Saving for Retirement

Your earnings from this job are not covered under Social Security. When you retire, or if you become disabled, you may receive a pension based on earnings from this job. If you do, and you are also entitled to a benefit from Social Security based on either your own work or your husband or wife, or former husband or wife, your pension may affect the amount of the Social Security benefit you receive. Your Medicare benefits, however, will not be affected. 

Under the Social Security law, there are two ways your Social Security benefit amount may be affected:

Bristol County Retirement System

Full time employees (those working 20 or more hours per week) will be enrolled in the Bristol County Retirement system. Enrollment is mandatory under state law.

Contribution Rate

The contribution rate for new members and those re-entering the system after a break in service will be 9% of regular compensation. An additional 2% will be withheld on regular wages in excess of $30,000. This additional withholding will be made each pay period from that amount of your compensation that is in excess of an annual rate of $30,000 even before your total compensation for the year exceeds $30,000. On a weekly basis, the additional 2% would apply to regular wages in excess of $576.92. If a member transfers directly from another Massachusetts retirement system, the contribution rate remains the same as what it was in the prior unit.

Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA)

Part time employees (those working 19 hours or less per/week) are required by the federal government to enroll in OBRA for retirement purposes. As a part-time, seasonal or temporary employee of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or a Massachusetts local government employer, you are required to participate in the SMART Plan. Enrollment is mandatory under federal law with the exception of employees who are receiving a pension from Bristol County Retirement or Massachusetts Teachers Retirement.


All participants make a mandatory contribution to the Plan equal to 7.5% of their gross compensation per pay period. There is a fee of $14.10 per OBRA account, per annum, charged monthly. Employees may make additional contributions (voluntary contributions) above the mandatory contribution of 7.5% of compensation per pay period. Any voluntary contributions that you elect to make may be invested among the SMART Plan’s wide array of investment options. OBRA voluntary contributions will not be charged an additional administrative fee.