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When to Contact ORS
Below are the most common situations that would require contact with the Michigan Office of Retirement Services (ORS) after your pension payments begin. Please use it as a general guide only. Because we can't list every possible event that should be reported, it's best to contact us if you're not sure. You can use the secure Message Board in miAccount to contact a knowledgeable ORS representative.
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Be sure we know your current mailing address, physical address, and email address at all times so you receive your statements and other important notices. Your physical address is where you actually live while your mailing address is where you want to receive your mail. You can now enter a PO Box for your mailing address. Address changes can be made online through miAccount.
We will notify your insurance carriers of your address change; however, it may take up to 30 days before the carrier can take action. If you’re insured by an HMO, check to make sure that you can still be enrolled in your HMO at your new address (HMO availability is determined by county).
If your address change means you need to enroll in another plan, make sure to enroll at least a month before you move to avoid a gap in coverage.
If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, make sure to change your address with Social Security.
Ordinarily, the birth or adoption of a child after you retire will not affect your pension. However, if you want to enroll your child in your insurance plans, you can do so by using miAccount.
A birth or adoption could mean that you need to change your life insurance beneficiary using the Life Insurance Beneficiary Designation (R0782GHB) form. And don't forget to notify Voya Financial if you have a State of Michigan 401(k) or 457 Plan account and want to change your beneficiary.
Death of the retiree. Upon your death, your personal representative (family member or executor) should contact ORS as quickly as possible. We will need your Social Security number and a photocopy of the death certificate. See What Your Survivors Should Know for information to give to your survivors.
Death of a pension beneficiary. If you elected a survivor option and your pension beneficiary predeceases you, notify ORS and provide a photocopy of the death certificate so we can adjust your pension amount to the full (unreduced) straight life pension. If you elected the equated plan and your beneficiary dies before you, your benefit will revert to the straight life equated amount.
If any person receiving a survivor benefit dies, ORS should be contacted immediately. We will need the Social Security number of the state retiree as well as that of the beneficiary who was receiving benefits, along with a photocopy of the death certificate.
ORS will stop pension payments as soon as we are notified of a death. If the death notice is not received timely, the estate is obligated to repay all payments made after death.
Death of insurance dependent. If anyone enrolled as a dependent in your health, dental, or vision insurance plan dies, report the death immediately using the Beneficiaries & Dependents section in miAccount. You must also submit a photocopy of the death certificate.
Additional information about reporting a death can be found in What Your Survivors Should Know.
The quickest way to change your direct deposit is in miAccount. Ordinarily, if we receive your request by the first day of the month, your next payment should be deposited to your new account. Do not close your old account until your pension payment has been successfully deposited in your new account.
If you are receiving a disability retirement, you should notify ORS if your condition improves. ORS will also need to know if you plan to return to gainful employment and you are under age 60.
If you divorce after retirement, your pension will not be affected unless you elected a survivor option. To change your survivor option to a straight life pension, you must submit a court order, called a Domestic Relations Order (DRO). To assist you and your attorney, ORS provides instructions and downloadable, fillable DRO forms. These are the preferred DRO documents to file with ORS. They are the fastest, most efficient way to complete your filing. Complete the form online, save it, print it, then take the printed copy to the court for the judge's signature.
If your former spouse is enrolled as a dependent in your health, dental, vision, or life insurance plan, their eligibility will cease. Report the divorce immediately using the Insurance Enrollment/Change Request (R0452G) form or miAccount. Include a copy of your divorce decree.
Since we cannot adjust your insurance premiums until we receive your Insurance Enrollment/Change Request (R0452G) form and because we cannot refund excess insurance premiums, be sure to send this form in as soon as possible.
If you were covered by your former spouse’s insurance but that coverage is ending and you want to enroll, complete the Insurance Enrollment/Change Request (R0452G) form or apply miAccount. You must submit proof of loss of coverage from the previous benefit administrator which includes who is being terminated, when, and why. Find more information about when your coverage can take effect if you have a qualifying event.
A divorce could mean you need to change your address, name, or life insurance beneficiary. Use miAccount to change your address, or the Name and Address Change (R0357X) form; or to change your life insurance beneficiary use the Life Insurance Beneficiary Designation (R0782GHB) form. Don't overlook your deferred compensation beneficiary with Voya.
Marriage of retiree. If you marry after your retirement pension begins, there is no need to report the marriage because your payments will not be affected.
However, if you want to enroll your new spouse in your insurance plans, you can do so in miAccount or by completing the Insurance Enrollment/Change Request (R0452G) form. If you submit enrollment, proof of your spouse's age, and a copy of your government-issued marriage certificate to ORS within 30 days of the event, coverage can begin the first of the month following the date of marriage, or potentially a month later if you or your spouse is on Medicare. Examples of proofs for insurance dependent can be found on our website.
A marriage could mean you need to change your address or name using miAccount, or change your life insurance beneficiary using the Life Insurance Beneficiary Designation (R0782GHB) form. And don't overlook your deferred compensation beneficiary with Voya.
Marriage of survivor pension beneficiary. If you are receiving a survivor pension on the account of a deceased state employee, you don't need to report your marriage because your pension will continue as usual, and insurance benefits are not available to your new spouse.
Marriage of insurance dependent. Only unmarried children are eligible for insurance coverage. If anyone enrolled on your contract as an insurance dependent marries, you must notify ORS immediately. Use miAccount or the Insurance Enrollment/Change Request (R0452G) form.
You must notify ORS when Medicare coverage begins for you, your spouse, or anyone covered by your insurance. The health insurance section explains how to notify ORS and how Medicare eligibility affects your state health insurance coverage.
Once your Medicare coverage begins you should see a significant decrease in the amount of your health plan premiums. Because you cannot be reimbursed retroactively for any premiums deducted, be sure to notify ORS as soon as you or any dependent on your health insurance plan becomes eligible for Medicare.
Notify ORS after three days if your regular direct deposit payment has not been deposited to your account.
If you designate a power of attorney, conservatorship, or guardianship, have your personal representative contact ORS right away. We will need a notarized copy of the legal documentation before your representative can act on your behalf. Send a healthcare power of attorney to ORS and your insurance carriers.
You don't need to notify ORS when your Social Security payments begin, because it will not affect your pension. If you chose the equated plan, remember that your pension will be reduced when you turn age 65 regardless of how much your Social Security benefit is, or when it begins. The reduction in your pension is based on the Social Security estimate you provided when you applied for your pension.
You can change your federal or Michigan tax withholding rate at any time in miAccount.
Each January, ORS will send you a federal form 1099-R so you can file your income tax returns. This statement shows how much was paid to you during the year in pension benefits, as well as how much was withheld in taxes. Log in to miAccount any time after Jan. 1 to view and print your 1099-R.