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, Confidential employees, and some others 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."
Your normal retirement age is 60 if, before July 1, 1993, you had:
- at least 10 years of service credit or,
- reached age 60 and had at least a year of service credit immediately prior to reaching age 60.
Your normal retirement age is 62 if:
- before July 1, 1993, you had:
- less than 10 years of service credit and
- reached age 60 with at least a year of service credit.
- before July 1, 2011, you had:
- at least 5 years of service credit or,
- reached age 62 and had at least a year of service credit immediately prior to reaching age 62.
Your normal retirement age is 65 if, before July 1, 2011, you had:
- less than 5 years of service credit and
- not reached age 62 with at least a year of service credit.
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 of service credit 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 may be adjusted each year by a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). 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 stop working in a MainePERS-covered job and do not take a refund, your contributions continue to earn interest. You may withdraw your contributions at a later date, or apply for a retirement benefit if and when you qualify. You cannot borrow against the funds you leave in your MainePERS account. If you are not vested, your account balance may automatically be refunded to you three years after you terminate.
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. The amount of your disability benefit is determined by whether you are covered by the age or non-age restricted provision.
- No-Age Limit Disability Provision - pays 59% of your average final compensation for as long as you continue to be eligible for disability benefits. Your disability retirement benefit will change to regular service retirement at the point when the two benefits become equal. This provision allows members who continue to work past their normal retirement age to apply for disability benefits if they become disabled.
- Age-Limited Disability Provision - pays 66 2/3% of your average final compensation for as long as you continue to be eligible for disability benefits. Your disability retirement benefit will change to a regular service retirement benefit at the point when the two benefits become equal, or 10 years after your normal retirement age, whichever occurs first. This provision requires that you become disabled prior to reaching your normal retirement age.
For help in determining which provision you’re covered by, please contact the MainePERS.
If you have fewer than 5 years of creditable service preceding your last date in service, you may not be eligible for benefits if the disability is a result of a physical or mental condition which existed before your membership in the MainePERS. The exception is if the disability is a result of, or has been substantially aggravated by, an injury or accident received in the line of duty but from events or circumstances not usually encountered within the scope of your employment.
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.