ORS has provided contributions back to the schools as of January 22nd. Essential information about the contributions and interest for each employee has been provided to the schools previously. Schools are now working on issuing refunds. We have been advised that you can expect your refund from any school(s) you worked for during the July 2010 – September 2012 timeframe within about 60-90 days.
Published on January 26, 2018
The IRS published the 2018 income tax withholding tables on January 11, 2018. The 2018 federal tax rates have been updated within our system and you will see the changes to your federal tax withholding deduction beginning with your February 2018 pension payment. You will likely see a decrease in your federal tax withholding deduction based on the new rates and therefore you will see an increase in your net pension amount starting with your February 2018 pension payment. There are no changes to your State of Michigan tax withholding for 2018.
To view or change your tax withholding selections in miAccount, click the Pension Payments tab, then click Tax Withholding.
If you have further questions about tax changes for 2018 you may wish to consult your own tax advisor.
Published on January 26, 2018
By January 22, ORS will be sending information by email to public school employees who worked between July 2010 and September 2012 giving specific information about refunds of healthcare contributions. The email will include the contribution amounts and interest for each school district.
ORS will be returning the funds to the reporting units on January 22. This does not mean that the school districts will disburse those funds on that date. They have important responsibilities for the recording and tax reporting of these refunds. Generally, you might expect your refund to come to you 60-90 days after the school receives the funds.
Published on January 16, 2018
Everyone enrolled in our retiree non-Medicare PPO health care plan (administered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan) at any time in 2017 will receive Form 1095-B in the mail from the Office of Retirement Services. The statements will be mailed in January and should be received in households by January 30, 2018.
Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) and Medicare are responsible for providing Form 1095-B to anyone covered by either of those entities at any time during 2017.
Form 1095-B is a health coverage statement, required by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The form is used to report health coverage of individuals who meet minimum essential coverage standards to the IRS on income tax returns. It is your responsibility to make copies of the 1095-B form for your spouse and/or dependents. For specific guidance on information found on the 1095-B statement, contact your tax professional or the IRS.
The IRS has published some general questions and answers about the health care reporting forms, including what to do with them.
Published on January 17, 2018
We at ORS want you to stay in-the-loop about important things that are happening. The beginning of the year is a great time to log in to miAccount and make sure your profile information is up-to-date and correct, especially your email address. We use email to quickly communicate a variety of information so keeping your email address up-to-date will ensure that you continue to receive these important messages from ORS.
We will be sending information by email soon to public school employees who worked between July 2010 and September 2012 giving specific information about refunds of healthcare contributions. If you worked during this timeframe, please be sure to update your email address by January 15, 2018 to ensure that you will receive this important message.
Updated on January 11, 2018
Regarding yesterday's announcement that contributions for healthcare withheld from school employee wages between July 2010 and September 2012 will be refunded based on the December 20, 2017 decision of the Michigan Supreme Court: ORS will provide the essential data regarding the refunded contributions and interest to employers no later than January 10, 2018. Employers will receive a transfer of the contribution and interest funds with the January 22, 2018 school aid payment. There are 53 districts that have closed, dissolved, or merged since 2010. The return of those contributions may be later than January 22 because a different methodology will be used to transfer those contributions.
Published on December 21, 2017
The Supreme Court has ruled that PA 75 of 2010, which was in effect from July 2010 until September 2012 and mandated that members contribute 3% of their compensation to the Retiree Healthcare Fund, is unconstitutional and that member contributions (which are currently being held in escrow) shall be refunded to members. ORS is working to implement the Supreme Court’s decision and return contributions to the school districts where the contributions were withheld. These refunds will be issued to members through the school districts. Additional information will be provided to members and school districts regarding the timing and amounts of forthcoming refunds as soon as it becomes available.
Published on December 20, 2017
Public Act 92 of 2017 discontinued the option to initiate a service credit purchase as of 5 p.m. EDT, September 29, 2017. You may still receive service credit for time spent in active duty military service or if you repay refunded pension contributions after September 29, 2017. Information about service credit options is available here.
