Glossary of Terms
Accidental disability retirement – a retirement based on a job-related injury rendering the employee permanently and totally disabled from performing the essential duties.
Annuity – a portion of your monthly retirement allowance that is based on the total amount in your annuity savings fund on the date of your retirement.
Annuity savings fund – the total amount of your contributions and interest in the Hampden County Regional Retirement System
Beneficiary – Any person or charity or institution
Board Members – a group of 5 people made up of 2 elected members, 2 appointed members and 1 member Executive Director-officio
Buy-Back of creditable service – The redeposit of a refund previously received from the termination of prior Massachusetts government employment
COLA – an annual cost of living adjustment not to exceed 3% of $12,000 upon Board approval, COLA’s are not automatic.
Contributions – the mandatory deduction of 5% or 7% or 7% & 2% or 8% & 2% or 9% & 2% withheld from your regular compensation
Creditable service – the amount of days, weeks, months, years of continuous contributing to the retirement system
Group 1 Member – Officials and general employees including clerical, administrative and technical workers, laborers, mechanics and all others not otherwise classified
Group 2 Member – Includes certain employees with hazardous occupations, such as ambulance attendants, licensed electricians, and certain employees caring for prisoners or the mentally ill.
Group 4 Member – Uniformed Police Officers and Firefighters.
Make-Up of creditable service – The amount of contributions owed for employment in Massachusetts government prior to becoming a member of a retirement system
Military Service Credit – A Veteran’s ability to purchase up to four years of creditable service corresponding to their military service
Option A – Election of this option prior to retirement date means that you will receive your full allowance as long as you live. No benefits will be provided to a beneficiary.
Option B – Election of this option prior to retirement date means that you will receive less than Option A as long as you live. Upon your death, your beneficiary (ies) will be entitled to the unexpended balance of your annuity account.
Option C – Election of this option prior to retirement date means that you will receive even less than Option B as long as you live. Upon your death, your survivor will receive a monthly allowance, two-thirds, for as long as they live. Included in option C is the “Pop-Up” provision; that is, if your Option C survivor dies before you do, you will thereafter be paid the full allowance you would have received had you chosen Option A.
Ordinary disability retirement – a retirement based on a non-job related injury rendering the vested employee totally and permanently disabled from performing the essential duties
P.E.R.A.C. – Regulatory Authority overseeing the 106 Retirement Systems in Massachusetts
Pension – a portion of your monthly retirement allowance that is the difference between the total retirement allowance and the amount provided by employee contributions
Refund – to receive the total contributions and/or interest in your annuity savings account at time of separation of government employment
Regular compensation – an amount of monies paid to you on a weekly or monthly basis for your regular hours worked in the governmental entity
Rollover – to receive a refund and transfer the monies to your individual retirement account
Superannuation retirement – collecting a monthly amount for as long as you live after you have stopped working for the governmental entity
Vested – The establishment of the right to a retirement allowance. Minimum of 10 years of contributing to a Massachusetts retirement system