Participating Local District (PLD) Members
As a MainePERS Participating Local District (PLD) member, it is important that you stay informed throughout your career so that you can make the most out of your retirement. The information on this site can assist you in that direction.
Download the PLD Member Handbook from the link below for a general summary of the benefits available. The information in this handbook provides an overview of the main areas of interest within the plan.
The Maine Public Employees Retirement System (MainePERS) administers benefits for employees of participating local districts who are members of the System. For a general summary of the benefits available, see MainePERS Benefits for Members in the Participating Local District (PLD) Consolidated Plan. Below is information on main areas of interest within the plan:
You can request a summary of your MainePERS account any time using the Information Request page or you can call or e-mail our Retirement Services department. The summary shows your current contribution and retirement service credit totals, your vested status, general retirement plan eligibility information, and your normal retirement age.
Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)
If your retirement plan includes this provision, beginning the September following your first 12 months of receiving benefit payments, you’re eligible to have a COLA applied to future benefit payments. Click here for a summary of this year’s COLA in your plan.
See the Disability section of this website for information about the Disability Retirement program.
Group Life Insurance
The MainePERS Group Life Insurance program is available to PLD employees whose employers participate in the program, and whose positions are eligible for coverage. If you complete an application for Group Life Insurance coverage within the first 31 days of becoming eligible, you may select coverage for yourself and your dependents without having to show evidence of insurability. Additional information can be found in the Group Life Insurance section on this Web site.
Health Insurance and MainePERS
MainePERS does not administer health or dental insurance. Contact your health insurance program for questions regarding health insurance. Click here for a reference list of these organizations.
Certain events in your life may affect your retirement or beneficiary designations. It is important that you notify MainePERS immediately when the following life changing events occur:
- Termination of employment
- Birth/adoption of a child
- Marriage, divorce, legal separation, annulment
- Death of spouse or dependent
- An employment status change for you
- A court order results in the gain or loss of a dependent
Note: To ensure that all information is up-to-date, members should periodically review their Designation of Beneficiary forms for both pre-retirement death benefits and Group Life Insurance.
As a PLD employee, you become a member of MainePERS when you are hired, if your PLD belongs to MainePERS at that time and you meet the membership eligibility guidelines in effect when you are hired.
For some PLD employees, membership is optional if you are:
- Employed by your PLD before the PLD entered MainePERS.
- Covered by Social Security (if your employer provides Social Security under a federal Section 218 agreement).
- Not subject to the Municipal Public Employees Labor Relations Act.
- Elected or appointed official.
- Chief administrative officer.
- Not a part-time, seasonal, temporary employee of a PLD electing to participate in an employer-provided defined contribution or deferred compensation plan that meets specific requirements as provided by law.
As a member, you contribute a percentage of your earnable compensation to MainePERS, and these contributions earn interest at a rate set by MainePERS Board of Trustees. The percentage you contribute depends on the service retirement plan or plans your PLD has chosen. These plans are outlined in the PLD Member handbook. Your employer payroll office can tell you which service retirement plan or plans your PLD has chosen. Your employer also contributes an amount to MainePERS that is a percentage of your total earnable compensation. This percentage varies from year to year.
MainePERS members who are on a leave of absence from their MainePERS-covered positions to serve in the uniformed services of the United States have, under federal and State law, specific protections, or eligibility for protections, with respect to their MainePERS membership and related benefits. Download Leave of Absence for Military Service Fact Sheet.
Purchasing Service Credit
As a contributing member of MainePERS, you may be eligible to purchase additional service credit. There are eligibility and verification requirements in order to make these purchases. For more information, please see the PLD Member handbook.
QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order)
A qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) permits a retirement system to make direct payment to the party who is not the member, retiree, or beneficiary of the system. MainePERS will not make a direct payment, even if the court awards an interest in the benefits to the non-member or retiree, unless the court enters an order that MainePERS determines is “qualified.” Also, even if the order is a qualified domestic relations order, MainePERS makes no payment to the former spouse until an amount is payable to the MainePERS member or retiree or beneficiary. A qualified domestic relations order does not entitle the former spouse to immediate payment of the portion of the benefit awarded to him or her by the court. Click here for more information.
If your final termination from MainePERS-covered employment was before October 1, 1999, you must have at least 10 years of service credit in order to be eligible for a benefit at age 60.
If your final termination from MainePERS-covered employment is after September 30, 1999, you must have at least 5 years of service credit in order to be eligible for a benefit at age 60.
If you reach age 60 and have been in service for at least one year immediately before then, you are eligible to receive a benefit at the time you terminate your employment. For more information regarding retirement eligibility and qualification to receive a retirement benefit, see the PLD Member handbook.
Social Security and MainePERS
If you are eligible to receive Social Security retirement benefits either because you worked in a Social Security covered job or because your deceased spouse did, the amount of your Social Security benefit may be affected by your receipt of a MainePERS benefit.
The relevant Social Security provisions are the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), which are Social Security benefits for your own work; and, the Government Pension Offset (GPO), which are Social Security benefits as a spouse or widow(er).
Neither Maine law nor MainePERS policies cause the effects of these provisions. The effects result from federal law administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). To obtain information about any effect of receiving MainePERS benefits on your Social Security benefits, please contact SSA directly.
Social Security Administration (Augusta Office)
Fax: (207) 622-8398
Taking a Refund of Your Contributions
If you terminate all your MainePERS-covered employment, you may withdraw your contributions after completing a Refund Application. The Refund Application Package includes information to consider before making a decision to request a refund. By refunding your contributions, you give up your rights to any MainePERS benefits. Since it may not be in your best interest to withdraw your contributions, we suggest you investigate the pros and cons of taking a refund. For more information, see “Taking a Refund” in the PLD Member handbook.
If you would like more information about your eligibility to receive a refund or the effect of taking a refund, contact MainePERS.
Unused Sick Leave and Vacation Leave
You may be able to include payment for a maximum of 30 days of unused sick and/or vacation leave at your final termination from MainePERS-covered employment in the calculation of your AFC. For purposes of this provision, a “day” is considered your normal working day, up to a maximum of eight hours. However, if your employer makes such a payment as a retirement incentive/bonus, MainePERS will not include it in the amount of earnable compensation used in the calculation of your AFC. For more information on retirement incentives, see the section titled “Retirement Incentives” in the PLD Member handbook.