Section 34. (a) The treasurer of the authority, on behalf of the authority, may contract with an employee to make contributions for and in the name of such employee, from amounts otherwise payable to the employee as current compensation, to an individual retirement account, hereinafter referred to as the IRA, by such employee established in accordance with the Code. The participating employee may invest that portion of his income so contributed to an IRA in an annuity contract, mutual fund, bank investment trust or other investment authorized by the Code. Before making such deduction, the treasurer shall be required to solicit bids from insurance companies authorized to conduct business within the commonwealth pursuant to chapter 175, mutual fund managers, and banks which bids shall be sealed, and opened at a time and place designated by the treasurer. Any bid submitted by an insurance company, mutual fund, or bank investment trust seeking investment of the IRA contribution shall, where applicable, clearly indicate the interest rate which shall be paid on the invested funds, any commissions which will be paid to the salesmen, any load imposed for the purpose of administering the funds, expected payouts, tax implications for participating employees and such other information as the treasurer may require. Upon the treasurer’s determining which provider offers the product or products most beneficial to the employee in each category for which bids were solicited, the treasurer may offer such employee the opportunity to establish an IRA with one or more such providers. The employee who wishes to invest his IRA funds with any such provider, or combination of providers, may authorize the treasurer to deduct from amounts otherwise payable to the employee, at one time or on a periodic basis, amounts to be paid into the employee’s IRA. If the employee so elects, the treasurer shall pay to the providers the amount designated by the employee, in the name of the employee, to the employee’s IRA. Amounts so paid to the providers for the employee’s IRA account shall belong exclusively to the employee. Except as otherwise provided herein, the treasurer may restrict an employee’s right to contract to have contributions made to an IRA through deductions and payments by the treasurer, to those providers selected as the result of the competitive bidding process outlined herein, but the authority conferred upon the treasurer shall not be construed to restrict or limit the right of any employee to establish one or more IRAs with such banks, insurance companies, or similar authorized institutions as the employee may choose in any manner other than through an authorized deduction by the treasurer of a portion of the employees compensation as outlined herein. Any contract entered into between an employee and the authority pursuant to this section shall include all information in terms the employee can reasonably be expected to understand.
(b) As used in this section the word “employee” shall have the same meaning as “employee” in section 1 of chapter 32 and shall also include consultants and independent contractors who are natural persons paid by the authority and any person whose regular duties require that his time be devoted to the service of the authority during regular business hours.
(c) An employee may contribute a portion of his compensation to an IRA under the program outlined herein so long as such contribution, for an employee who is single, is the lesser of $2,000 or 100 per cent of his compensation for a taxable year, and, for an employee who is married, the contribution is the lesser of $2,250 or 100 per cent of his compensation for a taxable year. If an employee has any compensation deferred under a deferred compensation plan for employees of the authority, if one is established by the treasurer under section 33, then the aggregate amount of such deferred compensation deduction and amounts contributed to such employee’s IRA shall not exceed the limits imposed upon such combined deduction and contribution by the Code.
(d) Notwithstanding any provisions herein to the contrary, the treasurer shall not be required to solicit bids to invest the contributed portion of an employee’s income into the employee’s IRA provided: (i) the treasurer is authorized by the employee to pay that portion of the employee’s compensation into the employee’s IRA in the same investment products as provided through a deferred compensation or IRA plan for employees of the commonwealth administered by the state treasurer, or a deferred compensation plan for employees of the authority administered by the treasurer, provided such plan resulted from the solicitation of bids in accordance with bidding requirements comparable to those required under this section; or (ii) the treasurer is authorized by the employee to pay that portion of the employee’s compensation into the employee’s IRA in the investment products offered pursuant to a deferred compensation or IRA plan developed through a competitive selection process, provided that such plan or program resulted from the solicitation of bids by a group of any combination of three or more city, town, county or public authority treasurers acting as a common group for purposes of soliciting such proposals in accordance with bidding requirements comparable to those required under this section.
(e) Such IRA plan shall be in addition to and not a part of the retirement program or pension system as provided under chapter 32 and any other benefit program provided by law for such employee. Any compensation contributed by the employee to his IRA under such a plan shall continue to be included as regular compensation, as defined in section 1 of said chapter 32, for the purpose of computing the retirement and pension benefits earned by any such employee, but any compensation so contributed shall not be included in the computation of federal taxes but shall be included in the computation of state taxes withheld on behalf of any such employee.