HAVERHILL RETIREMENT SYSTEM
The Haverhill Retirement System
The Haverhill Retirement System is one of 106 contributory retirement systems for public employees in Massachusetts. A retirement board governs each system and all boards, although operating independently, are bound together under one retirement law, Chapter 32 of the Massachusetts General Laws, which establishes benefits, contribution requirements, and an accounting and funds structure for all systems.
Membership in a contributory retirement system is mandatory for nearly all public employees who are regularly employed on a full-time basis. Each retirement board exercises full jurisdiction to determine an employee's eligibility for membership in cases involving part-time, provisional, temporary provisional, seasonal or intermittent employment or service. Certain part-time, seasonal or temporary employees who are ineligible for membership may be required to contribute or participate in an alternative plan.
Employees who became members prior to January 1, 1975 must contribute 5% of their regular compensation. Employees whose membership commenced on or after January 1, 1975 but prior to January 1, 1984 must contribute 7%. Those employees whose membership began on or after January 1, 1984 but prior to July 1, 1996 must contribute 8 %. Those employees whose membership commenced on or after July 1, 1996 must contribute 9%. If your membership began on or after January 1, 1979 and if your annual rate of regular compensation is $30,000.00 or more, the treasurer of the governmental unit for which you work will withhold two (2) percent of that portion of your rate of regular compensation which is in excess of $30,000.00. This two percent withholding is in addition to the 7,8, or 9 percent that is already being deducted from your total regular compensation. This additional withholding will be made each pay period from that amount of your compensation that is in excess of an annual rate of $30,000.00 even before your total compensation for the year exceeds $30,000.00.
Eligibility for retirement means if your membership began prior to January 1, 1978, upon attaining age 55 you are eligible to retire. There are no minimum service (vesting) requirements for members in this category. If your membership began on or after January 1978 and you are a member of Group 1 or Group 2, you must have at least ten years of creditable service, and be age 55 or older to be eligible to receive a retirement allowance. If such a member terminates their employment prior to completing ten years of creditable service, eligibility for benefits is limited to a refund of accumulated deductions. You are eligible to retire at any age if you have twenty years of creditable service.
A public employee retirement allowance consists of two parts: an annuity and a pension. The contributions that are deducted during the course of your creditable service are deposited for you in an annuity savings fund by your retirement board. The interest that accrues on these contributions is credited to your individual account. That part of your retirement allowance that is based on the total amount in your annuity savings account on the date of your retirement is the annuity. A pension is the difference between the total retirement allowance specified by law and the amount provided by employee contributions.
The factors that affect the amount of your superannuation (a regular retirement, non-disability related) retirement allowance depends on your age at retirement, your length of creditable service, your three highest consecutive years average of regular compensation and your group classification.
The type of retirement plan that you are enrolled in is a "defined benefit" plan. This means that based on the factors mentioned above, you could determine what percentage of your three-year average you will be entitled to upon retirement. For example: If a person becomes a member at age thirty-three and works until age sixty-five as a group one member, he or she would be entitled to the maximum of 80% of their three highest consecutive years compensation.
When you do decide to retire you must contact the retirement office not earlier than four months prior to your date of retirement. We generally ask that you call one month prior to set up an appointment. If you are married, your spouse must accompany you so he or she can be informed of your options and your choice. If this is not possible, a form will be forwarded to your spouse informing them of the option chosen and the estimated payment under each of the three options. Payments of retirement allowances are made on the last business day of each month.
If you were entitled to the benefits of health insurance and life insurance while you were employed, these too will follow into your retirement and be deducted from your monthly check. (Not for Whittier Vo-Tech Members.)
For further information regarding the Haverhill Retirement System and its membership, please feel free to contact our office.
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Office of the Mayor
City of Haverhill, Massachusetts
City Hall, Room 100, 4 Summer Street, Haverhill, MA 01830
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