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There are two distinct types of retirement plans and it is mandatory you enroll in one.  You are defaulted into the Massachusetts State Employee Retirement System (MSERS) and some employees may be eligible for the Optional Retirement Program (ORP). You have 180 days to opt into Optional Retirement Program as it is an irrevocable decision.

Mandatory retirement is paid by employee on a pre-tax basis, in lieu of Social Security (Windfall Provision). This may impact your future Social Security benefits.   You contribute 9% of your annual salary and an additional 2% of your salary above $30,000. 

The MSERS is administered by the State Board of Retirement and is a 401(a) Defined Benefit Plan. The plan is designed to provide you a monthly income based on your age, salary and years of service at the time you retire. 

Enrollment Due Date:  This form must be returned when you complete and return all pre-employment paperwork that was included in your hiring packet.

Details regarding your retirement can be found online at:

View the retirement benefit guide online at:

The Optional Retirement Program (ORP) is a 401(a) defined contribution plan, which is a flexible and portable retirement plan for employees at the Commonwealth’s public institutions of higher education.  The Department of Higher Education is the ORP plan administrator and Fidelity, TIAA-CREF and VALIC are the carriers.

Enrollment Due Date:   All completed forms are due within 180 days from your hire date.

Details regarding the ORP retirement program can be found online at:

Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1990 (OBRA)

Non-benefited employees must contribute to OBRA, which is administered by Great West Retirement Services.