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

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

403 (b) PLANS 

You may also voluntarily defer some of your own income to a 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 may go to one of the following companies: Fidelity, TIAA-CREF and VALIC.

NEW!!  403(b) Plan Enhancements Coming in March 2016

The University is making changes to the supplemental retirement plans starting in March 2016. Please click on the links below for detailed information, FAQ's and meeting schedules for Fidelity group sessions and one-on-one sessions.  

UMass Letter to Employees 

403(b) FAQ's 

UMass 403(b) Summary of Changes

403(b) Enhancements Meetings Schedule 


457 (b) PLAN 


You may voluntarily defer additional income into a 457(b) plan through 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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