Reporting Instruction Manual Glossary

Basic plan

The Basic plan is a noncontributory plan funded entirely through employer contributions. This plan began in 1977.

business days

Business days are when ORS is open. Employer reporting staff are available to assist Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except as listed under Non-Business Day and when otherwise notified.

creditable service

Creditable service is the minimum number of hours normally required in the position being reported. For example, if a substitute teacher is normally required to work a 4 hour shift, an employer can rehire an inactive member and report 4 hours for that shift.

Detail 1 (DTL1) record

The DTL1 record provides ORS with demographic and employment status information about each of your employees. It is only necessary to submit a DTL1 record when you have something to report such as: adding a new employee, a change in name or address for an existing employee, a change in employment status for an existing employee, if you are using the upload method of populating your retirement detail report, then your software program has included all of this information. You may change or add DTL1 records by editing your report. If you are using the copy forward method, you may also change or add DTL1 records by editing your report. If you are using the empty report method, you will manually add your DTL1 records for each employee.

Detail 2 (DTL2) record

The DTL2 record provides data that includes employee social security number, name, member contributions, employer contributions, employment class code, hours, pay rate (contract or hourly), pay frequency, record begin and end dates, and the contract begin and end dates. It is required when you have wages, hours, or contributions to report or change. If you are using the upload method of populating your retirement detail report, then your software program has included all of this information. You may edit or add DTL2 records. If you are using the copy forward method, you may also edit or add DTL2 records. If you are using the empty report method, you will manually add your DTL2 records for each employee.

Detail 3 (DTL3) record

A DTL3 record reports tax-deferred payments for the purchase of service credit.

employer number

Also referred to as organization number or reporting unit number. Your employer number is the five-digit number assigned to your reporting unit by ORS. You use this number to log into the online reporting system and to identify your reporting unit. If your reporting unit was originally assigned a four-digit number (9999), add a zero to the end to create your new five-digit number (99990).

employment class code

The employment class code is a number that identifies the type of job an employee is being paid for. A complete list of employment class codes is in Appendix B.1 Employment Class Codes and Definitions.

federal funds

These are reportable wages paid to employees from federal funds such as grants.

file status

There are three possible file statuses.

  • In progress means that you loaded your report today and it has not run through the overnight batch process.

  • Loaded means that your report ran through the overnight batch process and has loaded successfully.
  • Not loaded means that your report ran through the overnight batch process but did not load properly.

Final Average Compensation (FAC)

The FAC is the average of the highest consecutive three to five years of wages depending on the member’s particular retirement plan. The FAC is used in the equation to calculate the pension benefit.

frequency of pay

Whether hourly or salaried, you should report the total number of pays that the employee would be paid as if he or she is working the entire year. (i.e. 21 or 26)


Retirement law defines a member as a public school employee who is not specifically excluded from membership. Any employee that does not fall in an excluded category is automatically considered a member of this retirement system. This includes, but is not limited to, temporary and intermittent employees, such as substitute teachers, crossing guards, temporary clerical help, and any other temporary help. For more information see section 3.03.00 Who Is Not a Member.

Member Investment Plan (MIP)

In late 1986 the Member Investment Plan (MIP) was introduced. This contributory plan provides more generous pension benefit options than the Basic Plan. MIP, a tax-deferred member contributory plan, is authorized by Section 414(h)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, which allows participating members to defer a portion of their income from taxes and become eligible for enhanced retirement benefits.

Message from ORS board

The Message from ORS board is located near the center of the screen on Employer Home Page. ORS uses the message board to post urgent, current, and reminder information.

non-business days

Except as otherwise notified, non-business days are: Weekends (Saturday and Sunday), State of Michigan holidays, Columbus Day (ORS is open on Columbus Day however, the Federal Reserve is closed. Columbus Day cannot be used as an online payment date.)

Optional Retirement Plan (ORP)

An Optional Retirement Plan (ORP), usually TIAA, is available to certain employees of universities and community colleges. Employees that elect to participate in ORP are not members of the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System.

