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Plan-to-Plan Transfer

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Michigan Office of Retirement Services

Plan-to-Plan Transfer

Purchasing with a Plan-to-Plan Transfer

A qualified plan-to-plan transfer is the process of moving money from a qualified (as defined by the IRS) pretax investment account/retirement plan to another without incurring taxes or penalties on the money being transferred. 

This means you can "roll over" money you have saved in most pretax retirement accounts and use it to purchase service credit. A qualified plan can be your 401(a), 401(k), 403(b), 457, as well as conduit individual retirement accounts (IRAs) from any of these sources. A traditional IRA, Roth IRA, or Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRA cannot be used to purchase service credit. The State of Michigan 401(k) and 457 Plans are qualified retirement plans.

Qualified plans may also be used to pay off an existing tax-deferred payment (TDP) agreement if you are terminating employment.

How to request a plan-to-plan transfer.

If you decide to purchase any or all of the service credit shown on your member billing statement by transferring from a qualified plan, request or download a Qualified Plan-to-Plan Transfer Certification (R0158X) form from the Michigan Office of Retirement Services (ORS).

This form includes detailed instructions on how to initiate a plan-to-plan transfer. Complete and return it to ORS so that we know the dollar amount you intend to transfer to purchase service credit. It is then your responsibility to arrange with your plan administrator to send the rollover payment directly to ORS, following the instructions on the form. 

Be sure to allow ample time for your plan administrator to transfer the funds. Some financial institutions take several weeks, or even months. It is important that we receive your payment before the billing due date to avoid any additional cost. In addition, we must receive payment by your termination date. If payment is not received by then, your payment will be returned to you and service will not be credited.

When ORS receives your qualified plan-to-plan transfer payment, you'll be issued a receipt and your retirement account will be updated with your service credit purchase.

Plan-to-plan transfers are handled between ORS and the investment institution holding your funds (your plan administrator) acting on your request. Your payroll office should not be involved.

Plan-to-plan transfers must be for the exact amount of the purchase. 

Be sure that your plan administrator doesn't send more than the amount shown on your member billing statement because taxes and penalties could apply. If too much money is submitted, the excess funds will be returned to the institution holding the qualified plan, if possible; otherwise, the excess may be refunded to you, and taxes and penalties may apply.

Important Note:

Sending ORS your plan-to-plan transfer certification form only alerts us of your intent. It is your responsibility to see that the funds are sent by your plan administrator.