Retirement Contribution Error - update 1/8/19

T&G article

Today’s Worcester T&G has an article about the retirement contribution error. It mentions that SHARE members are among those affected, and quotes Jana Hollingsworth about SHARE’s view that employees should not have to pay to fix the mistake.

“Our position is really that the university should pay for it,” said Jana Hollingsworth, a SHARE organizer. “It wasn’t our members’ fault, and we really feel like (UMass) should bear the burden.”

Latest update

Most employees who are impacted by the retirement contribution error have now received an individual letter from UMass, explaining the situation from the University’s perspective, and telling each person what they might owe. Remember, this is only what you might owe. SHARE is working to reduce or eliminate the amount that an employee would have to pay.

Below are some of the immediate questions that SHARE members have been asking today. In addition to these questions, the University has a detailed FAQ online.

Is UMass going to deduct the amount in my letter from my pay on 1/25/19?

No. In the 1/25/19 check, they will start deducting the correct amount going forward. The amount in the letter is what was not deducted in the past. The State Retirement Board has not yet decided whether employees will have to pay the past amount.

Why did UMass send the letter if it is not yet decided?

They wanted people to be warned that they might have to pay the past amount, and that deductions will be taken out of your pay going forward.

What if I think the estimate in my letter is wrong?

Several people mentioned that they think that there is a mistake, for instance “On call” pay for someone who is never on call. If you want to review a detailed earnings report (broken down by pay period and pay type) for the time period that the University used to estimate the amount you might owe, you can call 774-455-7150 or email

If the Retirement Board decides that you would have to pay anything, you would get another letter telling you how much you had to pay. At that time you could review the payroll information and challenge the amount if it is still wrong.

Where can I get more information?

We recommend starting with the University’s FAQ which will answer most questions. In addition you can try these:

  • the Human Resources Department at the University System Office: 774-455-7150

  • the Massachusetts State Retirement Board email address:

  • the Massachusetts State Retirement Board phone number: 617-367-7770

  • if you are not affected but would like to see what the letter says, click here

  • the University of Massachusetts’ HR website:

And of course, you can always talk to a SHARE Rep, call the SHARE office at 508-929-4020, or email