Massachusetts State Pension Division Divorce Calculator
This free calculator allows you to see exactly how your MA state pension might be divided in divorce. Just enter basic information about your salary, age, years of service, and marriage years to get results. You do not have to wait weeks or months for your divorce lawyer to consult with an accountant.
Other webpages offer one hypothetical example to illustrate how a pension might be divided. This calculator gives you the actual numbers for your situation.
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Pensions are treated as marital property in MA. You typically share the value of the part of the pension that was earned during the marriage when you get divorced. This calculator allows you to enter YOUR specific data and see the actual dollar amounts that might go to you and your ex-spouse when you retire after YOUR divorce.
The calculator works for MTRS (Massachusetts Teachers’ Retirement System) and MA SERS (State Employee Retirement System) pensions as well as county and city pensions. State pensions are administered by the Massachusetts State Retirement Board (MSRB). All MA public pensions are governed by rules in MA General Law Chapter 32. This calculator works for MA SERS Groups 1, 2, and 4, but does yet include MA State Police Group 3 pension calculations. You can, however, use this unique calculator for calculating State Police benefits.
This is the only calculator of its kind. It will give you:
- a dollar value of your future monthly benefits under Option A,
- a marital coverture ratio, which defines the portion of your future monthly benefit that might go to the alternate payee (ex-spouse), and
- the outcomes of 7 different formulas for sharing a pension in divorce that are possible in Massachusetts.
Be aware that judges (and a couple’s separation agreement) may apply the marital coverture ratio in unsystematic and unpredictable ways. In the results table you see when you run your calculation, I show you how benefits would be divided with two different coverture ratios. The pink cells use a relative time marital coverture ratio, while the blue cells use a bright line coverture ratio. Be aware, also, that a judge can simply ignore marital coverture ratios and order that 50%, or some other percentage, of the pension be awarded to the alternate payee without regard to the proportion of the pension that was earned during marriage.
You will understand this calculator and the numbers it produces better if you read about how to divide MA state pensions in divorce, especially the section on Massachusetts formulas.
When you divide a pension in a divorce, you will need a DRO (Domestic Relations Order). The MA state pension system will not divide a pension based only on a divorce agreement or decree, even if it is signed by judge. You will also need a DRO.
Click here to learn more about how marital property is divided in Massachusetts divorce.
In the results table, you will see that rows #3 and #5 are grayed out. This is because I have not seen any divorce agreements do the calculations in these ways, even though they are theoretically possible.