Payroll and Benefits

Retirement and Pay


Please note, this document is designed to be a helpful summary and not exhaustive in its explanation of the MMA employee benefits.  For detailed information, employees should refer to the Employee Guide, their current collective bargaining agreement, or visit Human Resources. 

Health Insurance:  Group Insurance Commission (GIC) administers health insurance and other benefits to the Commonwealth's employees and retirees, and their dependents and survivors. Health coverage options include an Indemnity plan, Preferred Provider-type Organizations (PPO), an Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO), and multiple HMO plans.  You may compare plan options by visiting GIC.

Retirement Options:  Non-Unit Professionals, APA, and MSCA members have a choice of two retirement plans; the State Retirement Plan, which is a defined benefit plan, or the Optional Retirement Plan, a defined contribution plan.  This is an important decision because, once you make your choice, it cannot be changed. If you do not elect to participate in the ORP within the 180-day Election Period, you will be enrolled in the State Employees' Retirement System (SERS).

AFSCME and Non-Unit classified employees do not have a retirement choice and must participate in the State Retirement Plan. 

  • The State Retirement Plan is a defined benefit, meaning your retirement benefit is based upon your years of service and your age.  The amount you contribute does not affect the calculation of your benefit.  All active members contribute a percentage of their salary towards their retirement.   The amount you contribute into the system is defined according to when you entered state service.  
  • When you choose the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP), your retirement benefits are based mostly on the account balance at the time of your retirement. The account balance reflects the amount of employer and employee contributions plus the investment earnings and interest on these contributions.  Strong investment performance can help your account grow, providing large benefits at retirement. Conversely, poor investments can mean little growth in your account, and modest benefits at retirement.  Visit the Board of Higher Education for more information. 

GIC Basic Life Insurance:  The Commonwealth offers $5,000 of Basic Life Insurance to all active state employees without the need for a medical review. 

GIC Optional Life Insurance:  Optional Life Insurance allows you to increase your coverage up to eight times your annual salary, up to a maximum of $1.5 million. Term insurance pays your designated beneficiary in the event of your death or certain other catastrophic events.  It is not an investment policy; it has no cash value. This is an employee-pay-all benefit.  Visit GIC for details. 

GIC Long Term Disability Insurance:  LTD is an income replacement program that protects you and your family in the event you become disabled and are unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your job for 90+ days.  More information is available from the GIC website

Dental & Vision Plan:  Dental and vision benefits are available through Union membership (not just MSCA); Non-Unit members are offered coverage through the department of Higher Ed.  

Pre-Tax Benefits:  Through the GIC, state employees can enroll in flexible spending programs to pay for child care and/or healthcare on a pre-tax basis, thereby reducing participants' federal and state income taxes.  Participants pay a monthly service charge of $3.60 for one or both programs.  For detailed information on either program, visit the Group Insurance Commission’s website. 

  • The Health Care Spending Account plan is an IRS 125 plan that allows individuals to pay for qualified medical services on a pre-tax basis through bi-weekly deductions. 
  • The Dependent Care Assistance Program is an IRS 129 plan and allows individuals to pay for qualified dependent care services on a pre-tax basis through bi-weekly deductions. 

Tuition Remission:  Academy employees, their spouses and children, including adopted and step-children, shall be entitled to enroll as a student without payment of any tuition; consult Human Resources for remission procedures or download the tuition remission form