The following supplemental rules have incorporated and updated all prior supplemental rules and practices of the Hampshire County Retirement System to be in compliance with legislative changes to MGL Chapter 32 and with established case law and as such replace any and all previously adopted supplemental rules.
These rules, regulations, or practices were approved by the Hampshire County Retirement Board on March 8, 2012 and have been adopted following review by the Hampshire County Retirement Advisory Council and a public hearing held on June 14, 2012.
During any period of active service subsequent to July 1, 2009 the term "Regular Compensation", as defined by M.G.L. c.32, § 1, shall be determined subject to the following:
(a) to be considered regular compensation, any compensation to an employee must be compensation received exclusively as wages by an employee for services performed in the course of employment for his employer.
(b) "wages" shall mean the base salary or other base compensation of an employee paid to that employee for employment by an employer including pre-determined, non-discretionary, guaranteed payments paid by the employer to similarly situated employees, provided, that "wages" shall include payments made by the employer to the employee because of the character of the work, because of the employee's length of service, because of the time at which the work takes place as a condition of employment in a particular position, because of educational incentives, and payments for holding the training, certification, licensing or other educational incentives approved by the employer for the performance of services related to the position the employee holds and payments made by the employer to the employee calculated as a percentage of base pay;
(c) Any amount, benefit or payment included in the definition of "regular compensation" by law or by regulation prior to July 1, 2009 and included in any applicable collective bargaining agreement or individual contract for employment in effect on May 1, 2009, shall continue to be included in the definition of "regular compensation" during the term of that collective bargaining agreement or contract; provided, however, that any such amount, benefit or payment received after the term of said collective bargaining agreement or contract ends or after June 30, 2012, as the case may be, shall continue to be considered regular compensation unless such payment does not meet the criteria set forth in 840 CMR 15.03 (3) (b) or is excluded by the provision of 840 CMR 15.03 (3) (f);
(d) Regular compensation shall include any part of the wages derived from federal grants except as provided in M.G.L. c. 32 § 3(2)(a)(xi);
(e) Lump-sum retroactive payments which would have been wages if paid in the periods in which the services remunerated thereby were actually rendered will be allocated to said periods rather than being entirely attributed to the time of receipt for the purpose of determining a member's regular compensation;
(f) "wages" shall not include, without limitation, overtime, commissions, bonuses other than cost-of- living bonuses, amounts derived from salary enhancements or salary augmentation plans which will recur for a limited or definite term, indirect, in-kind or other payments for such items as housing, lodging, travel, clothing allowances, annuities, welfare benefits, lump sum buyouts for workers' compensation, job-related expense payments, automobile usage, insurance premiums, dependent care assistance, 1-time lump sum payments in lieu of or for unused vacation or sick leave or the payment for termination, severance, dismissal or any amounts paid as premiums for working holidays, except in the case of police officers, firefighters and employees of a municipal department who are employed as fire alarm signal operators or signal maintenance repairmen money paid for holidays shall be regarded as regular compensation, amounts paid as early retirement incentives or any other payment made as a result of the employer having knowledge of the member's retirement, tuition, payments in kind and all payments other than payment received by an individual from his employing unit for services rendered to such employing unit, regardless of federal taxability.