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Part-Time Student Employee Reporting Audit

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For Community Colleges Only

This page will assist Michigan community colleges with compliance with Public Acts (PA) 328 and 512 of 2018. It provides an overview, Frequently Asked Questions, and links to employee communications and employer communications in connection with ORS’s implementation. If you have questions about this project that are not answered in the Frequently Asked Questions below, please call Employer Reporting at 800-381-5111.

Audit Overview (updated 8/21/2019)

The overview below is designed to provide a high-level understanding of the process flow for the three groups that will take action:

  • Students – anyone who is or was a part-time student while working for the community college where they were enrolled.
    • PA 328: only those who worked at any time between 7/1/2017 and 6/30/2018. Those who worked in FY 2015, 2016 or 2017 but not FY 2018 are impacted as well, but no actions are required by the students. (Per PA 512, the community colleges will pay contributions for part-time student employees who were not reported for any pay-cycle between 7/1/2014 and 6/30/2018.)
    • PA 512: anyone who worked as a part-time student any time before 7/1/2014.
  • Community Colleges – the 28 tax-supported community colleges that participate in MPSERS.
  • Office of Retirement Services – PA 512 gives ORS the authority to administer and implement the process of adjusting records and collecting contributions related to PA 328 and PA 512.

Update: ORS will send community colleges a 328 data file by mid-September via the File Transfer Service (FTS). The file will indicate the deadline for making reporting changes for the employees listed in the file.


MPSERS Employers - PA 512 Action Timeline


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does Public Act (PA) 328 require from community colleges?

    PA 328 required Michigan tax-supported community colleges to submit data to ORS related to their employees who were enrolled as students between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2018. It required that ORS prepare a legislative report summarizing this data by January 31, 2019.

    What does Public Act (PA) 512 require from Community Colleges?

    PA 512 determined that all part-time student employees be reported for the period from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2018 and gives ORS the authority to administer the reporting adjustment process. It also states that current part-time student employees who were reportable at any time between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018 shall be offered a one-time election to continue to be reported as a part-time student or to opt out of being reported effective July 1, 2018.

    PA 512 also addresses part-time student employees who worked before July 1, 2014 but were not reported. A person in this group can apply to establish membership in the retirement plan and/or claim unreported prior service by paying the member contributions associated with the prior service. The community college that employed the person will verify eligibility and is responsible for paying employer contributions on the wages for any service claimed by a person who pays member contributions in full.

    What is the difference in the groups of part-time students? Why not use the same process for all part-time students?

    The laws passed in 2018 treat these groups of students differently and require different remedies for part-time students who were not reported (or were reported during FY 2018).

  • Do we need to make adjustments to past reporting records for part-time student employees who were not reported?

    For non-reported eligible employees, ORS will adjust records dated between July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2018. You are required to make adjustments as needed for records dated July 1, 2018 through the date shown on the file you receive from ORS through the File Transfer Service (FTS) which will be called 328<<reportingunitnumber>> (328 file).

    How will you tell us which employees need changes in reporting?

    For employees who worked between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018, ORS will send you an email notifying you of a 328 file available on the File Transfer Service by mid-September. That file will provide the information you need to make reporting changes for students whose forms were returned. (Updated 8/21/2019)

    What information will be included on the 328 file?

    The 328 file will show each student employee’s name, social security number, member plan, and the action to take (Continue reporting, Stop reporting, or Begin reporting). It will show the due date for actions as well.

    Sample 328 file, illustrating various possible actions:

    328 File – complete these actions by dd/mm/2019

    Name

    SSN

    Benefit Plan

    Action

    Jane Doe

    xxx-xx-xxxx

    Pension Plus

    Begin reporting; make adjustments to records beginning 7/1/2018

    John Jones

    xxx-xx-xxxx

    Pension Plus 2

    Stop reporting; make adjustments to records beginning 7/1/2018

    Sam Smith

    xxx-xx-xxxx

    DC

    Continue reporting (no adjustments  needed)

    What does “Begin reporting, make adjustments…” mean?

