FAQ
about the EAA Closure
1. When can I access my funds from Voya Financial®?

You can request disbursement of funds from Voya® 45 days after termination from EAA. 

Why do I have to wait this long?

Unless you’re over the age of 59½, you are not allowed under IRS rules to take a distribution from your account until after separation from employment.  In addition, your separation from employment officially becomes effective after you receive your final paycheck, which occurs a minimum of 15 days after your separation.  401(k) and 457 contributions from your final paycheck are normally received by Voya about 15 to 30 days later.  The 45-day waiting period helps ensure all of your contributions are deposited before you roll your account over or take a total distribution.

2. How much of my contributions in the 457/401(k) plan am I entitled to?

You are always 100 percent vested in your own contributions in the 457 plan. The vesting schedule for the EAA’s matching contributions to the 401(k) plan is as follows:

  • 50 percent upon reaching 2,040 hours (2 years) of service
  • 75 percent vested upon reaching 3,060 hours (3 years)
  • 100 percent vested upon reaching 4,080 hours (4 years)
3. What happens if I was a MPSERS employee prior to working with EAA and begin working for a MPSERS employer again?

If you were a MPSERS employee prior to working for the EAA and begin working for a MPSERS employer again once EAA dissolves, you will be enrolled in your previous benefit structure. Your new employer will report your wages and service to the Office of Retirement Services (ORS), and your benefit structure will drive your retirement plan. Your EAA service will not count toward MPSERS service for retirement, but your future MPSERS service will be counted toward vesting for your EAA 401(k) account.

4. What happens if I was NOT a MPSERS employee prior to working with EAA and begin working for a MPSERS employer?

As a new member of MPSERS, you will have a decision to make for your future retirement plan. You will have 75 calendar days from your first payroll end date in MPSERS to decide which retirement plan best meets your needs: the Pension Plus retirement plan, or the Defined Contribution (DC) retirement plan. If you do not make an election you will default to the Pension Plus plan. See Public School Retirement Plans.

5. How do I make my election for either the Pension Plus plan or the Defined Contribution (DC) retirement plan once I become a new MPSERS employee?

Upon being hired as a MPSERS employee, your employer will provide you with the Retirement Plan Election brochure. This will outline the two plan options and contain an election form that you must complete and return to your employer within 75 calendar days. 

6. What will happen with my 401(k) contributions when EAA ends?

If your employment with the EAA ends before June 1, 2017, you will forfeit the non-vested portion of your account immediately. If your EAA employment ends on or after June 1, 2017, you will forfeit the non-vested portion 180 days after termination if you have not secured employment with a public school or the State of Michigan within 180 days. If you take a distribution (including rollovers out of the plan) prior to re-employment within 180 days, or in the event of your death or termination from re-employment with a public school or the State of Michigan prior to becoming vested, you will forfeit the non-vested assets within your 401(k) account immediately. Participants are fully vested in employers’ 401(k) contributions upon attainment of four or more years of employment and are partially vested with at least two years of employment. Consult with Voya or your tax advisor for additional information.

You are not required to roll over vested assets to another retirement account or otherwise take a distribution of vested assets when your EAA employment ends. You may leave your retirement assets within your Voya accounts.  However, balances under $500 will be distributed automatically at no cost 45 days after termination from EAA if employment ends before June 1, 2017, or 180 days after termination if employment ends on or after June 1, 2017 and you are not re-employed with a public school or the State of Michigan within 180 days. However, you may roll over such distributions to another qualified plan or IRA within 60 days without penalty.  

You may also roll over vested 401(k) assets to another qualified plan or IRA. Or you may take a full or partial distribution of vested 401(k) plan assets after termination, at which time all non-vested assets will be forfeited.  In either case, Voya may charge a distribution processing fee. Before taking a distribution, consider how it may impact your future retirement readiness. All distributions may be subject to a 10-percent IRS penalty for early withdrawal. Consult with your tax advisor to determine if the 10-percent penalty will apply to you.

7. What will happen with my 457 contributions when EAA ends?

You were fully vested in your 457 plan contributions from the beginning of your EAA employment.   You may leave 457 contributions in your Voya account. You are not required to take out or roll over your contributions to another account when your EAA employment ends. However, 457 account balances under $500 will be distributed automatically at no cost 45 days after termination if EAA employment ends before June 1, 2017, or 180 days after termination if EAA employment ends on or after June 1, 2017 and you are not re-employed with a public school or the State of Michigan within the 180 day period. 

You may also roll the assets over to another 457 plan or an IRA. Please note that 457 plan assets can only be rolled to another governmental 457 plan or IRA.  They cannot be rolled into a 401(k) plan. If you roll them over to an IRA, they will become subject to IRA tax rules. Voya may also charge a distribution processing fee. Consult with Voya or your tax advisor for more details. 

You may also take a full or partial distribution of your 457 account assets. Before taking a distribution, consider how it may impact your future retirement readiness. Voya may also charge a distribution processing fee.

 

8. Does my time with EAA count toward MPSERS service credit?

No, your time with EAA does not count towards MPSERS service credit and the time cannot be purchased as an out-of-system purchase. However, if you were a former MPSERS employee prior to working with EAA you may be eligible to purchase up to five years of universal buy-in service credit. Certain conditions apply, so contact ORS to verify eligibility and cost.

9. What if I took a refund of previous MPSERS contributions while working for EAA?

If you previously worked within MPSERS and received a refund of your DB pension contributions when you terminated your employment, you forfeited all service for the calculation of your pension and insurance subsidy associated with those contributions. As an active (working) member, you can reinstate your forfeited service credit by repaying the contributions you withdrew. When you repay a refund, you must also pay interest charges from the date of the refund to the date of payment in full. Certain conditions apply, so contact ORS to verify eligibility and cost. 

10. What if I'm a MPSERS retiree who has been working for EAA-what happens after EAA dissolves?

If you are a MPSERS retiree and go back to work for a MPSERS employer, then you may be subject to an earnings limit. We recommend reading the Working After You Retire section of our member website

 

11. What if I have a loan on my 457 account?

If you took a loan on your 457 account that is not paid off yet, you have options: 

  • Continue to pay on it each month by sending Voya a check or through reverse ACH;
  • Pay the entire remaining balance by sending Voya a check for the payoff amount;
  • Pay it off with a distribution from your 457 account.  Keep in mind that if you elect to pay the loan off with a distribution from your 401(k) account, you will owe taxes on the distribution and you may be subject to a 10-percent IRS penalty for an early withdrawal.  Consult with a tax advisor to determine if the 10-percent penalty will apply to you.

 

12. What if I am under a contribution suspension for taking a hardship withdrawal from my 457 account?

If you are on a six-month suspension for taking a hardship withdrawal, that suspension will continue when you are re-employed by a public school or the State of Michigan until such time as the original six-month suspension period is over.  If you are still in the suspension period when hired by a new employer, you will not be auto-enrolled and will need to contact Voya when you are ready to start your contributions to the plan again after the suspension period is over.