Employee Benefits

Health Insurance
Health Insurance for town and school employees and retirees is governed by Chapter 32B of the Massachusetts General Laws. There are 632 benefit eligible employees, of which about 82% take advantage of health insurance through the town - 69% in family plans and 31% in individual plans. Prior to switching to the Commonwealth’s Group Insurance Commission plans, the utilization rate hovered between 86-87%. In addition, there are 47 family plans and 348 individual plans for retirees, spouses, surviving spouses and dependents.

Employees working at least 20 hours per week are eligible to participate in the Town's health insurance program offered through the Group Insurance Commission (GIC).  As of July 1, 2015 the Town contributes 85% of the premium cost for HMO type plans, 83% for PPO and POS type plans, and 65%  for indemnity plans.

More information can be obtained by contacting the Human Resources Office, Town Hall, 781-786-5090.  It may also be helpful to browse the GIC Website

DENTAL INSURANCE

Employees working at least 20 hours per week are eligible to participate in the Town's group dental insurance program offered through Delta Dental.  There are two plans offered: The Delta Dental PPO Voluntary Enhance plan (Also referred to as the High Option plan) and the Delta Dental Voluntary Enhance plan (Also referred to as the Low Option plan)  The total cost of this insurance is borne by the employee.

More information can be obtained by contacting the Human Resources Office, Town Hall, at (781) 786-5090.

TERM LIFE INSURANCE

Employees working at least 20 hours per week are eligible to participate in the Town's group life insurance program offered through Boston Mutual.  Employees may enroll in a term group life insurance plan for basic life and accidental death and dismemberment coverage in the amount of $2,000.00.  The total premium is currently $1.28 per month, of which the Town contributes half or $.64 per month.

In addition, optional group insurance is available, the entire cost of which is paid by the employee.  The rates for this insurance are as follows per $1,000 of coverage per month:
Under 45 years of age: $ .35
45 to 55 years of age: $ .75
Over 55 years of age: $1.45

Employees may purchase optional group insurance in an amount not to exceed $2,000 less than their annual compensation rounded up to the nearest thousandth.

 Police and fire personnel may buy occupational accidental death and dismemberment insurance along with the life insurance listed above. The cost is $.10 per $1,000 of coverage per month, of which the Town pays half, or $.05 per $1,000 of coverage per month.  A schedule of the maximum amounts of occupational accidental death and dismemberment insurance is available in the Human Resources office.

 Upon election by the employee, life insurance premiums may be exempt from federal and state taxes.

 More information can be obtained by contacting the Human Resources Office, Town Hall, at (781) 786-5090.

Disability Insurance & Universal Life Insurance

Through Mutual of Omaha, the Town offers short-term and long-term disability insurance and universal life insurance at group rates, with the premium cost born by the employee.  Upon election by the employee, disability insurance premiums may be exempt from federal and state taxes.

More information can be obtained by contacting Mutual of Omaha at 800-229-2295.

FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNTS (FSA)

Employees may set aside pre-tax dollars for out-of-pocket medical/dental-related and/or dependent care expenses.  The employee estimates the amount of expenses for the plan period (one year) and has a fixed amount deducted from his/her paycheck each pay period for one fiscal l year.  The limit on medical/dental expenses in a one year period is $2,550 the limit on dependent care expenses is $5,000.  Employees may roll-over up to $500 of the benefit into their next year’s FSA enrollment.

Cafeteria Plan Advisors administers the flexible spending accounts for the Town.

More information can be obtained by contacting Human Resources, Town Hall, at 781-786-5090 or Cafeteria Plan Advisors at (781) 848-9848, or by email at info@cpa125.com

Pension Benefit
Pensions for town and School employees are governed by Chapter 32 of the Massachusetts General Laws. The town’s employees are not covered by Social Security. This is significant in that the town is not responsible for paying the employer share of 6.2% of wages earned.

Permanent employees who are hired to work 20 hours or more per week are enrolled in the Middlesex Retirement System (MRS). The age for retirement eligibility is different for public safety and non-public safety employees currently enrolled in the system. In addition to certain age criteria, in order for a person to become eligible (vested) for a MRS pension, the person must have a minimum of 10 years of pensionable service in the Commonwealth. Eligible teachers are enrolled in the Massachusetts Teachers’ Retirement System, which is funded by the state.

Public Safety
Current employees can retire at age 55 with 10 years of service at a rate of 25% of his/her top 3 years of earnings. With 20 years of pensionable service, these employees can retire at any age, but the calculation for determining the amount of the pension will vary based on age. As an example, an employee retiring at age 40 will receive 20% of his/her top 3 years of earnings. The youngest an employee can retire at the 80% maximum is age 52, providing the individual has 37 years of service.

Non Public Safety

Current employees can retire at age 55 with 10 years of service at a rate of 15% of his/her top 3 years of earnings. With 20 years of pensionable service, these employees can retire at any age, but the calculation for determining the amount of the pension will vary based on age. As an example, an employee retiring at age 50 will receive 20% of his/her top 3 years of earnings. The youngest an employee can retire at the 80% maximum is age 60 providing, the individual has 40 years of service.

Recent pension reforms enacted by the legislature affect employees hired on or after April 2, 2012 by increasing the minimum retirement age for non-public safety employees to 60 and changing age factors for pension calculations.

There are currently 226 Town of Weston retirees/surviving spouses collecting a pension. The 226 represent superannuation retirees, surviving spouses and disability retirees.

Annual Pensions
The annual pensions received by Weston retirees are, for the most part, modest. Superannuation retiree data provided by Middlesex Retirement System shows that, as of December 2009, approximately 66% (109 out of 165 superannuation retirements) of retirees were collecting an annual pension of less than $20,000. Forty-six retirees were collecting an annual pension between $20,000 and $49,999 and 10 retirees were collecting pensions between $50,000 and $79,999.

Pension Contribution by Employees
Employees contribute a percent of their base salaries and other qualified compensation toward their pension. Contribution rates by employees are as follows:
  • Teachers hired after July 1, 2001: 11%
  • Hired 1996 to present: 9% + 2% of compensation over $30,000
  • Hired 1984-1996: 8% + 2% of compensation over $30,000
  • Hired 1979-1983: 7% + 2% of compensation over $30,000
  • Hired 1975-1978: 7%
  • Hired before 1974: 5%
The annual assessment paid to the Middlesex Retirement System by the town is primarily to pay for Weston’s share of the unfunded pension liability for its employees and not to pay for benefits earned by current employees. An actuarial study applicable to FY11 determined that the normal cost for the town is 3.81% of payroll.

If an employee works in various municipalities over the course of his or her career, each municipality has to forward the employee contribution to the town from which s/he was previously employed. In essence, the pension contributions follow the employee from municipality to municipality. Effective January 1, 2011, when the employee retirees and chooses to take health benefits, the cost of the health insurance premium is prorated by the number of years the retiree worked for each town, and each town bears its prorated cost of the retirees health insurance premium. More information can be found on the Middlesex Retirement System’s website.