Skip to main content

FAQs

Old Michigan red school house
Michigan Office of Retirement Services

FAQs

FAQs

1. What are the Michigan Office of Retirement Services (ORS) office hours?

You can call us between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information on how to reach us, see Contact Us.  

2. Am I a MIP or Basic member?

It depends on when you began working for a participating school. Members newly hired after Jan. 1, 1990, are in the Member Investment Plan (MIP). If you were hired before then, you're probably a Basic plan member, unless you chose to switch to MIP when it was introduced in the late 1980s. Learn more about our plans.  

3. What does "buying time" mean?

You can purchase service credit, or buy time, to increase your pension amount. To decide if buying time is beneficial to you, see Service Credit - Earning and Purchasing.  

4. When can I retire?

Generally, MIP members can retire at age 46 with 30 years of service (YOS), age 55 with 15 YOS (with stipulations), age 60 with 10 YOS, or age 60 with 5 YOS (with stipulations). Basic plan members can retire at age 55 with 30 YOS. Read more about how to qualify for a pension.

5. How much will I get?

The pension formula multiplies your final average salary times 1.5% times your years of service. You can find the pension formula under About Your Plan. You can also use the Estimate Pension feature in miAccount and plug in scenarios to give you an idea of how much you can get and when.  

6. When will my pension arrive?

Pension payments are delivered on the 25th of each month. To learn more, see After Retirement.  

7. I am ending my public school employment. Can I get a benefit?

If you leave school employment before you're eligible to retire, you can leave your contributions on account or request a refund. If you're vested, you'll probably want to leave your contributions and take a deferred retirement. Read more about deferred retirement.  

8. What does my survivor need to do when I die?

First, and most important, your survivor should contact ORS right away. ORS will then ask for some very specific information as well as a photocopy of the death certificate. We will then review your records to determine what, if anything, is payable. What happens next will depend on your member status at the time of your death.

9. I am getting divorced. What do I need to do?

If you divorce while you are an active or deferred member, the court may order that a portion of your pension be paid to an alternate payee such as your former spouse or dependent child. The order (known as an eligible domestic relations order, or EDRO) must contain specific information in a specific format, and must be on file with ORS prior to your retirement effective date. Details and sample language can be found in the ORS publication Eligible Domestic Relations Orders.

The EDRO Act doesn't apply to a divorce after retirement. If you're already receiving your pension when you divorce, read more about divorce and your benefits.