How much does a member contribute to the Retirement System?

The amount a member contributes each year is a set statute, and it is determined by the date of your membership into the System. If you became a member prior to January 1, 1975, your contribution rate is 5%. If your membership date was January 1, 1975 to December 31, 1983, your contribution rate is 7%. From January 1, 1984 to June 30, 1996, the contribution rate is 8%. For anyone who enters the System after June 30, 1996, the contribution rate is 9%. In addition to these contributions, any member who enters the System on or after January 1, 1979, must contribute an additional 2% of their salary in excess of $30,000.

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1. Am I required to become a member of the Retirement System?
2. How much does a member contribute to the Retirement System?
3. What happens to the money I contribute to the System?
4. Can I borrow money from my retirement account now and pay it back later on?
5. Can I receive a refund of my contributions and will I get the interest on those contributions?
6. When am I eligible to retire?
7. What are the factors used to determine my retirement allowance?
8. What is the maximum retirement allowance that I can receive?
9. Are there any additional benefits to which I am entitled?
10. What does the term “vested” mean? When am I considered vested?
11. Can I purchase creditable service earned in another Massachusetts Retirement System?
12. Will prior years of creditable service affect my membership date or contribution rate in the Leominster Contributory Retirement Board?
13. How is creditable service achieved?
14. Is regular compensation the same as total compensation?
15. What are the group classifications within the Retirement System?
16. What are the different options I can chose from when I retire?
17. If I leave my job what happens to my contributions?
18. Is there any time limit after your termination for requesting a refund of your contributions?
19. Can a member who is vested and who terminates employment be eligible for a refund?
20. If I terminate my employment and leave my money in the retirement system can I retire at a later date?
21. What are the tax consequences if I take a refund of my retirement contributions?
22. If I die before retirement, what happens to my money?