Disability Retirement

The Commonwealth provides retiree insurance benefits for active participants who become disabled. This section describes the eligibility requirements and benefits payable under disability retirement.
Disability retirement benefits include discounted health care premiums, group life insurance, and dental coverage. Your share of the premiums for these benefits is deducted from your disability monthly income benefit.
While the Group Insurance Commission administers these insurance programs, the ORP plan administrator coordinates the deduction of your monthly premiums from your disability income and their remittance to the Commission on your behalf.

Eligibility

Active participants who become disabled must meet these criteria in order to participate in the Commonwealth’s program of disability retirement benefits:

  1. You must be a member of the ORP. This means that you maintain assets in the program.
  2. If your disability is not related to your job, then you must have completed ten or more total years of creditable service. The ORP plan administrator will determine your eligibility.
  3. If you become disabled on the job at any age, there is no service requirement. The ORP plan administrator will make this determination based on your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.
  4. Your employment with the Commonwealth must be terminated.
  5. You must receive a monthly income benefit under the program’s long term disability insurance policy.

Premium Deductions from Your Monthly Income Benefit

You must draw the Monthly Income Benefit (MIB) under the program’s long term disability insurance policy. The insurance company will deduct the monthly premiums for your disability retirement” benefits from your MIB, and will forward the premiums to the ORP plan administrator each month. The plan administrator will remit your premiums to the Group Insurance Commission on your behalf.

Adequacy of Your Income

Your Monthly Income Benefit (MIB) must be sufficient to pay the cost of your disability retirement benefits. Your MIB is considered adequate when the sum of your monthly insurance premiums does not exceed 70% of your gross MIB.
If your MIB is not adequate to pay your disability retirement insurance premiums, the GIC will send a bill to your home address each month for the cost of your benefits. You will be responsible for paying this bill on a timely basis, directly to the GIC.

Income Starting Date

You must begin receiving your Monthly Income Benefit (MIB) within 60 days of the later of:

  1. Your termination of employment with the Commonwealth, and;
  2. Your notice to the Group Insurance Commission of your intent to apply for retiree benefit coverage.

While you are deemed to have authorized the insurance company to deduct disability retirement insurance premiums from your MIB, the insurance company may require you to complete a written authorization to deduct your premiums that is unique to that firm.

When Your Monthly Income Benefit Ends

Monthly Income Benefits (MIB) typically end when you reach age 65. At that time, you would begin a retirement income from your ORP retirement account. Premiums for your retiree insurance benefits will then be deducted from your retirement income, just as they were deducted from your MIB during disability.

Your benefits from the GIC will not change because you have stopped receiving MIB, and have begun a retirement income from your retirement account.

For More Information

Please use the following resources to learn more about your retiree benefits and the ORP:

  1. You can send an email to the plan administrator at: ORP@bhe.mass.edu
  2. You can also call the plan administrator at: (617) 994-6960
  3. You can contact the Human Resources/Benefits Office on your campus. The benefits administrator can assist you with your ORP benefits as well as your Group Insurance Commission coverage.
  4. You may contact the Group Insurance Commission directly:
    1. On-line: the GIC website address is: www.mass.gov/gic
    2. Telephone: (617) 727-2310