Retirees

COLA

We are pleased to announce that at our meeting in May 2021, the board voted unanimously to approve a 3% Cost of Living Increase effective July 1, 2021 and payable July 31, 2021. This Cola is capped on the first $12,000 of your retirement allowance.

You must have retired on or before June 30th, 2020 in order to be eligible to receive this COLA.

The maximum cola you can collect is $30 per month.

Direct Deposit Dates: Direct Deposit of your monthly benefit occurs on the last business day of the month.

  • May: Friday, May 28
  • June: Wednesday, June 30
  • July: Friday, July 30
  • August: Tuesday, August 31
  • September: Thursday, September 30
  • October: Friday, October 29
  • November: Tuesday, November 30
  • December: Friday, December 31

Social Security and the Windfall Elimination Provision

Benefits received from Social Security may be offset by any pensions you receive from the Town of Southbridge. The amount of offset is determined by Social Security. While you do not need to report Social Security benefits to us, you do need to report benefits received from us to Social Security. If you are subject to offset by Social Security, you must also report changes in benefits (i.e. COLA increases) to Social Security. Contact your local Social Security Office with questions regarding the offset. Information may be available at the Social Security Administration website under Windfall Elimination Provision.

Retiree Employment Restrictions

As a Massachusetts Public Employment Retiree, there are restrictions on post-retirement employment for any and all Massachusetts Public Employers (including all cities, towns, public schools, fire/water or health districts, housing authorities, state agencies, state colleges and universities). Restrictions also apply to federal grant-funded positions with a Massachusetts Public Employer.

Public sector employment for retirees is limited to both aggregate hours and earnings per calendar year. Hours of compensated work are limited to an aggregate of 960 hours per calendar year. Earnings are limited to the difference between your retirement allowance and the compensation paid for the position you retired from. For example, if the position you retired from currently pays $30,000 and your retirement allowance is $20,000, you are limited to the difference - $10,000 of earnings from public sector employment in a calendar year. Once you are retired for a full year, the following calendar year you can earn from the above calculation plus add an additional $15,000 per calendar year to the amount you are allowed to earn (part of pension reform). The rationale is that as a public sector retiree, you cannot be compensated (from public funds) more than you would have received had you continued working in the position from which you retired. You, the retiree, are responsible for monitoring your aggregate hours and compensation from all public sector employment. You must cease all public employment when either limit is reached. If you exceed either limitation, you will be subject to reimbursement of all compensation in excess of limits or you must waive receipt of your retirement allowance for the period of re-employment with any public sector employer(s).

For regular "Superannuation" retirees (i.e. regular age/service-based retirements) post-retirement employment in the private sector is not subject to restrictions.

Please note: Due to the COVID-19 crisis, PERAC has lifted some of these restrictions see below.

Post-Retirement Work in the Public Sector and Covid-19

Pursuant to legislation recently passed (Chapter 53 of the Acts of 2020), superannuation retirees (disability retirees are excluded from the legislation) working in the public sector will be subject to a different hours/earnings calculation for 2020 and 2021. Specifically, hours and earnings that occur during the current State of Emergency as defined in the Governor's Executive Order of March 10, 2020 will not be included in the retiree's earnings limitations for 2020 and 2021. Please note that this work need not be directly related to the coronavirus; the law covers any hours/earnings from the emergency period.

1099-R Tax Forms

Please note: 2020 1099-R forms were mailed out at the beginning of January, If you have not received your form 1099-R, please call the office for a replacement at 508-765-4903.

Retiree 1099-R's: Please note if you turned age 59 1/2 during the past year:

Due to the IRS Private Letter Ruling and Determination Letter, superannuation (non-disability) retirees who turned 59 1/2 during a calendar year will receive 2 forms 1099-R for that calendar year. One will be created with a distribution code 2 (under age 59 1/2) one with a distribution code 7 (over age 59 1/2). All subsequent years your 1099R will show a distribution code 7.