Enrolling Employees in the ORP

Enrollment Process
Enrollment and Start Dates
Payroll System Considerations

Enrollment Process

After determining and providing notice of an employee's eligibility, campus administrators must follow this process to enroll any employees who choose to join the Optional Retirement Program:

  1. Provide the following forms, available through the Forms page. These are usually provided along with the Notice of Eligibility at the beginning of the Election Period.
    • Enrollment Guide to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Optional Retirement Program, with up-to-date inserts
    • ORP Enrollment/Change Form
    • ORP Insurance Enrollment/Change Form
    • Form SSA-1945
    • SERS Application to Withdraw Accumulated Pension Deductions
      Note: Transferring assets in SERS to the ORP is voluntary. ORP participants are not required to transfer any accumulated funds in SERS to the ORP.
  2. Direct the employee to the ORP Enrollment Center at www.mass.edu/orpenrollment for assistance with completing the forms, choosing a provider, and opening a provider account. Confirmation of the employee's chosen provider will be sent directly to you.
  3. Accept completed forms from the employee before the end of the 180-Day Election Period.
  4. Complete the Administrator Section of the ORP Enrollment/Change Form submitted by the employee.
  5. Review all of the forms for completeness and, where appropriate, accuracy. The most common mistakes on enrollment forms include:
    • items left blank
    • incomplete information
    • lack of signature
  6. Send the originals of all of the employee's forms to the Plan Administrator.

Enrollment and Start Dates

Plan Entry Date

Plan Entry Date is the first day of the pay period following the Enrollment Date.

Enrollment Date

Enrollment Date is the date that the campus administrator receives all of the employee's completed enrollment forms and confirmation that the employee has established their Provider account.

Insurance Start Date

Insurance Start Date is the Plan Entry Date.

Payroll System Considerations

Campus administrators must ensure that their respective payroll systems are updated for each newly enrolled employee. The correct ORP-Provider field must be activated in the payroll system to be certain that Employee Plan Contributions are correctly recorded under the ORP.