Buyback & Buyins

What is it?

A "buyback" is a loose term we use to refer to buying time in the MA pension system. It often refers to the process of gaining credit from an earlier time in your career where you worked in the MA pension system and then stopped doing so, and removed your money from the system, effectively claiming your benefits in a lump-sum. The credit you earned for that previous service can be "bought back" using a complicated formula. Another option is a "buy-in", which refers to using previous work in other sectors of the economy, whether it be the military, peace corps, private industry, or even other states.

Why do a buy-in?

A buy-in is often also called a buyback but it is different. It involves taking the time you spend working at a variety of other jobs (not within the MA pension system) and getting that time credited to the pension system. This can be vital for people who have come to be MA public employees later in their lives. Because it can be costly, the effects and costs of a buy-in must be considered thoroughly and in light of your long-term career goals.

Why do a buyback?

A buyback is a way to get back your previous employment credits within the MA pension system and consolidate those credits into your current years of service at your current position. There are a number of steps in the process, however, each of which must be given adequate attention.

Buybacks? Here is a brief checklist:

1. Did you have previous creditable employment?
2. Did you take your benefits from the system?
3. When did you accumulate benefits, and how much were they?
4. If you were to add that creditable service to your current service, how much would it change your benefits?
5. How much will it cost?
6. Is it worth it?
7. How do you want to pay for it?

There are other questions to be asked (and answered) if you are looking for creditable services that isn't a buy-back but is a buy-in instead. CONTACT US to talk about possible buy-backs and buy-ins and how you can increase your creditable service before you retire.