SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Association of Contributory Retirement Systems hosted its annual fall conference in Springfield on Monday.

The Massachusetts Association for Contributory Retirement Systems (MACRS) was established in 1937 and is the only organization whose purpose is to preserve and strengthen the 104 public retirement systems of the Commonwealth and represents the interests of over 500,000 active and retired employees, according to their website.

MACRS hosts two statewide meetings every year, and each meeting features speakers, small group presentations, and roundtable discussions. Each meeting is an opportunity for an informal exchange of ideas and information about retirement benefits. When important issues confront the retirement community, MACRS sponsors regional workshops to help educate the members and provide a forum for questions and debate.

When it comes to retirement, the president of MACRS, Kathleen Kiely-Becchetti, says its important to stay informed. This conference highlighted important discussions and updates about the Commonwealths retirement system, so that their retirement board can assist retirees. She says if you have plans to retire there are some things to keep in mind.

Kiely-Becchetti tells 22News, “You should always contact your retirement board first and foremost not your employer, they are there to help you and assist you with your retirement planning and you should be contacting your retirement board long before you want to retire, right when you’re unemployed and you become a member of the system.”

She added that people should also make sure their beneficiary is on file and up to date, and at the conference, employees got to speak with some vendors such as the Pension Technology Group and Baystate Pension Solutions.

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