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Massachusetts Teachers’ Retirement System (MTRS) and the Massachusetts SMART plan (OBRA)

MTRS Overview

The Massachusetts Teachers’ Retirement System is a contributory retirement system governed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’s retirement law. The MTRS provides meaningful retirement, disability and survivor benefits to Massachusetts teachers, administrators and their families. It operates as a qualified plan under section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code.

You are required to contribute a set percentage of your salary and, if applicable, an additional 2% on any salary over $30,000 through regular payroll deductions. Most participants contribute 11%, but your contribution rate is established by the Commonwealth’s retirement law and is determined by the date on which you first became eligible for membership in a Massachusetts contributory retirement system.

Contact the MTRS at 617-679-6890 OR http://www.mass.gov/mtrs

How to enroll in MTRS

If you have not yet established an online MyTRS account, you will need to create one. On the MyTRS sign in page, click New to MyTRS? Create an account and, using your Social Security number and MTRS number, create your self-service account. To create an account for MyTRS Member Self Service enter your Social Security Number and the Member Number. Your member number (also referred to as ‘MTRS Number’) may be found on your most recent correspondence from the MTRS including the 1099R, Annual Statement Assignment Sheet or if you are new to the school, your business office can provide you with your Member Number after they have registered you in the system.

  1. Using your MyTRS username and password, sign in to your account.
  2. On your home page, under the heading My Online Tools, click the first link, Enroll in the MTRS, and follow the instructions.

Once you are logged into your account, complete steps 1-4:

  1. Provide your personal information
  2. Review and confirm your employment information
  3. Provide your history with all OTHER Massachusetts public retirement systems, if any
  4. Summary. Please review the information you provided for accuracy and click on the Submit button. If changes are needed please click on: “previous” and repeat steps 1-3 of the MTRS Enrollment Process.

Once your enrollment is completed:

Return your printed MTRS enrollment confirmation form to your school payroll official as soon as possible; so that your employer may process your MTRS payroll deductions and the MTRS may maintain your retirement account.

Register today by clicking the link below and following the instructions

http://www.mass.gov/mtrs/active-and-inactive-members/enrolling-in-the-mtrs.html

MTRS Voluntary OBRA SMART Plan

Massachusetts Deferred Compensation SMART Plan – Form (98966-01) Participants of MTRS may make additional contributions (voluntary contributions) to OBRA. Any voluntary contributions that you elect to make may be invested among the SMART Plan’s wide array of investment options and are freely transferable among options in accordance with the terms of the SMART Plan. OBRA voluntary contributions will be charged an administrative fee. Use this form to enroll in the SMART Plan and choose your own investment lineup from the options available in the Program. This form can be completed by employees who become eligible for MTRS and would still like to make voluntary contributions to OBRA.

OBRA Overview

As a part-time, seasonal or temporary employee of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or a Massachusetts local government employer, you are required to participate in the SMART Plan. The SMART Plan is an alternative to Social Security as permitted by the federal Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 (OBRA). OBRA, passed by the U.S. Congress, requires that beginning July 1, 1991, employees not eligible to participate in their employer’s retirement program be placed in Social Security or another program meeting federal requirements. The SMART Plan meets those federal requirements. The plan is an alternative to Social Security coverage as permitted by the federal Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 (OBRA). By virtue of participating in the Plan, you, as an OBRA employee, are not subject to tax on compensation under the Old Age, Survivors and Disability Income portion of FICA (the Federal Insurance Contributions Act). You will be subject to the Medicare portion of FICA. To participate in Mandatory and/or Voluntary OBRA plans please see the instructions and enrollment forms below:

*Please note that you can also enroll on the website by clicking on “Let’s Get Started” under ACCESS YOUR ACCOUNT.  (https://mass-smart.gwrs.com/routeRegistrationLogin.do)

OBRA Mandatory Contributions

As an OBRA employee, you must contribute at least 7.5% of your gross compensation per pay period to the Plan. Your contributions are made on a tax-deferred basis. This means that your contributions are not subject to federal or state income tax at the time they are made. You will be taxed on the value of your contributions (including any earnings) when you receive a distribution of your benefits from the Plan. You are required to complete the OBRA Mandatory Participant Enrollment form (98966-02) below. This form will be sent to Great-West Retirement Services, the provider designated by the Commonwealth of MA to manage this plan.

Mandatory OBRA SMART Plan for Non-MTRS Employees

Mandatory – Massachusetts Deferred Compensation SMART Plan – Form (98966-02) All non-MTRS employees and temporary, seasonal or part-time employees classified as OBRA are required to complete this form and enroll in the Plan.

OBRA Voluntary Contributions

Whether you participate in MTRS or OBRA Mandatory, you may make additional contributions (voluntary contributions) to OBRA. Any voluntary contributions that you elect to make may be invested among the SMART Plan’s wide array of investment options and are freely transferable among options in accordance with the terms of the SMART Plan. OBRA voluntary contributions will not be charged an additional administrative fee if you participate in OBRA Mandatory.

To set up voluntary contribution, please complete the OBRA Voluntary Enrollment form below. To learn more, please contact your local SMART Plan Representative at: (877) 457-1900 or http://www.mass.gov/smartplan

OBRA Voluntary SMART Plan for Non-MTRS Employees

Voluntary – Massachusetts Deferred Compensation SMART Plan – Form (98966-03) OBRA/Part-time employees can use this form to enroll in the Voluntary OBRA Plan. Employees may make additional contributions (voluntary contributions) above the mandatory contribution of 7.5% of compensation per pay period. Any voluntary contributions that you elect to make may be invested among the SMART Plan’s wide array of investment options. This form should be completed by employees enrolled in Mandatory OBRA who would like to make additional voluntary contributions to OBRA.

MTRS 101 Recording

Click the following link to view our MTRS 101 Recording

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