If you are an eligible employee scheduled to work 50% or more of a regular full-time work schedule, you will be eligible to participate on the first day of the month coinciding with or following the first anniversary of your hire date. Special rules apply if you are scheduled to work less than 50%. For example, if you were hired on July 16, 2013 and worked 50% or more of a regular full-time work schedule, you will begin participating in the plan on August 1, 2014. If you were hired on October 1, 2013 and worked 50% or more of a regular full-time work schedule, you will begin participating in the plan on October 1, 2014.
Who is eligible
- You are paid by MIT and
- you are scheduled to work continuously at least 50% of a normal full-time work schedule or
- you have 1,000 hours or more of paid service at MIT in a calendar year
Who is not eligible
- teaching or research assistant
- honorary lecturer
- summer intern
- employee/faculty on an unpaid leave of absence
- post-doctoral trainee
- paid by MITemps
- student in a work-study program
- family member who is not employed by MIT
- member of the armed services assigned to MIT
Members of collective bargaining units
All the plan provisions are subject to the terms of your collective bargaining agreement.
How You Earn Your Pension Plan Benefit
You begin earning your Pension Plan benefit, also known as a basic retirement benefit, on your first day of plan eligibility. In general, however, you may not receive a benefit from the plan unless you have completed three years of service at MIT. After you complete three years of service, you are "vested" in the benefit you have earned. This means you own your benefit no matter when you leave MIT, and may choose to receive it right away when you leave the Institute or later on. The benefit you earn is determined by the amount of your "pensionable compensation" referred to as "pay."
In addition to pension benefits for you, the plan may provide benefits to your surviving spouse or other designated beneficiary, so be sure to name a beneficiary as soon as possible after you become eligible. You may do so by following the instructions on PensionConnect.
Prior Service Credit
If you were a MIT temporary employee prior to the date you were hired at MIT, your MIT temporary employment service may count toward the one year plan eligibility period and the three year vested service requirement provided that you ended your MIT temporary employment immediately before you joined MIT and meet other plan specific requirements. Please follow the instructions on the "Application for Benefits-Eligible Credit for Prior Temporary MIT Employment" form (below). Applications must be submitted before the one year plan eligibility period expires and not more than one year after MIT hire date.
How MIT Calculates Your Pension Plan Benefit
Your Pension Plan benefit is the lifetime pension that can be provided by your cash balance account. Your cash balance account includes 5% of your pay each month, accumulated with interest on the balance. In addition, if your pay exceeds the Social Security Taxable Wage Base in a calendar year, you will receive an extra 5% credit each month on the excess.
When you choose to start receiving your benefit, your cash balance is converted to a lifetime pension. Under certain circumstances, you may take your cash balance as a single sum instead.
If You are Rehired After Starting Your Pension
If you start your pension benefit and then return to work at MIT, your pension payments will continue while you are working, but any new accruals you receive while re-employed in a benefits-eligible position will be reduced by the value of the benefits you receive during your re-employment period.
Initiating Your Retirement Payments
You may elect to begin receiving retirement payments any time after your employment ends by completing an election form and providing the documentation specified. The length of your MIT employment and the value of your Pension Plan benefit may affect the distribution options available to you. For example, if you have 15 or fewer years of service or your cash balance account is $75,000 or less, you may take your benefit as a single sum instead of a lifetime pension.
Federal law requires that you begin receiving payments by April 1 following the year in which you turn 70 ½, unless you are actively employed by MIT. If you are not actively employed past age 70 ½, you must start receiving minimum required distributions (referred to as MRDs) or you will be subject to severe tax penalties.
You can schedule a one-on-one session with an MIT Retirement Counselor. Learn more.