in any retirement plan operating under Chapter 32 of the Massachusetts General Laws (typically the MSERS, Massachusetts Teachers’ Retirement and county/municipal plans). ORP gives employees a choice of vendors and investment elections and includes a match from the State along with life insurance and long-term disability benefits. Employees are still required to make the same mandatory contribution as in the MSERS.

Details can be found at www.mass.edu/orpenrollment.

Thinking about retirement? Be sure to contact a Benefits representative to review your benefit options and other important information. Email Benefits.UMMS@umassmed.edu or call 508-856-5260, option 1 to schedule an appointment. 

403 (b) PLANS 

You may also voluntarily defer some of your own income into the University 403 (b) plan, up to IRS limit of $18,000 if you are under 50 years old or $24,000 if you are 50 years old or over for calendar year 2016.

These 403 (b) contributions can be invested in a variety of investment options as well as a self-directed brokerage option. 

To enroll, log into www.netbenefits.com/umass to open an account. 

457 (b) PLAN/MA SMART Plan 

You may voluntarily defer additional income into the 457(b) plan/MA SMART Plan through Empower Retirement (Great-West Retirement Services) up to IRS limit of $18,000 if you are under 50 years of age or $24,000 if you are 50 years or over for calendar year 2016.

Roth 457 (b) PLAN Option 

The 457(b)/MA SMART Plan will have a Roth option available as of July 1, 2014. With the Roth option, your contributions are made with after-tax dollars. Therefore, your contributions are non-taxable when distributed and earnings are also non-taxable, provided that the distribution occurs after age 59 1/2 years, or upon disability or death AND no earlier than 5 tax years after your first Roth 457(b) contribution.  The contribution limits for the Roth option are the same for 2016: $18,000 if you are under 50 years of age or $24,000 if age 50 years or older.

Roth 457(b) Plan Information

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