    328 File – complete these actions by dd/mm/2019

    Name

    SSN

    Benefit Plan

    Action

    Jane Doe

    xxx-xx-xxxx

    Pension Plus

    Begin reporting; make adjustments to records beginning 7/1/2018

    John Jones

    xxx-xx-xxxx

    Pension Plus 2

    Stop reporting; make adjustments to records beginning 7/1/2018

    Sam Smith

    xxx-xx-xxxx

    DC

    Continue reporting (no adjustments  needed)

    Consider the example of Jane Doe in the sample file above. Jane worked in FY 2018, but she was not reported. ORS used data from the report you submitted as part of PA 328 to create an account for her and added her service hours from her first day worked through June 30, 2018. She elected the Pension Plus plan and opted to continue being reported as a part-time student.

    You must begin reporting her on your next open detail report. Then you must make adjustments to show her hours earned on or after July 1, 2018 (the period after ORS’s adjustments), in accordance with her choice to opt in. Adjustments must be completed by the date shown in the 328 file.

    What does “Stop reporting, make adjustments…” mean?

    328 File – complete these actions by dd/mm/2019

    Name

    SSN

    Benefit Plan

    Action

    Jane Doe

    xxx-xx-xxxx

    Pension Plus

    Begin reporting; make adjustments to records beginning 7/1/2018

    John Jones

    xxx-xx-xxxx

    Pension Plus 2

    Stop reporting; make adjustments to records beginning 7/1/2018

    Sam Smith

    xxx-xx-xxxx

    DC

    Continue reporting (no adjustments  needed)

    Consider the example of John Jones in the sample file above. John worked in FY 2018 and your reporting unit has been reporting him. He decided not to continue being reported as a part-time student. You will stop reporting him beginning with your next open detail report. 

    You will also make negative adjustments to reverse all reported wages and service earned after July 1, 2018 (the effective date of his opt-out decision). Adjustments must be completed by the date shown in the 328 file. If John continues to work for you but stops being a student (part-time or full-time), he would become an active member again and you would begin reporting him at that time.

    What does “Continue reporting (no adjustments needed)” mean?

    328 File – complete these actions by dd/mm/2019

    Name

    SSN

    Benefit Plan

    Action

    Jane Doe

    xxx-xx-xxxx

    Pension Plus

    Begin reporting; make adjustments to records beginning 7/1/2018

    John Jones

    xxx-xx-xxxx

    Pension Plus 2

    Stop reporting; make adjustments to records beginning 7/1/2018

    Sam Smith

    xxx-xx-xxxx

    DC

    Continue reporting (no adjustments  needed)

    Consider the example of Sam Smith in the sample file above. Sam worked in FY 2018 and you have been reporting him. He decided to continue being reported as a part-time student, so no change is needed. The information provided in the 328 file confirms that he chose to continue being reporting as a part-time student.

    What should we tell a part-time student employee who was not contacted by ORS but believes they should have been contacted?

    ORS used the report data the community colleges provided to identify those we contacted. The criteria are:

    • Enrolled as a part-time student and employed by the community college where enrolled at some point between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018.
    • Identified as “primarily a student” by the community college.

    If an employee believes they should have been contacted, check the data file you provided us. If they don’t meet the criteria above, explain why. If they do meet the requirements, the address ORS used may be out of date. Ask the person to contact ORS at 800-381-5111 to update their contact information.

    Do we need to do anything for part-time students who worked between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2017, but not after that date?

    These students were reportable members as well. If they were never reported, ORS created accounts for them (using the default plan at that time, Pension Plus) and entered their service into the retirement system based on the data you provided. ORS will send them a letter to explain that they are MPSERS members. You will be (or have been) invoiced for member and employer contributions for these employees.