PA 300 of 1980

PA 300 of 1980 is the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement Act. It is a law in the state of Michigan that guarantees a defined benefit plan pension for reporting unit employees.

pay rate

The pay rate is required to be reported in each pay period based on the employee’s classification.

  • Hourly employees - Report the hourly rate based on the pay schedule.
  • Contract/salaried employees - Report the pay rate representing the full amount of compensation allowed by the contract that is recognized as compensation by law and would be earned in the entire school year, even if only part of the year is worked. (See Chapter 4:  Reportable and Nonreportable Compensation for compensation definitions.)

payroll calendar

This calendar represents your regular pay schedule. It is made up of your school fiscal year pay period dates. Once each year ORS will request your pay period beginning and ending dates for the next school fiscal year. Then, when you submit your retirement detail report each pay period, your report dates will be matched to your calendar. Your report dates must match a set of dates on your payroll calendar.

pension formula

Pension benefits are calculated as follows: the final average compensation (FAC) X 1.5% X total years of service.


See DTL1, DTL2, and DTL3.

reporting unit

Also referred to as employer and organization. Reporting units, often referred to as the employers, are Michigan local school districts, intermediate school districts, public school academies, tax-supported community colleges, seven of Michigan’s major universities, and district libraries. A complete list of employers is included in the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report at the end of each fiscal year.


A retiree is a person who has retired from any reporting unit that participates in the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System.

retiree earnings

Earnings include items reported on a retiree’s W-2 form as earnings for services performed for an employer, including but not limited to, any amounts deferred or contributed to an annuities. See section 9.02 Bona Fide Termination and Retiree Earnings for more details.

retirement detail report

Each employer submits retirement detail reports to ORS on a per pay period basis. These reports are made up of wage and contribution data for each employee who is a member of the retirement system. The data also includes demographic and tax-deferred payment plan information.

service credit

Service credit is the number of hours employees work for a reporting unit. It is important to report all hours an employee has worked for your reporting unit. A minimum of 1020 hours worked during the school fiscal year (subject to caps as defined by statute) equals one year of service credit. A member’s pension eligibility and pension amount are based, in part, on service credit. Service credit can also be purchased.

Supplemental Tax-Deferred Payment (TDP) Agreement

The Supplemental Tax-Deferred Payment (TDP) Agreement is a form that allows the employee to permanently increase the per pay period deduction.


A retirement detail report, or an individual record on that report, will suspend if the report or record contains inaccurate data or errors. Your retirement detail report is run through an overnight batch process of edits and validations. Any time one of the edits or validations fails, you will receive a suspended report and /or record.

Tax-Deferred Payment (TDP) Agreement

The Tax-Deferred Payment (TDP) Agreement form is a contract between the employee and the reporting unit authorizing the reporting unit to withhold pre-tax dollars and submit payment to ORS for the purchase of service credit and/or the payment of unremitted MIP contributions.

Tax-Deferred Payment (TDP) Agreement Addendum

This form transfers the original TDP Agreement to a new employer.

tax-deferred payment (TDP) plan

The tax-deferred payment plan is a voluntary program that allows members of this retirement system to purchase additional service credit or repay refunds on a tax-deferred payroll-deduction basis.

unfunded accrued liability (UAL) or unfunded actuarial accrued liability (UAAL)

Unfunded (actuarial) accrued liability is the difference between the actuarial accrued liability and the actuarial value of assets accumulated to finance an obligation. For example, if you had an actuarial accrued liability for pension benefits of $20 million and assets valued at $10 million, your UAL would be $10 million.

wage code

The wage code is used to differentiate between regular reportable wages and irregular wages that are also reportable, i.e. longevity, workers? compensation, and retroactive wages. A complete list of wage codes is in section 13.03: Wage Codes.

Web Administrator

The web administrator is the person at your reporting unit who is able to authorize, activate, inactivate, and update user accounts as well as reset user passwords and unlock user accounts. Some web administrators are responsible for more than one reporting unit.

Web User

A web user is any person at your reporting unit who has been given access to the employer reporting website. Reporting units may have more than one web user. Some web users have "read only" access. Most often, the web user is a payroll staff person who is responsible for retirement reporting.