Employee Benefits

Temporary Employees

To learn about the benefits, discounts and saving plans available to you as a member of the UMass Lowell community, please refer to the Temporary Hires page. As a temporary employee, you are eligible to participate in the following alternative benefit programs: 

  Mandatory OBRA Retirement

Is this my benefit plan? Not sure if you qualify for benefits under this plan? Just ask Benefits@uml.edu.

Employees who are not eligible to participate in the state’s retirement program are required to have 7.5 percent of their gross compensation deducted on a pretax basis per paycheck as contributions to the Massachusetts Deferred Compensation SMART Plan (also known as Mandatory OBRA). All mandatory contributions to the SMART Plan will be invested in the Income Fund. Please note that all state government employees hired after April 1, 1986, are required to pay the Medicare portion of the Social Security tax. This tax is 1.45 percent on earnings up to a certain annual limit.

Please click here and review the information in the OBRA section in the Participate tab.

Here are the forms you will need to submit to Human Resources:

Mandatory OBRA Enrollment/Beneficiary Form (pdf)

Please note: List the division as UMass Lowell and the division number as 98966-02. 

Form SSA-1945 (pdf)

Statement concerning your employment in a job not covered by Social Security. 

Form for Students Working During the Summer  (pdf)

During the academic year, students who are enrolled for six credits and working on campus are exempt from the OBRA retirement contributions (as well as the FICA/Medicare deductions). During the summer, these deductions will be withheld except for those students who meet specific summer enrollment criteria.

Upon separation of employment, you may elect to receive your distribution immediately upon severance from employment. For more information or to request a Distribution Request Form, please contact the SMART Plan Service Center at 877-457-1900. 

Health Connector

As a temporary employee, you are not eligible for state-subsidized health insurance coverage through the Group Insurance Commission (GIC). However, you may be eligible to purchase health insurance on a pretax basis (known as a “Section 125” plan) from the Massachusetts Health Connector if you reside in Massachusetts. Paying for health insurance through pretax payroll deductions can result in significant savings since you will not have to pay state or federal income taxes on your health insurance premiums. You have a 45-day window of eligibility from your date of hire to enroll; after that time, you will be able to purchase coverage through the Massachusetts Health Connector, but on a post–tax basis.

Please call 877-MA-ENROLL or visit the Commonwealth Health Connector’s website to compare their health insurance options. The University of Massachusetts' Employer ID # is 152368.

Voluntary Retirement Plans
UMass Lowell offers two voluntary retirement plans: you are eligible to participate in the 403(b) plan and you may make additional contributions to the SMART Plan, also known as a 457(b) plan. 

The 403(b) plan is described here.

You also may make additional (voluntary) contributions to the SMART Plan (please see Mandatory OBRA) which may be invested among a wide array of investment options. This plan is also known as the 457(b) plan.

A brief comparison of the two plans is available here (pdf).

If you have any questions about these alternative benefit programs, please contact the Benefits Office at 978-934-4100.  

Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account

All active employees who work at least half time may participate in the dependent care flexible spending accounts offered by Benefit Strategies. This plan runs on a calendar year basis. Please contact the Benefits Office for more information.