CHAPTER 176 OF THE ACTS OF 2011 has altered the rules, particularly for new hires beginning April 2, 2012. Here is a summary of these changes.
The following minimum requirements must be met to be eligible to retire under normal superannuation retirement.
Membership commencing prior to 4/2/2012:
At least 10 years of creditable service and at least age 55.
At least 20 years of creditable service, no age requirement.
Additionally, for Group 4 there is no minimum service requirement at age 55.
Membership commencing on or after 4/2/2012:
Group 1 members must have at least 10 years of creditable service and be at least 60 years old.
Group 2 members must be at least 55 years old with a minimum of 10 years of creditable service.
Group 4 members must be at least 50 years old, with 10 years of creditable service.
At age 55, there is no minimum service requirement for Group 4 members.
Additional note: For anybody with membership that began prior to January 1, 1978, there is no service requirement if at least 55 years old.
If at anytime a member withdraws from a retirement system (refunds accumulated deductions), upon rejoining a retirement system in the future, the member will come in as a new member, and their membership date will be as of the date of rejoining, not the date of their prior (refunded) starting date of service. This information is imperative to members who were hired before 4/2/2012 who are considering withdrawing.
As an active member, you contribute a portion of your salary to your retirement each time you are paid. Upon reaching eligibility and retiring, you will receive a monthly retirement allowance for life. The amount of this allowance is directly based on your age, salary and number of years in the system.
There are three options to choose from when retiring. Once you retire you cannot change your option.
This option provides the largest benefit. All benefits will cease upon your death. There will be no benefits for your survivors under this option.
Under this option you will receive slightly less than under Option A. Your beneficiary(s) will receive as a one-time payment, your remaining annuity balance*, if any, upon your death. There is no lifetime benefit for your beneficiary under this option.
Under an Option B retirement, you may elect any person or persons to be your beneficiary. They need not be related to you.
*Your annuity balance starts with your total accumulated deductions upon retirement, and decreases each month by the annuity portion of your monthly allowance (non-pension portion).
This is the only option that provides a lifetime benefit for your survivor. Upon your death, your survivor will receive 2/3 of your allowance for the remainder of her or his life.
Your survivor must be your parent, child, sibling, spouse or former spouse (who has not remarried at the time of your retirement).
If your survivor predeceases you, you are not allowed to select a replacement. Instead, what is commonly referred to as the "pop-up" provision kicks in, and your allowance will automatically be switched to that of an Option A.
For those who retired before 1/12/1988, the "pop-up" provision does not apply.
Contact the Retirement Office for more information about your retirement options.