Who is eligible to participate?

MTA members in the following locals who were in the ORP as of October 5th 2013 were eligible to participate in S-60/ORP:

  • Association of Professional Administrators
  • Faculty Staff Union Boston
  • Massachusetts Community College Council
  • Massachusetts Society of Professors Amherst
  • Massachusetts Society of Professors Lowell
  • Massachusetts State College Association
  • Professional Staff Union Amherst
  • Professional Staff Union Boston

Section 60 Eligibility & Elections

Providing Information to Help MTA Members Make Decisions

The MTA and its local affiliates are not equipped to provide personal financial advice to members, so members must consult their own financial advisors about the personal financial implications of participating in S-60/ORP. The MTA has maintained regular communication with state officials involved in the implementation process and continues to share this information with members.

Helpful Documents
S-60/ORP Implementation Basics

The procedure established for Eligible Participants to transfer their ORP participation to the MSERS is comprised of five successive steps:

Source: Board of Higher Education FAQ # 4

1. Notice of Eligibility

The Commonwealth notified each Eligible Participant of their opportunity to change plans on or before the Section 60 Effective Date.

2. Notice of Interest

Each Eligible Participant received a Notice of Interest along with their Notice of Eligibility. Participants had to complete and return the Notice of Interest to the DHE in order to receive an estimate of the amount of Qualifying Service and the cost to purchase that service under Section 60. Participants had to return, and the DHE had to receive, the Notice of Interest on or before October 27, 2014, in order to maintain their eligibility for the opportunity to change retirement plans.

3. Retirement Plan Information Package

After receipt of a participant’s Notice of Interest Form, the Massachusetts State Retirement Board (MSRB) provided a “Statement of Service” with the estimated amount of Qualifying Service and the estimated cost to purchase that service. Also included was a Plan Election Form.

4. Plan Election Form

Participants had to complete and return the Election Form to the DHE within 180 calendar days of the date the Retirement Plan Information Package was mailed. The Election Form recorded their choice of plans: ORP or MSERS.

5. Transfer of ORP Assets

The DHE began the transfer of ORP assets to the State Retirement Board (“MSRB”) on behalf of participants' electing to change their retirement plan coverage to the MSERS.The process is continuing. For those who have ORP assets in a TIAA Traditional account, the transfer process is likely to be open until they leave their state employment.

Implementation information

The MTA has met with the Board of Higher Education and MSERS officials to discuss implementation progress and issues. Updates are posted after each of these meetings.

Help and Information for MTA Members

The S-60/ORP application and decision process for MTA members is complicated but important. Members considering whether to transfer from the ORP into the MSERS will need to understand the process and the cost of doing so in light of their personal circumstances. Ultimately, this is a decision that needs to be made by each individual.

Links to information that may be of assistance to members is listed below.

Questions related to the Section 60 Implementation Process

  • For questions relating to calculating the cost of transferring, contact the MSERS at orpinfo@tre.state.ma.us.
  • For questions relating to receipt of your Retirement Information Package or any missing forms, or any other questions about the package, e-mail the BHE at ORP@bhe.mass.edu.
  • For questions that are not being addressed by the two state departments, contact the MTA at ORP@Massteacher.org.


IRS approval

Letter from Internal Revenue Service to MSERS approving S-60/ORP (September 25, 2013)

Laws establishing ORP and ORP Opt Out

Original Legislation Establishing the ORP — Chapter 495 of the Acts and Resolves of 1993, Which Added Section 40 to the Laws Governing the Board of Higher Education.

Original ORP Opt Out Language
Section 60 of Chapter 176 of the acts of 2011 (An Act Providing for Pension Reform and Benefit Modernization)

Technical Correction to Opt Out Language
Section 45 of Chapter 36 of the Acts of 2012 (An Act Making Appropriations For The Fiscal Year 2012 to Provide for Supplementing Certain Existing Appropriations and for Certain Other Activities and Projects)

Further Corrective language – Current Version of the Law
Section 190 of Chapter 165 of the Acts of 2014 (FY15 Budget)