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Basic AR

Changes that affect part-time students who were employed by a Michigan community college between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2018, were recently signed into law. Your employer indicated that you are or were a part-time student employee who did not participate in the Michigan Public School Employees’ Retirement System. Therefore, you are now granted a one-time choice regarding your future participation in the Michigan Public School Employees’ Retirement System.

Have questions?

Call 800-381-5111
Office of Retirement Services

If you worked at a community college before July 1, 2014, while attending as a part-time student, you also have an opportunity to add that employment to your retirement account by paying the contributions you would have paid as a member. Visit michigan.gov/ccstudents for more information.

Before you make this decision about opting in or out of the Michigan Public School Employees’ Retirement System, it’s important to consider a few key factors:

Frequently Asked Questions

Community College Basic AR FAQs

<span class="btn btn-info">What is the Michigan Public School Employees' Retirement System?</span>

The Michigan Public School Employees’ Retirement System is a statewide public employee retirement plan. The role of the Office of Retirement Services (ORS) is to carefully manage the retirement system to preserve it for current and future retirees.

<span class="btn btn-info">Which employers participate in the Michigan Public School Employees' Retirement System?</span>

The employers who participate in this retirement plan include K-12 public school districts, select public school academies and charter schools, tax-supported community colleges, and intermediate school districts in Michigan.

<span class="btn btn-info">Why would I want to continue participating in the Michigan Public School Employees' Retirement System?</span>

If you choose to continue participating, you will continue to accumulate years of service to your pension in retirement.

<span class="btn btn-info">Why would I opt out?</span>

Saving for retirement is important but continuing in the Michigan Public School Employees’ Retirement System plan may not be the best option for you. If your career plans include working for a private company or starting your own business, you may want to opt out of participating in the Michigan Public School Employees’ Retirement System plan. If you are planning to move out of Michigan and are not likely to return, opting out may be the best choice for you. Only employment at a participating employer will count toward qualifying you for a retirement benefit or will add to your benefit with the Michigan Public School Employees’ Retirement System.

<span class="btn btn-info">How much will it cost me?</span>

If you choose to continue participating, the retirement plan will cost you nothing, but you’ll pay 3 percent of your wages for the retiree healthcare benefit.

<span class="btn btn-info">What is a pension? </span>

A pension is a guaranteed lifetime monthly payment in retirement. Pension income is separate from and in addition to any other retirement savings, such as a 401(k) plan, and your Social Security benefits.

<span class="btn btn-info">What is a defined benefit retirement plan? </span>

A defined benefit retirement plan provides a guaranteed lifetime pension payment in retirement based on a set formula. Pension payments are not affected by stock market ups and downs. You will qualify for a pension in retirement if you meet certain age and service requirements.

<span class="btn btn-info">How do I qualify for a pension?</span>

You will be eligible to receive a monthly pension as early as age 60 when you have at least 10 years of service. Learn more about additional ways you may qualify for a pension in retirement.

<span class="btn btn-info">What are years of service?</span>

Years of service are the years or fractions of years you work that count toward your pension under the Michigan Public School Employees’ Retirement System. Total years of service and age determine when you will qualify for a pension.

<span class="btn btn-info">If I qualify for a pension, how much will I receive each month?</span>

Your pension amount depends on how long you work and how much money you earn. Learn more about the pension formula and how to estimate your pension.

<span class="btn btn-info">Will I have health insurance when I retire? </span>

You could have health insurance when you retire. Your retiree healthcare benefit is the Premium Subsidy. Members with the Premium Subsidy benefit pay 3 percent of their wages to the Retiree Healthcare Fund. If you become eligible to receive a pension, you will be eligible to enroll in retiree health insurance. The cost of coverage and conditions of enrollment will vary depending on several factors. See the current rates for the Premium Subsidy benefit. 

<span class="btn btn-info">What if I never qualify for a pension?</span>

If you never qualify for a pension, you will be eligible for a refund of your pension contributions after you terminate employment. At age 60, you can get a refund of your retiree healthcare contributions.

<span class="btn btn-info">How do I make my choice?</span>

In the next couple of weeks, you’ll get a yellow envelope in the mail with the form you need to complete. You’ll also receive a white self-addressed stamped envelope. Complete the form and return it to ORS 5:00 p.m. EDT on June 28, 2019.

<span class="btn btn-info">Who do I contact if I have questions?</span>

If you have any questions, visit michigan.gov/orsmiaccount and use our online Message Board for secure, direct access to our representatives. You can also contact our office by phone at 800-381-5111.

<span class="btn btn-info">Is there a deadline?</span>

ORS must receive your form no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT on June 28, 2019. By default, if ORS does not receive your form by the deadline, your choice to continue participating in the Michigan Public School Employees’ Retirement System as a part-time student employee will no longer be available.

<span class="btn btn-info">Where do I send the form?</span>

Fax the form to ORS at 517-284-4416.

Or mail the form to:

ORS

P.O. Box 30171

Lansing, MI 48909-7671

<span class="btn btn-info">What if I do nothing?</span>

If ORS does not receive your form by 5:00 p.m. EDT on June 28, 2019, you will no longer have a choice to continue participating in the Michigan Public School Employees’ Retirement System. Any future employment as a part-time student employee will not count toward a retirement benefit. Any service and contributions on account from your prior time will remain on account.  Log in to miAccount at www.michigan.gov/orsmiaccount to view your retirement service, contributions and manage your account.  Any contributions made to your State of Michigan 401(k) and 457 accounts from prior service will remain on account with Voya Financial®. To access your account balance with Voya, contact them at 800-748-6128.