Published on September 29, 2017
Health Alliance Plan (HAP) will end its insurance contract with Michigan Public School Employees’ Retirement System on December 31, 2017. If you are currently enrolled in HAP, you’ll need to log in to miAccount and select a new health insurance provider or return a completed Insurance Enrollment/Change Request (0452C) by November 15, 2017, to avoid a gap in coverage. In early October, look for a letter from HAP notifying you of the change and a letter from ORS that will provide the Insurance Options Summary (0379C) so you can compare your health insurance options along with your insurance rates.
Published on September 29, 2017
Public Act 92 of 2017, which became law on July 13, 2017, discontinues the option to initiate a service credit purchase. This portion of the law takes effect at 5:00 p.m. EDT, September 29, 2017. Active members of the Defined Benefit (DB) pension plan who still wish to initiate a service credit purchase must ensure that the Office of Retirement Services (ORS) receives either:
- full payment for the amount of service they wish to buy, or
- a fully completed Tax-Deferred Payment (TDP) Agreement (R0392C).
ORS must receive either full payment or the fully-completed Tax-Deferred Payment (TDP) Agreement (R0392C) by 5:00 p.m. EDT, September 29, 2017.
You may still receive service credit for time spent in active duty military service or if you repay refunded pension contributions after September 29, 2017. Any service credit purchase previously completed or tax-deferred payment agreements already in progress will not be impacted by this change in law. Information about the general rules for service credit purchases, types of service credit, and how to purchase are here.
Published on July 14, 2017
Public Act (PA) 92 of 2017 was signed into law on July 13. The law makes changes to retirement plans for new public school employees and discontinues the option to initiate a service credit purchase after September 29, 2017. If you’re already retired or first worked for a Michigan public school before July 1, 2010, this legislation doesn’t affect your pension or retiree healthcare benefits. For more information about the changes, you can read our Legislative Summary, or you can review PA 92 of 2017 (previously SB 0401).
Published on July 13, 2017
On June 20, the House passed Senate Bill 401, in the exact same form that the Senate passed it on Thursday. The bill is now going to the Governor’s desk, and he is expected to sign it. That process typically takes about a week. The bill passed by both the House and Senate is available here: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2017-2018/billengrossed/Senate/pdf/2017-SEBH-0401.pdf
Published on June 21, 2017
On June 15, both the House and the Senate passed identical MPSERS reform bills (HB4647 and SB401). The next step is for the House or the Senate to pass one of the two and advance it to the governor for signature. There is a 5-day waiting period before the next vote can happen. The bill passed by the House is available here: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2017-2018/billengrossed/House/pdf/2017-HEBH-4647.pdf.
Published on June 16, 2017
On June 13, the governor and legislative leaders came to an agreement on changes to the public school employees’ retirement plan. Those changes are going through the normal legislative process. Today, the proposal was reviewed separately by both the House and Senate committees on Education. An analysis of the proposal is available on the Michigan Legislature website at this address: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2017-2018/billanalysis/House/pdf/2017-HLA-4647-49170FA0.pdf. We will continue to keep this notice updated as to the progress of the bill.
Published on June 14, 2017
On June 1, the Michigan Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments regarding the member contributions of 3 percent toward their retiree healthcare. When a final determination is made, we will post the information here.
Published on June 5, 2017
You can use the Pension Impact Estimator to determine what effect, if any, working after retirement has on your pension. This tool is designed so that you answer a series of questions and, at the end, receive an answer as to how your pension is impacted by your work. Use this tool before returning to work, or while you’re planning your retirement strategy.
Published November 14, 2016
On July 19, 2016, the state filed a formal request to the Supreme Court to hear an appeal of the Court of Appeals (COA) ruling on PA 75 and the 3 percent healthcare contributions for public school employees. In June 2016, the COA ruled that PA 75 was unconstitutional and ordered the refund of contributions that had been deducted from public school employees pay during the period the statute was in effect (2010 to 2012). In the meantime, the contributions at issue are being held in an escrow account pending a final decision of whether they should be applied to the healthcare trust, along with other member and employer contributions, to provide investment funding for retiree healthcare.
Originally published July 20, 2016