All full-time employees are eligible to participate in the Maryland State Retirement Agency (MSRA) program. Seven percent (7%) of the employee's annual salary is deducted for retirement and all contributions belong to the employee. Membership begins the first day of employment. Eligible employees earn one year of eligibility service during any fiscal year in which they work a minimum of 500 regular hours.
Five years of creditable service are required for an employee to become "vested" or eligible for benefits. Persons terminating their employment with less than five years of service may withdraw their retirement funds. To determine the date you are eligible to retire, refer to your Personal Statement of Benefits.
If you retire directly upon terminating employment, you will receive additional creditable service for your accumulated unused sick leave. Since creditable service determines the amount of the benefit, unused sick leave can increase the size of your allowance.
Are you thinking about retiring?
- To determine the date you are eligible to retire, refer to your Personal Statement of Benefits sent to you every fall by the MSRA. The statement of benefits reflects your benefits as of June 30 of that year.
- The Human Resources Office does not calculate your retirement benefit. To initiate the retirement process, you must complete Form MSRA-9 – Application for an Estimate of Service Retirement Allowance. This form may be downloaded from the MSRA website at www.sra.state.md.us. When you fill out the estimate form, check each option so you will know the monthly benefit amount for each option, which is verified by the MSRA. The benefit selection is a personal choice made by the employee. When you submit this completed form to the MSRA, they will send you a formal estimate of your retirement allowances for all options (allow 6-12 weeks to receive your estimate). Upon receipt of an estimate, employees are encouraged to make an appointment with the one of the retirement coordinators at the GCBOE to assist with any questions.
- You have the option to meet directly with a Maryland State Retirement Counselor if you want specific information on your retirement account. Call 1-800-492-5909 or 410-625-5555 to schedule an appointment.
- MSRA representatives provide an informative presentation about MSRA benefits at different locations throughout the State of Maryland during the calendar year. Employees may check their school's bulletin boards for postings relating to locations and dates for retirement seminars.
Retirement Insurance for Qualified Garrett County Board of Education Employees
Garrett County employees who retired July 1, 2006 and thereafter are eligible for the following medical insurance opportunities:
Employees with GCBOE for 30+ years - 100% of their insurance cost will be paid by GCBOE
Employees with GCBOE for 26-30 years - 80% of their insurance cost will be paid by GCBOE
Employees with GCBOE for 21-26 years - 60% of their insurance cost will be paid by GCBOE
Employees with GCBOE for 15-21 years - 50% of their insurance cost will be paid by GCBOE
Employees with GCBOE for 10-15 years - 40% of their insurance cost will be paid by GCBOE
Dental and Vision Insurance cost is not paid by the GCBOE for retirees. So, 100% of this cost is the responsibility of the retiree. However, retirees are offered the BOE rate for these insurances.
Retirees, age 65 or older, who retired July 1, 2006, and thereafter are eligible for medicare assistance and may contact the Human Resources Office @ 301-334-8904 for these rates.
Tax Shelter Annuities
The Garrett County Board of Education is a partnership with www.tsacg.com in regards to tax shelter annuity plans for their employees. Employees are encouraged to participate in a tax shelter annuity due to our limited returns on the Maryland State Retirement System. Payroll deductions are available to our employees for approved investment providers.
A list of providers is available on the TSACG website. For additional information and access to applications and forms with TSACG, please visit their website listed above.