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Basic Membership and Retirement Criteria


Membership enrollment eligibility into the Franklin Regional Retirement System is not the member’s choice. If an employee of one of the employer units of this system is working 20 or more hours per week on a regular basis, and in a position earning greater than $5,000 annually, then the employee must become a member of the Franklin Regional Retirement System.


All newly elected officials that have not yet opted to be a member, or add elected positions to their membership with the Franklin Regional Retirement System have the option to do so within 90 days of assuming office, regardless of the number of hours associated with the position but restricted to positions earning greater than $5,000 annually. The 90-day period is available each time an official is re-elected, however, they only need to enroll once (once a member always a member rule).  Members do not have the right to purchase past non-membership elected public service.

Citizens of the town that are appointed to fill an elected position in the interim are treated as appointed and subject to the 20 weekly hours threshold, as are non-citizens. Once elected they have the option of membership.


Once an employee becomes a member of the system, then the only way they can leave the system and stop having retirement taken is if employment is terminated, employee leaves their full-time position and works on an as needed basis, or the employee retirees.  

In 1993 and earlier, membership requirements were not as strict, and some part-timers and substitutes may be grandfathered. They remain members for as long as employed in their original position.


Part-time service, in individual positions paying $5,000 and greater annually, with one or more units, is combined when determining membership eligibility (also when calculating creditable service).  When scheduled permanent hours worked in all units (subject to the $5k rule) add up to 20 or more hours per week, then membership eligibility is met.


Service with any other Chapter 32 retirement system in Massachusetts brings about an interplay with FRRS in a few ways.  Depending on circumstances, the salaries from all positions are combined when determining a retirement benefit, and the multiple systems share the pension cost when the member retires.


The New Member Enrollment Form needs to be completed by the new member and returned to the Treasurer of their employer. It is important that the new member complete and return this form prior to the new member’s first pay. This form needs to be signed and dated by the member and signed and dated by a witness of the employee signing the form.

Some key sections of the enrollment form:

Beneficiary Selection section: The beneficiary selection section allows a member to select an eligible beneficiary either to receive an allowance or to receive payment of accumulated deductions if the member dies before retirement. This form needs to be signed and dated by the member and signed and dated by Witness of Choice of Beneficiary.

Statement Concerning Your Employment in a Job Not Covered by Social Security: This is important information for those that were not aware they would not be contributing to Social Security in connection with this position.

Section B: To Be Completed by Payroll/Personnel Department and Verified by Retirement Board.  The treasurer will fill this section out in its entirety, including annual salary and number of hours per week.


Members are eligible for a retirement benefit when they have accrued at least 10 years of service credit for time worked, and they have reached the age of 60 for regular employees, or age 55 for public safety employees.

The basic formula for a retirement benefit is: the average of the member’s 5 highest consecutive years of salary, times an age factor set by law, times number of years (and months) of service. For example, at age 67 the age factor is .025, so a member retiring at age 67 with 32 years of service and having averaged $50,000 in their highest consecutive 5 years would receive and annual benefit of $40,000. (The math: 50,000 x .025 x 32 = $40,000)

Average Annual Rate of Regular Compensation

Not all payments are considered regular compensation. Examples of payments not considered to be regular compensation:

  • overtime
  • commissions
  • bonuses, other than cost of living bonuses
  • amounts derived from salary enhancements or salary augmentation plans
  • indirect, in-kind or other payments for such items as housing or lodging, travel, clothing allowances, and annuities

Age Factor:

                        Over 30 years service

Percent Reg Empl Pub. Safety
2.50 67 or older 57 or older
2.375 66 56
2.250 65 55
2.125 64 54
2.0 63 53
1.875 62 52
1.750 61 51
1.625 60 50


Upto 30 years service

Percent Reg Empl Pub. Safety
2.50 67 or older 57 or older
2.35 66 56
2.20 65 55
2.05 64 54
1.90 63 53
1.75 62 52
1.60 61 51
1.45 60 50

Creditable Service:

New members of the Franklin Regional Retirement System shall receive creditable service, for the total of all positions worked, in prorated increments, not to exceed 100%, in the following manner – Reported hours of all the member’s positions will be summed and the resulting total used to determine creditable service using the following service percentage chart. As per MGL, elected officials will receive 100% service credit from the day they first receive pay to the last day they receive pay.


Average weekly hours over 20
Weekly hours worked are: Creditable service

percentage given

not less than not greater than
20 22.99 50%
23 25.99 60%
26 28.99 70%
29 31.99 80%
32 34.99 90%
35 40 100%
Average weekly hours under 20
0 3.99 10%
4 6.99 15%
7 8.99 20%
9 10.99 25%
11 12.99 30%
13 14.99 35%
15 17.99 40%
18 19.99 45%

Read these guidebooks for more information:
PERAC Guidebook for members that started BEFORE April 2, 2012
PERAC Guidebook for members that started AFTER April 1, 2012

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