Bills HD.1794 and SD.1696 (192nd General Court – Massachusetts Legislature)

“… Act(s) relative to providing a COVID-19 retirement credit to essential public-sector workers.”

There are too many variables to be determined by any and all State agencies that will have a hand in interpreting and implementing these bills when and if they become law, so much so that we are not going to speculate authoritatively beyond what is in writing to date. But below are some of the yet-to-be-answered questions that we have and have heard:

  • How broad or narrow will the determination be as to what positions are “essential workers”? (Maybe there is already a definition?)
  • Is the State paying for this? Are each of the employers paying for their own? Is the retirement system as a whole absorbing it into its funding mandate?
  • Will the credit be retroactive to members that have retired already but otherwise would be eligible having been essential during the described period? Will age 65 public service employees be able to take advantage retroactively after their required retirement?
  • Will the service be prorated based on only being essential for a portion of the period? Will the service credit be prorated based on full-time versus part-time employment?

We imagine that the legislature, or any involved state agencies are equally not yet able to answer any detailed questions. Pending retirees will have to decide for themselves if they want to hold off until they know if it is retroactive after retirement.


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