Plan ahead to avoid financial surprises as you approach retirement. We are here to help, so give us a call.

GETTING READY TO RETIRE?

Retiring Soon

3 years before you plan to retire:

  1.  Set an approximate retirement date and get an estimate.

  2. Verify your service, date of birth, spouse’s date of birth, veteran status.  Note that your service is not determined solely by your hire date. Please report any discrepancies to the Retirement office.

  3. Do you have prior service or military service you could buy back?

  4. Make sure you understand how your pension may affect your potential Social Security benefits (WEP and GPO).  

  5. Considerations for retirement: Age (the most important factor), years of creditable service, and your three highest consecutive years average salary.

  6. Keep in mind that working for a Massachusetts public employer after  retirement has restrictions.

  7. Get information from your employer regarding your health and life insurance benefits after retirement.

 

2-3 months before planned retirement:

 

  1. Make an appointment to meet with Retirement staff. If you are married, your spouse should accompany you.

  2. Select Option A, Option B or Option C as described below:

 

Option A means that you will receive your full retirement allowance in monthly payments as long as you live. All allowance payments will cease upon your death and no benefits will be provided for your survivors.

 

Option B provides you with a lifetime allowance, which is approximately 0.5% less per month than Option A. The annuity portion of your allowance is reduced to allow a potential benefit for your beneficiary(ies). Upon your death, your surviving beneficiary(ies) of record, or if there is no beneficiary living, the person or persons appearing in the judgment of your retirement board to be entitled thereto will be paid the unexpended balance of your accumulated total deductions, if any, from the annuity reserve account. Although your retirement allowance is not reduced because of the depletion of your accumulated deductions, it is generally the case that your deductions are used up within eight to twelve years of your retirement, depending upon your age at retirement. Any remaining balance is to be paid to your beneficiary(ies) in the event of your death. Under Option B, you may designate any person(s) or charity or institution as your beneficiary. You may, at any time after retirement, change your Option B beneficiary (but not your option selection).

 

Option C is also known as the joint and last survivor allowance. Selecting this option means that the allowance payments that you would receive during your lifetime would be approximately 11.5% less than those you would receive under Option A. Upon your death, your designated beneficiary will be paid a monthly allowance for the remainder of his or her lifetime. That allowance will be equal to two-thirds of the allowance, which was being paid to you at the time of your death. The monthly allowance you receive under Option C depends upon life expectancy factors for you and your designated beneficiary. You may name only one beneficiary under Option C. The eligible beneficiaries are limited to your spouse, your former spouse (provided he or she has not remarried at the time the Option C benefit becomes payable to you), your child, your parent, or your sibling. You may not change your Option C beneficiary after your retirement becomes effective.

 

NOTE: On the day of the appointment, please bring:

 

● Your marriage certificate (if applicable)

● Your birth certificate

● Your spouse’s birth certificate

Frequently Asked Questions

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Records Access Officer

CONTACT US:

Phone: 413-499-1981      

Fax:      413-445-7990                                    

Email:   info@berkshireretirement.com

29 Dunham Mall

Pittsfield, MA 01201-6207

Mon-Fri: 8AM-4PM