Correction of Errors
The New Bedford Retirement Board per Massachusetts General Law Chapter 32 is empowered to act as the system’s fiduciary and act in the best interest of the system, its members and beneficiaries.
If a member or beneficiary receives an overpayment or an underpayment from the retirement system, the Board is required to correct the error.
In all cases in which a benefit calculation error occurs that results in an underpayment or non-payment of a pension or benefit to a member or beneficiary, or in the event of any overpayment as the result of an error to a member or beneficiary, the Board shall, consistent with the provisions of M.G.L. c. 32, § 20(5)(c) pay to or collect from the member or beneficiary, as the case may be, the actuarial equivalent of the benefit paid or received in error.
In the event of an overpayment, the Board may recoup what is owed to the system, inclusive of the interest rate established by the Board in accordance with Massachusetts General Law Chapter 32. The Board may order recoupment of excess monies paid by a lump sum payment or through the member or beneficiary’s monthly payment. If collection is to be made through the member or beneficiary’s monthly payment, the monthly amount of the overpayment repayment, is at the discretion of the Board.
If a member or beneficiary receives an underpayment the Board shall make the member or beneficiary whole as soon as practicable, to include the interest rate established by the Board in accordance with Massachusetts General Law Chapter 32.
In the event the New Bedford Retirement Board proceeds in recoupment of an established overpayment, the Board will make every effort to establish payment terms that reflect all hardships associated with each matter. The Board may ask for a financial disclosure to be provided so to assist in their determination of reasonable repayment parameters.
Nothing in this policy prevents a member or beneficiary from exercising their rights under Massachusetts General Law to challenge the Board’s decision on recoupment of the overpayment or reimbursement of an underpayment.
Adopted on Oct. 28, 2021 (Roll Call 5-0)