Hampshire County Retirement System


Getting Started

Membership

Membership is mandatory for all public (municipal, district, or authority) employees who regularly work on a full-time basis. Membership for part-time and other employees is determined by local board membership regulations.

Contributions are mandatory and automatically deducted. Contribution rates are set by statute based on your membership date.

You earn creditable service for your time worked. Full-time service is defined as minimum 35 hours/week. For full-time service, you earn 1 month of creditable service for each month worked. Part-time service is prorated based on number of hours actually worked.

Naming Beneficiaries

In the event of your death prior to retirement, the statute provides death benefits to qualifying spouses, minor children, or other named beneficiaries. Qualifying spouse and minor children have superior rights to death benefits by statute i.e. c.32 § 12 (2)(d). However, in the event you do not have a qualifying spouse, minor children, or other eligible beneficiary at the time of your death, you may also name one or more beneficiaries to receive a lump-sum distribution of your annuity savings account (your contributions) as an alternate benefit under c. 32 §11(2)(c). In the event you have no eligible beneficiaries, a lump sum payment of your contributions will be paid to your estate. See Beneficiaries for more information regarding death benefits and eligible beneficiaries.

Understanding Your Retirement Benefits

There are three basic types of retirement benefits available to qualified members.

  • Superannuation (regular age/service based retirement) benefits
  • Disability retirement benefits
    • Ordinary Disability (non-job related)
    • Accidental Disability (job-related)
  • Member-in-Service Death benefits

Qualifying for Retirement Benefits

To qualify for a retirement benefit you must be vested (minimum 10 years of creditable service) and you must meet minimum age requirements.

The basic formula for a benefit consists of three factors.

  • Your benefit rate (age at retirement, group classification, membership date)
  • Your years of creditable service
  • Your average regular compensation (3-years or 5-years based on membership date)

Your benefit rate, minimum age requirements, and average salary calculation are based on your membership date. See How Benefits are Calculated

BENEFIT GUIDES

Disability Process during COVID-19

Due to COVID-19, PERAC has suspended scheduling in-person Medical Panel examinations. However, with the agreement of all the parties (applicant, employer, and retirement board), PERAC has established a temporary waiver process to schedule medical panel reviews based on submitted documents and teleconference examinations. Contact us for further information on waiver process.

Divorce & Domestic Relations Orders

Ready to Retire Forms

At this time, you can download and print forms, but you cannot submit them electronically.  After completing form, print, sign and mail the form to: Hampshire County Retirement System, 99 Industrial Drive, Suite 2, Northampton, MA 01060-2326