Jun 09, 2022

State Board Implementing New Guidelines for Estimated Pension Payment

The following update is from the MA State Retirement Board.

Retiring can be very stressful. When a retiree hasn’t received their first pension check for more than two months or possibly more, it only raises undue anxiety during this life-altering move into retirement.
“When I was elected to the State Retirement Board, one of my priorities has been to allow for an estimated payment if the first pension deposit could not be made within two months,” says Frank Valeri. “While the Board has allowed for a debit card to be issued before the first payment, retirees would prefer receiving a payment ‘in hand.’
“Over several months, I collaborated with my fellow Board members, as well as staff, to develop an estimated payment plan for ‘first payees’. And we did come up with a viable guidelines so that my fellow state retirees could receive payment within two months of their retirement.”
Last fall the State Board approved guidelines for requesting an estimated retirement benefit and earlier this year they were finalized. Hopefully there will soon be a formal process developed for members to request by written affidavit along with the current application form.
“I like to thank Chairman Deb Goldberg and my fellow Board members for all their help in bringing these guidelines to fruition. Here’s a summary of the key features.”
State Board Guidelines
Estimated First Payment
  • An eligible state member may make an application to receive an estimated superannuation retirement benefit (“Estimated Benefit Request”) within 60 days of the member’s stated retirement date.
  • An Estimated Benefit Request must be filed along with a completed MSRB-Superannuation Retirement Application form at least 30 days prior to the member’s stated retirement date.
  • A member, filing an Estimated Benefit Request, must have completed certain criteria before filing the Request (i.e., completed and paid any service purchase request and Group Classification determination finalized).
  • A member, filing an Estimated Benefit Request, acknowledges that an adjustment based on their salary, service, employment status or other pension calculation factors not available at the time of application will be applied for a final calculation of their benefit and adjusted appropriately to reflect an accurate final benefit level.
It must be noted that certain members may NOT be eligible for an Estimated Benefit because they are subject to certain conditions that include the involvement of other public entities, individuals and situations. (For Example; benefit payments involving divorce agreement conditions, Child Support Orders, Optional Retirement Plan transfers and Disability Benefits. Unfortunately, these conditions will prohibit the calculation of a reasonably accurate pension estimate within a 60-day period.
Also, it must be emphasized that these Guidelines apply only to members of the Massachusetts State Employees Retirement System (MSERS) who are eligible and applying for a regular pension (superannuation retirement allowance).

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