Step 2: Review these Q&A to understand
the restrictions and application process
Yes—you may purchase credit for your Massachusetts substitute,
temporary or part-time public school teaching or tutoring service,
subject to the following restrictions:
n Service rendered as an “independent contractor” is
eligible for purchase.
n All service that is considered “non-membership” service will
be credited on a proportional basis. In other words, if you
worked in a 40 percent position, you will receive 40 percent
credit upon payment for the service. “Non-membership”
service is all service that did not require membership in the
n Credit for day-to-day substitute service is based on the
number of full days worked, divided by 180 (the number of
days in a standard school year).
n If the service rendered was on a day-to-day basis after July 1,
2009, and you earned less than $5,000 annually, then this
service may be ineligible for purchase.
Depending on how much creditable service you will have at the
time of retirement, purchasing your Massachusetts substitute,
temporary or part-time public school service credit may or may
not make financial sense for you. Please be aware that a retirement
allowance can be no higher than 80 percent of your allowable final
salary average, and a service purchase, once made, cannot be
refunded. So, before you decide to purchase this service, or decide
how much to purchase, please consider whether you expect to be
at or near the 80 percent maximum at the time of your retirement
without this purchase.
To compare your retirement benefits both with and without this
service purchase, visit our website at mass.gov/mtrs and use our
Step 3: Apply to purchase this service
If you have read and understand the Q&A in Step 2, and
believe that you are eligible to apply to purchase credit for
your substitute, temporary or part-time service, please:
1) Section 1 of the application form.
2) Contact the payroll or business office of your prior
Massachusetts public school district and explain that, for
purposes of potentially purchasing your prior service credit,
you need documentation of your service, and that you would
like to have a representative complete a portion of your
application. Ask this person to complete Sections 2-4 and then
return the form to you.
If you are applying to purchase substitute, temporary or
part-time service that you rendered in more than one school
district, please be sure to complete separate forms for each
3) a copy of your completed application for your records.
4) your completed application pages to either our
main or Western Regional office (addresses on form). Please
note that your application will not be accepted unless
sections are complete; if any required sections are not
complete, your form will be returned to you for completion.
After we receive your completed application, we will review it,
determine your eligibility to purchase the service, and, if eligible,
send you an invoice. Along with your invoice, you will receive
information regarding how you may pay for your purchase.
Instructions and application for purchasing MAS S A CHUS E T TS T EACH E R S’ RE TIR E M ENT SYSTE M
Substitute, temporary or part-time public school service in Massachusetts Page ii
The cost of purchasing your past service is based on what you
would have paid in retirement contributions to the MTRS
during the period of your employment—either at the
contribution rate that would have been in effect or at your
contribution rate, if you were a member of the MTRS prior to
rendering your substitute, temporary or part-time service and
you left your funds on account with us—plus interest*, at the
actuarial interest rate in effect at the time of your application.
If you were a long-term substitute teacher from January 2002 to
June 2003, a period of 108 days, and you were paid $10,800, your
cost to purchase that period of service would be $1,188, plus
actuarial interest from January 2002 to the date of your purchase.
Amount paid for service $ 10,800
x Contribution rate of 11% x 0.11
Contributions to MTRS for period $ 1,188
+ Actuarial interest from January 2002
to date of purchase + Interest
Total purchase cost Total cost
CONTRIBUTION RATE TABLE
If your service was rendered… The contribution
rate applied is…
Before January 1, 1975 5%
January 1, 1975 through December 31, 1978 7%
January 1, 1979 through December 31, 1983 7% + 2% on
earnings over $30,000
January 1, 1984 through June 30, 1996 8% + 2% on
earnings over $30,000
July 1, 1996 through June 30, 2001 9% + 2% on
earnings over $30,000
July 1, 2001 or after 11%
*EXCEPTION: If you established membership in a
Massachusetts public retirement system on or after April 2,
2012, and you had previously been a member of a
Massachusetts public retirement system and taken a refund of
your account, you will have one year from the date that you
re-entered public service to apply and pay for your service
purchase at the lower “buyback” interest rate in effect at the
time of your application. After your first year of re-entry to
membership, you will be subject to actuarial interest.
How is the cost of my service