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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 MIP Graded C 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">You're a student now, but where do you see yourself in your future career? </span>

If you expect that your future career will lead you to work for one of our participating employers, you may want to opt in to participating in the retirement plan. The retirement plan at your community college will stay with you as you move into your future career if you are working for a Michigan public school or one of the employers who participate in this retirement plan. Careers in public schools include much more than teaching. In Michigan public schools you’ll find career opportunities in human resources, accounting, nursing, food service, nutrition, dietician, management, security, facility management, vehicle maintenance, cyber security, website administration, and technical support.

<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 the money you and your employer pay in to your Defined Contribution retirement plan. You were enrolled automatically into the 457 Plan at a 5% contribution rate when you started in the plan. Your employer matches your 457 Plan contributions dollar for dollar up to 5% of your wages. This match is made to the 401(k) plan. Your employer also contributes an additional 4% to your retirement investment account, regardless of how much you’re contributing. By staying in the plan, you can take advantage of the employer contributions. Your defined contribution retirement account is portable to another retirement plan. 

<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. You will be 50% vested for employer contributions after you’ve worked for two years.  If you don’t’ plan work for the community college or a public school in Michigan for two years, 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 add to your benefit with the Michigan Public School Employees’ Retirement System.

<span class="btn btn-info">If I continue in the retirement plan, how much will I receive when I retire? </span>

The amount of money you’ll have in your 401(k) and 457 accounts when you retire depends on how much you and your employer pay in to the plan. Paying in enough to receive the full employer match is a good place to start. See the Voya Financial® website for information about the State of Michigan 401(k) and 457 accounts for public school employees.

<span class="btn btn-info">What happens to the money in my 401(k) and 457 if I terminate employment? </span>

When you leave employment, you have several options for your retirement and healthcare savings. Read more at the Voya® website about your options when you leave employment.

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

A defined contribution plan is a retirement plan in which a certain percentage of earnings is set aside each year by the employer and the employee for the benefit of the employee. Employees choose how to invest their balances among the options provided in the plan. There are restrictions to when and how the employee can withdraw these funds without penalties. Money paid into the plan by the employer and the employee are invested in the State of Michigan 401(k) and 457 Plans.

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

If you choose to continue participating, you’ll continue to pay in to the plan at the same rate you do now. Read more about the Defined Contribution Plan.

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

You are automatically enrolled in the Personal Healthcare Fund, a portable, tax-deferred investment account that can be used to pay for healthcare expenses in retirement. Learn more about the Personal Healthcare Fund.

<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 about the decision you are making, 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.

ORS has partnered with Voya® to bring you the savings component of your plan. Voya will help you invest your savings, provide you with account statements, track all contributions to your investment account, handle withdrawals and distributions from your account and provide other plan services. If you have any questions about the plan, contact Voya Financial® at 800-748-6128.

<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 michigan.gov/orsmiaccount to view your retirement service, contributions and manage your account.Any contributions made to your Voya Financial®at 800-748-6128.