State Employee Retirement System (SERS)

Participation in the State Employee Retirement System (SERS) 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 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 SERS plan when you have attained 10 years of full-time creditable service.

Details can be found at

Optional Retirement Program (ORP)

ORP is an alternative to the SERS (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 SERS, 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 SERS.

Details can be found at

ORP Section 60 Update NEW!

Section 60 is the legislation that will allow eligible ORP participants to transfer from ORP to MSERS. Eligible participants will be receiving an informational packet from the Department of Higher Education during the week of April 14, 2014. Information seminars will be held at various locations throughout the state in April and May. Click here to see the list of seminars.

403 (b) PLANS - Voluntary

You may also voluntarily defer some of your own income to a 403 (b) plan, up to IRS limit of $17,500 if you are under 50 years old or $23,000 if you are 50 years old or over for calendar year 2013.

These 403 (b) contributions may go to one of the following companies: Fidelity, TIAA-CREF and VALIC.

457 (b) PLAN - Voluntary

You may voluntarily defer additional income into a 457(b) plan through Great-West Retirement Services up to IRS limit of $17,500 if you are under 50 years old or $23,000 if you are 50 years old or over for calendar year 2013.