Member Eligibility

MEMBERSHIP ELIGIBILITY

  • Any employee, elected, appointed or classified otherwise, whose annual salary for the position is less than $5,000 shall not be eligible for membership in the Hampshire County Retirement System.  
    • Exception: employees holding multiple positions with the same employer and who otherwise qualify as members of the Hampshire County Retirement System may be eligible for membership for non-qualifying position when combined salary from multiple positions exceed $5,000.
  • Regular Permanent Employees, who are employed on a regular schedule without restriction as to the duration of employment in a position that is expected to last or remain without essential change and who are employed on a regular schedule consisting of at least 20 hours per week and whose regular salary is at least $5,000 per annum are required to become members of the Hampshire County Retirement System.
  • Regular Temporary or Seasonal Employees, who are employed on a regular schedule consisting of at least 20 hours per week and whose regular salary is at least $5,000 per annum, but whose appointment is for less than 6 consecutive calendar months are not eligible to become members unless reappointed such that total service exceeds 6 consecutive calendar months.  Temporary employees who subsequently become eligible for membership with a HCRS employer may be eligible to purchase prior non-membership service rendered to a HCRS employer.
  • Non-Regular, Intermittent, Per Diem, Substitute Employees, who are employed on a per diem, fee-based and/or as needed basis and do not have regular work schedules consisting of at least 20 hours per week are not eligible for membership regardless of amount of compensation or salary.  
  • Per diem, hourly, or “non-benefited” employment does not bar an individual from membership provided employment is in the regular course of business for which the individual works a regular schedule of at least 20 hours per week for a period expected to exceed 6 consecutive months, and for which the individual receives regular compensation based on hours worked and is at least $5,000 annually.
  • Consultants, Independent Contractors, Professional Service Providers or similar types of contract employment are not eligible for membership.  For the purposes of membership eligibility, the Board retains full jurisdiction in determining whether service is rendered as an regular employee eligible for membership or as a contract employee ineligible for membership. 
  • Student Employees, who are not employed on a regular schedule consisting of at least 20 hours per week for a period exceeding 6 consecutive calendar months and who do not receive regular compensation of at least $5,000 are not eligible for membership.
  • School Teaching Staff who are employed in a teaching positions are not eligible for membership regardless of their eligibility for Massachusetts Teachers Retirement System.  Service as a Part-Time Teacher, Substitute Teacher, Tutor, Coach, or After-School Programs or other teaching positions are not eligible for membership and creditable service in the Hampshire County Retirement System. 
  • Appointed Officials compensated by stipend greater than $5,000 per annum which is not quantified by hours worked or amount of work performed will be presumed to work hours/wk based on Annual salary/minimum wage. 
  • Elected Officials whose salary is at least $5,000 per annum have the option to become members of the system provided application for membership is made within 90 days of assuming elected office.  Elected Officials who do not apply for membership within 90 days, will not subsequently be eligible for membership until re-elected or otherwise qualifying for membership based on other criteria or qualifying position.
  • The Board shall retain full jurisdiction to determine the eligibility of employees for membership.