Both the Massachusetts Senate and House have included ORP amendments in their pension reform bills that would allow for higher education employees who are currently enrolled in the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) to have a one-time opportunity to transfer to the State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS). Pension legislation will now move to a Conference Committee to resolve the differences in the two bills, including some differences in the ORP language.
The MTA and MCCC leadership and higher education membership applaud legislators across the state for supporting ORP amendments to the pension bills that have passed in both Chambers A key difference in the ORP language in the House bill is the requirement for a favorable IRS ruling prior to the implementation of this legislation. This would ensure that the provisions of that legislation would be in compliance with the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and not affect the overall integrity of either the ORP or the SERS.
MTA and MCCC leadership support the addition of this IRS ruling provision as it would put to rest any remaining concerns in the State House related to IRC compliance issues. We therefore will recommend that the Conference Committee support the ORP language in the House bill: Sections 59 and 60 of H. 3790.
Contact State Legislators about the Pension Conference Committee Report:
We need you to contact your Legislators right away to ask for their support of the House’s ORP amendment language in the final pension bill. The Pension Conference Committee is expected to finalize its report before the close of formal legislative sessions next week. Please get involved if this legislation is important to you or your colleagues.
Thank your Senator and your Representative for their recent support of an ORP provision in the proposed pension reform legislation.
Let them know that the ORP language is slightly different in the two pension bills. Ask them to support the ORP language in the House pension bill (Sections 59 & 60 in H. 3790) because of the inclusion of a requirement for a favorable IRS ruling before the implementation of this legislation. This House ORP language is supported by the Department of Higher Education and should put to rest any concerns related to the Internal Revenue Code compliance of this ORP to SERS transfer.
Ask your legislators if they would contact the members of the Pension Conference Committee to recommend support for the House pension bill’s ORP language (Sections 59 & 60 of H. 3790).
Contacting State Legislators:
- To find out who your State Representative and State Senator are, go to: www.wheredoivotema.com
- To reach your legislator by phone, call the main State House number (617-722-2000) and ask to be connected to your legislator.
- To send an email to your representative, go to: http://www.mass.gov/legis/
- To send an email to your senator, go to: http://www.mass.gov/legis/
MCCC Vice President & SAC Chair
MTA Director & HELC Vice Chair