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Eligibility for the ORP

The Optional Retirement Program is available to employees at all of the Commonwealth's public institutions of higher education and the Department of Higher Education. Eligible employees meet all three of the requirements listed below.

  1. Eligible Position, and
  2. Minimum Workload, and
  3. Non-vested Status

Eligible Position

The first requirement is to be employed in an eligible position. All employee classes are eligible for ORP coverage except:

  1. Unit and non-unit classified employees
  2. Residents at UMass Medical School
  3. Post-doctoral employees at the University of Massachusetts
  4. Students whose employment is incidental to their education

Minimum Workload

The second requirement is to meet the minimum workload requirement:

The workload for eligibility is defined in Chapter 32 of the Massachusetts General Laws (MGL); generally, 50% Full Time Equivalency (FTE). This is the same minimum workload requirement for the State Employees' Retirement System.

Non-vested Status

The third requirement is that you must not be vested in any plan governed by Chapter 32 of the Massachusetts General Laws. These plans include the State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS), the State Teachers' Retirement System (STRS) and many county and municipal retirement plans.


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