Who is a Member?

You may be active, deferred, or retired.

Active Member. You are on the payroll of one of the participating Michigan public school systems described. You remain an active member for up to one year while laid off, or as long as an employee-employer relationship exists while on a leave of absence.

Deferred Member. You leave public school employment after you are vested but before you're old enough to draw your pension. You are vested for your pension (meaning you have sufficient service to qualify for a benefit but don't yet meet the age requirement) when you have the equivalent of 10 years of full-time employment. You remain in deferred status, as long as your contributions remain on account, until you apply for your pension at age 60 and become a retiree.

Retiree. You are receiving a pension (disability or retirement) from the retirement system.  


Glossary of Terms

You become a member and begin accruing credit toward a pension on the first day you work in a participating Michigan educational institution.

Members include employees of:

  • K-12 public school districts.
  • Intermediate school districts.
  • District libraries.
  • Public School Academies/Charter Schools.
  • Tax-supported community colleges.

In some instances, membership includes certain employees who began working for Central, Eastern, Northern, and Western Michigan Universities, Ferris State and Lake Superior State Universities, and Michigan Technological University, before January 1, 1996.

Note: The terms members and schools throughout this site are referring to the employees and employers who participate in the Public School Employees Retirement System.

Returning to Employment

If you previously worked for a Michigan public school reporting unit and left without collecting a pension, and you return to employment with a reporting unit you will maintain your previous level of contribution to the pension fund. To check which retirement plan you have log in to miAccount. After checking your account, if you have questions contact our office using the secure Message Board in miAccount.

Membership exclusions.

The following employees are not members of the Public School Employees Retirement System:

  • A person who retired from the system and is receiving a pension (even if he or she returns to public school employment).
  • A person employed by a public school while enrolled as a full-time student in that system.
  • A person under age 19 employed in a temporary, intermittent, or irregular seasonal or athletic position, whether a student or not.
  • An instructor or administrator of a community college or eligible university who elected an optional retirement plan (such as TIAA/CREF) offered under Public Act 156 of 1967, as amended.
  • An employee of a library or museum hired after it separated from the school district.
  • A person working in the public school system only through a program resulting from the Federal Work Force Investment Act of 1998; Michigan Community Service Corps (Public Act 259 of 1983); Senior Community Service Employment Program (Public Law 89-73); or Work First Program. 
    Note: Administrators of any of these programs who were previously members of the retirement system and remain employed by the school, may retain membership in the retirement system.

  • An employee enrolled in a transitional public employment program.
  • A person enrolled in a federally-funded neighborhood youth corps program or similar training program operated by an intermediate school district to prevent or rehabilitate high school dropouts.
  • A person who is working for a school for the sole purpose of a political election.
  • A person working in a public school who is contracted by an outside company, rather than hired directly by the school.
  • A person working in a public school who is self-employed as an independent contractor.