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All employees, except certain appointed officials, are required to join the Maine Public Employees Retirement System (MainePERS). As a member of the Maine Public Employees Retirement System, you contribute, along with the State of Maine, to both retirement and life insurance benefits. These benefits include:

Service Retirement Benefit - Most state employees currently contribute 7.65% of their total earnable compensation into the MainePERS. (Employees in the AFSCME bargaining unit and Confidential employees contribute 1.15%.) The State, on behalf of all state employees, contributes an additional amount as a percentage of employees’ total earnings.

You may retire at what is your "normal retirement age." This is age 60 for those who had 10 years of service or were age 60 with one year of service as of July 1, 1993. Those who did not have 10 years as of that date may retire at age 62, provided they either have 10 years of service when they reach that age or have been employed by the State for at least one year immediately preceding retirement. You may also retire after you have 25 years of service. However, if you have 25 years of service and have not reached your normal retirement age, your retirement benefit will be reduced.

Full-time employees receive a year’s worth of service credit for a year’s worth of work. (No more than a year may be earned in a year.) Effective July 1, 1991, part-time, seasonal and temporary employees are granted creditable service based on the ratio of actual hours worked to that worked by a full-time employee. For example, a full-time state employee who works 2080 hours a year receives a full year of creditable service. A part-time, seasonal, or temporary employee who works 1040 hours in a year will be granted 6 months of creditable service.

When you retire, you may choose between receiving full benefits or receiving one of several options that provide you with a reduced benefit and your beneficiary with a benefit as well. If you have chosen an option which includes concurrent payments to you and your beneficiary during your lifetime, a benefit will continue to be paid to your beneficiary after your death.

Your retirement benefit will be adjusted each year by a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) of up to 4%. These adjustments are determined by changes in the Consumer Price Index and are granted in September of each year.

If you terminate covered employment, you may request a refund of your contributions plus any accrued interest. The contributions made on your behalf by the State are not refundable to you.

If you terminate covered employment, withdraw your contributions from the MaienPERS, and subsequently re-join the System, you must accrue two continuous years of creditable service before you become eligible to purchase past creditable service. If your termination is the result of a layoff, the two year requirement is waived.

If you terminate covered employment, do not withdraw your contributions, and have less than 10 years of service, you will receive a maximum of five years of interest on your account. If you terminate covered employment, do not withdraw your contributions, and have more than 10 years of service, you will accrue interest to the date of retirement or withdrawal of your contributions.

Disability Benefits - If you become permanently mentally or physically disabled while you are in service and a member of the MainePERS, you may be eligible to receive a disability retirement allowance.

You must have five years of continuous service to be eligible for a disability allowance for any mental or physical condition that existed prior to your current membership in the System.

Survivor Benefits - These benefits are payable in a number of different forms to a surviving spouse, dependent child(ren), parent(s), or other beneficiary as named by you, subject to a variety of conditions. For more information about these benefits, please contact the MainePERS.

Accidental Death Benefits - If you die as a result of an injury received while working, your spouse and/or your dependent child(ren) may receive monthly benefits based on your average final compensation. For more information about these benefits, please contact the MainePERS.

A Designation of Beneficiary Form covers all pre-retirement death benefits, including accidental death and survivor benefits. If you wish to change your beneficiary designation, request a Designation of Beneficiary for Pre-Retirement Death Benefits form from the MainePERS.

The preceding information is intended to familiarize you with the Maine Public Employees Retirement System. The contents cannot be taken as the basis of any contractual rights between the State and/or the System and its members. If there is a question of interpretation, the governing law is the final authority. Periodically there are changes to the statutes and rules relating to the Retirement System. Before making a decision related to your rights and benefits, contact the Retirement System to be certain the information you have is current.

For detailed information refer to your retirement brochure or call the MainePERS.