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Ready to Retire

Apply for Retirement Prepare for retirement by using miAccount. A pension estimate - your most important pension planning tool - can be run from miAccount using the very numbers your employer reports to the Michigan Office of Retirement Services (ORS). Log in and run your estimate today.

Are you considering your options for retirement? Below are some things to think about as you count down to retirement.

Countdown to Retirement

24 months to retirement
Check mark Log in to miAccount and review your service credit totals for accuracy, and consider whether any credit for refunded service, military service, or other service is available.
Check mark Use the Estimate Pension function in miAccount to estimate your pension and explore the various payment options.
Check mark Request an estimate of your retirement benefits from the Social Security Administration.
Check mark View the Pre-Retirement Orientation online presentation.
Check mark Check out the Online Presentations and E-Learning Modules section on our website.
Check mark Review your current living expenses and project what these will be at retirement. Will your income from all sources cover your projected expenses?
Check mark Anticipate new or recurring expenses (car, medical, home repairs), and perhaps take care of some of these before you retire.
Check mark Evaluate your other investments. When will these funds be available? What are the withdrawal options: lump sum or recurring payments? Voya Financial can provide you with payout options and potential tax ramifications if you have State of Michigan 401(k) and/or 457 account(s).
Check mark Consider your tax situation. How much will you be required to pay in income taxes? Are there any special tax breaks on retirement income where you live?
Check mark Time your retirement to fit your goals. Consider these items:
  • The time from your last paycheck to your first retirement check.
  • The date of your first post-retirement increase.
  • If you participate in a flexible benefits payment program, consider how your date of retirement will affect this account.
Check mark Begin studying the pension payment options available.
18 months to retirement
Check mark Research medical insurance for your family and investigate the following:
  • State-sponsored plan.
  • Medicare. Go to the Medicare website for information.
  • Medicare supplement (if you, your spouse, or a dependent are over age 65).
  • Spouse's employment. Will you be able to continue coverage in the event of your spouse's retirement or death?
Check mark Will you still need individual disability coverage? Ask your insurance provider if there is an offset provision for other income received.
Check mark Evaluate your life insurance needs in comparison to your coverage and consider any conversion rights.
Check mark Review your estate plan and make sure your will, trust, and powers of attorney are up to date. Understand how your assets pass to others under Michigan law.
Check mark If you're purchasing service credit, plan it so your purchase will be paid in full while you are still an active (working) member of the retirement system.
12 months to retirement
Check mark Request another estimate from the Social Security Administration.
Check mark Check the ORS website for the most current version of Pre-Retirement Orientation (R0613G) workbook or request a copy from ORS.
6 months to retirement
Check mark Review your personal account details using miAccount.
Check mark Read through the medical, prescription drug, dental, and vision plan information to learn what benefits are available to you, your spouse, and your dependents in retirement.
Check mark If you have any questions after you've reviewed our materials, ask an ORS representative by using the secure miAccount Message Board.
Check mark If you divorced while an active or deferred member and the court ordered a portion of your pension be paid to an alternate payee, you must have an eligible domestic relations order (EDRO) on file with ORS before your retirement effective date. ORS has developed an online fillable EDRO form to allow members of the Michigan State Employees' Retirement System to create accurate and complete EDROs that can be administered under the retirement statutes. It is the preferred document to file with ORS. Background information and instructions are provided separately in Eligible Domestic Relations Orders: Background and Instructions (R0911X).
Check mark If you plan to work after you retire, make sure you understand how post-retirement earnings affect your pension and Social Security benefits.
Check mark Gather any proofs and supporting documents needed to apply as described in the How to Apply section. Do not mail in original documents because they will not be returned.
3 months to retirement
Check mark Carefully review the pension payment options. Decide which fits your needs and those of your family. Remember, you can't change the option or your survivor pension beneficiary after your retirement effective date.
Check mark Review the health insurance plans offered and decide on a plan.
Check mark Notify your human resources office of your intention to retire.
Check mark Verify all service credit purchases are paid before terminating employment.
Check mark Apply for retirement online with miAccount. Mail in photocopies of your proofs of age and any other required proofs. Do not mail in original documents because they will not be returned.
Retired at last!
Check mark ORS will send your award letter along with After Retirement (R0614G). It explains what happens next and things that you should report.
Check mark Watch for your pension payments on the 25th of each month.
Check mark Enjoy reading Connections, a quarterly newsletter we send to our retirees so that we stay connected.
Check mark Keep us updated with your current street address, phone number, and email address.