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OBRA

As a part-time, seasonal or temporary employee of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or a Massachusetts local government employer, you are required to participate in the SMART Plan. The SMART Plan is an alternative to Social Security as permitted by the federal Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 (OBRA). OBRA, passed by the U.S. Congress, requires that beginning July 1, 1991, employees not eligible to participate in their employer's retirement program be placed in Social Security or another program meeting federal requirements. The SMART Plan meets those federal requirements.


OBRA/Part-Time Information further explains basic facts about OBRA/part-time employees and the SMART Plan.1


1 Representatives of GWFS Equities, Inc. are not registered investment advisers, and cannot offer financial, legal or tax advice. Please consult with your financial planner, attorney and/or tax adviser as needed.

All OBRA participants are required to complete an OBRA Mandatory Participation Enrollment form to enroll in the Plan.  Please return your completed form to your human resources or payroll representative.


If you would like to designate additional beneficiaries or change your beneficiary(ies), complete the OBRA Mandatory Beneficiary Designation form. Mail or fax the completed form to the address or fax number provided on the form.  If you are already enrolled in the SMART Plan as an OBRA participant, you may update your beneficiary information online. Sign in to your account using your Username and Personal Identification Number (PIN), and then elect "Beneficiary" under the My Profile menu option.


For additional OBRA Mandatory forms, go to Forms.


All participants classified as OBRA must make a mandatory contribution to the Plan equal to 7.5% of their gross compensation per pay period.


Investment Option

OBRA mandatory contributions are automatically invested in the SMART Capital Preservation Fund.


Administrative Fee

There is a fee of $14.10 per OBRA account, per annum, charged monthly.  Fees are used to pay for administrative, recordkeeping, communication and investment education expenses.


Voluntary Contributions

You may make additional contributions (voluntary contributions) above the mandatory contribution of 7.5% of compensation per pay period. Any voluntary contributions that you elect to make may be invested among the SMART Plan's wide array of investment options and are freely transferable among options in accordance with the terms of the SMART Plan. OBRA voluntary contributions will not be charged an additional administrative fee.


To set up voluntary contributions or to learn more, please contact your local representative at (877) 457-1900. 

Distribution of your SMART Plan benefits can only be made upon:

  • Severance from employment
  • Your death (Your designated beneficiary(ies) will receive your benefits)

Severance from employment occurs because of your voluntary or involuntary termination of employment. There is no early withdrawal penalty for taking a distribution of your account upon separation of service, regardless of your age.


Benefits attributable to your voluntary contribution account may be distributed under other options available under the SMART Plan.


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.

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