By recent action, the Massachusetts Legislature has re-instated benefits formerly available through the so-called "spousal benefit" provision. M.G.L. Chapter 32, Section 5(1)(e). The spousal benefit had permitted an otherwise eligible public employee, whose spouse had previously retired from public service, to retire with his/her superannuating retirement allowance calculated at age 55, regardless of whether he or she was under age 55 as of the retirement date. The spousal benefit was repealed as of November 1, 2003.
In order for a retirement system member to now utilize the benefits of the "spousal benefit" under the Legislature's action the following criteria must be met:
two spouses married to each other must both be members of the same or different retirement systems;
each of the spouses were members in service of a retirement system on or before November 1 2003; and,
one of the two member spouses is retired under the provisions of M.G.L Chapter 32, Sections 1 to 28.
If the preceding requirements are met, then the second member, upon his or her written application to a retirement board, shall be retired for superannuation regardless of his/her age. Under the legislation, the retirement of the second member spouse must occur on a date subsequent to, but not more than, four months after the date of filing a retirement application.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Worcester Retirement office.