Pension Plan Details (Hired Before July 2, 2012)

This section describes the MIT Pension Plan (also known as a Basic Retirement Plan) for MIT staff and faculty hired before July 2, 2012.

See your pension information at PensionConnect

 PensionConnect: Current Employees

 PensionConnect: Former Employees / Retirees

Help with PensionConnect

Current employees may access PensionConnect using Touchstone. Former employees and retirees who have an existing PensionConnect account may access it here. If you are a new user or you need assistance accessing your pension account, please contact the MIT Pension Service Center at 855-464-8736.


If you are an eligible employee scheduled to work 50% or more of a regular full-time work schedule, you are immediately eligible to participate on hire (or on the date that your schedule increases to 50% or more). Special rules apply if you are scheduled to work less than 50%.

Who is not eligible
  • visitor
  • contractor
  • fellow
  • affiliate
  • teaching or research assistant
  • honorary lecturer
  • summer intern
  • employee/faculty on an unpaid leave of absence
  • post-doctoral trainee
  • paid by MITemps
  • student in a work-study program
  • family member who is not employed by MIT
  • member of the armed services assigned to MIT
Members of collective bargaining units

All the plan provisions are subject to the terms of your collective bargaining agreement.

How You Earn Your Pension Plan Benefit

You begin earning your Pension Plan benefit on your first day of plan eligibility. Employees hired after July 1, 2011 will be required to complete three years of service before they are considered fully vested (i.e., you own your benefit).

The benefit you earn is determined by the amount of your "pensionable compensation" referred to as "pay." In addition to pension benefits for you, the plan may provide benefits to your surviving spouse or other designated beneficiary, so be sure to name a beneficiary as soon as possible after you become eligible. You may do so by following the instructions on PensionConnect.

How MIT Calculates Your Pension Plan Benefit

MIT uses two methods to calculate the amount of your Pension Plan benefit, and you receive the greater of the two amounts.

Cash balance method

  • At the end of each month, your cash balance account credited with 5% of your pay plus interest on the balance.
  • When you begin to receive your benefit, your cash balance is converted to a lifetime pension.

Career average method

  • This method provides you with an annual lifetime pension equal to 1.65% of your total cumulative pay while a participant in the plan.

Starting at approximately age 68, you may be eligible to receive a modest cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) every three years.

If You Earned Benefits Under the Old Plan and are Rehired After July 1, 2012

If you terminate employment before age 55 with 10 years of eligible service at MIT

If you terminate employment before you are an eligible retiree under the Old Plan, and then return to work at MIT after July 1, 2012, the benefits you earn after you are rehired will be based on the terms of the New Plan. Any benefits you earned under the Old Plan before your rehire date will be paid out under the terms of the Old Plan as described on this web page.

If you terminate employment after age 55 with 10 years of eligible service at MIT after age 45

If you terminate employment after you are an eligible retiree under the Old Plan, and then return to work at MIT, you will continue to earn benefits under the terms of the Old Plan. Note if you start your pension benefit and then return to work at MIT, your pension payments may continue while you are working, but any new accruals you receive while re-employed in a benefits-eligible position will be reduced by the value of the benefits you receive during your re-employment period.

Initiating Your Retirement Payments

You may elect to begin receiving retirement payments any time after your employment ends. Please request a Retirement Kit from the MIT Service Center at 1-855-464-8736. The length of your MIT employment and the value of your Pension Plan benefit may affect the distribution options available to you. If you have 15 or fewer years of vested service credit or your cash balance account is $75,000 or less, you may take your benefit as a single sum instead of a lifetime pension.

Federal law requires that you begin receiving payments by April 1 following the year in which you turn 72 (age 70½ if you attained age 70½ prior to January 1, 2020), unless you are actively employed by MIT. If you are not actively employed past age 72 (age 70½ if you attained age 70½ prior to January 1, 2020), you must start receiving minimum required distributions (referred to as MRDs) or you will be subject to severe tax penalties.

Learn about your distribution options.

Need Help or Have Questions?

Contact MIT Benefits or see the additional contact options below.

Vendor Phone Website
MIT Pension Service Center 1-855-4MITPEN
or 1-855-464-8736

 Current Employees

 Former Employees / Retirees