Mandatory OBRA

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 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. 

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 the UMass President's office website.
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.
If you have any questions about these alternative benefit programs, please contact the Benefits Office at 978-934-4100.