How much do members contribute to the Retirement System?

The amount each employee is required to contribute to the Reading Retirement System each year is set by statute. If you joined the System on or after July 1, 1996, you must contribute nine% of your regular compensation. If you joined any time between January 1, 1984 and June 30, 1996, your contribution rate is set at 8%. Members who joined the system between 1975 and 1983 contribute 7%. Those employees who became members prior to 1975 are contributing 5%. The law also mandates that for members whose membership commenced on or after January 1, 1979, an additional 2% of regular compensation will be withheld on compensation over $30,000. This 2% is in addition to the seven, 8, or 9% standard deduction from your total regular compensation.

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1. Is membership mandatory for employees of the member units?
2. How much do members contribute to the Retirement System?
3. Does a member's contribution to the Retirement System earn interest? If so, how is the interest calculated?
4. Are employee contributions used to fund the administrative expenses of the Retirement System?
5. What does it mean to be vested?
6. When does vesting occur?
7. When is retirement an option?
8. What is the retirement allowance based on? How is it calculated?
9. Can I purchase creditable service earned in another Massachusetts public retirement system?
10. Will prior creditable service affect my membership date or contribution rate in Reading's Retirement System?
11. If I was a temporary employee, may I apply that time towards my retirement creditable service?
12. How is creditable service achieved?
13. Is regular compensation the same as total compensation?
14. What are the group classifications within the Retirement System?
15. Does my participation in the 457 deferred compensation plan affect my Reading retirement benefit in any way?
16. If I leave my job, what happens to my contribution?
17. If I leave my job and decide to withdraw my contributions will I receive all my interest?
18. Is there any time limit after your termination for requesting a refund of your contributions?
19. Can a member who is vested and who terminates employment still be eligible for a refund?
20. If I terminate my employment and leave my money in the retirement system, can I retire at a later date?
21. Can a member withdraw or borrow money from his or her account in the retirement system with resigning or retiring?
22. What are the tax consequences if I take a refund of my retirement contributions?
23. If I die before retirement, what happens to my money?