    What if a 328 file lists an employee who no longer works here?

    If the employee stopped working before July 1, 2018, there is nothing more you need to do. If the employee was reported and stopped working on or after July 1, 2018, you still need to make adjustments to their records for the period between July 1, 2018 and the date they stopped working.

    What if a 328 file says to stop, begin or continue reporting an employee who works here but is no longer enrolled as a student?

    ORS determined eligibility and made adjustments to the employee’s account based on the data you provided, which went through June 30, 2018.

    • If a 328 file says to begin reporting and you are already reporting the person (as a non-student employee), continue to report.
    • If a 328 file says to stop reporting, but the employee is no longer a student, make negative adjustments to all records between July 1, 2018 and the date the employee was no longer a student. At that point, the employee became an active member and reporting should begin with that pay cycle.

    What if a 328 file says to begin reporting an employee who works here but is now enrolled here as a full-time student?

    ORS determined eligibility and made adjustments to the employee’s account based on the data you provided, which went through June 30, 2018. If the employee’s status changed since that date, please contact ORS at 800-381-5111 and enter your reporting unit number. Full-time students should not be reported.

    How long do we have to make adjustments for the period beginning July 1, 2018?

    Adjustments must be made within 20 business days from the date shown on the 328 file you receive from ORS. The due date will be included in the 328 file.

    How often will we receive 328 files?

    Each community college will receive one 328 file showing all students who had an election and how to report them and/or make adjustments. The file will be sent via FTS by mid-September. (Updated 8/21/2019)

  • How will ORS identify people who were part-time students at a community college before July 1, 2014?

    ORS will reach out using a variety of marketing strategies. Those who see or hear our outreach message will be directed to a website (www.mi.gov/ccstudents) where they can find more information.

    People who review the website information and believe they are eligible will download an employment verification form and submit it to ORS, along with documentation supporting their claim, such as student transcripts and W-2 forms. ORS will review forms for completeness and minimum qualifications, then contact the community college shown on the form for further verification.

    Will ORS require the college to verify a past employee’s eligibility under PA 512?

    Yes. As needed until February 2020, ORS will email you data files with information to be verified, pulled from the forms submitted by former student employees. You will return the data file with verification data for each employee. For eligible employees you will provide reportable wages and service by pay period. If you determine a person is not eligible to be reported, you will note that fact (with an explanation) in the data file you send back to ORS. Further instructions will be provided with the first file via email.

    What information will be included on the 512 file?

    The 512 file will show each person’s name, former name (if applicable), the last four digits of the SSN, as well as the span of dates the person reports that he or she was a part-time student employee. Further detail and instructions will be provided with the first file via email.

    How often will we receive 512 files?

    We don’t know how frequently we’ll receive forms from people or how many we’ll receive. When ORS receives these forms, we will return any incomplete forms (including those without documentation) or otherwise unacceptable forms (for example if the college listed is not a MPSERS community college). For people with acceptable forms, ORS will send you an email whenever we have one or more requests for your college. The deadline for submitting a request form is January 31, 2020, so the last 512 file could be sent as late as February 2020.

    How do we provide our verification findings to ORS?

    The 512 files ORS sends you will have instructions for how to report your findings.

    What if we can confirm general dates of employment but have no details regarding hours worked during specific pay periods?

    The 512 file we send you will have instructions for how to report your findings. In some cases, ORS may make a determination regarding people in this category.

    What if our records show the person worked here but our dates do not match what you provided?

    You should provide the data you have, including dates. The employment verification request we send you will have instructions for how to report your findings.

    How do we verify whether they were part-time students?

    The 512 file will include begin dates and end dates provided by the former employee. Work with your registrar and the person’s transcript to confirm the pay periods when the student was enrolled part-time.  

    What is the definition of part-time student we should use to determine eligibility?

    Consistent with the prevailing definition across community colleges, ORS defines part-time students as those enrolled with 11 or fewer credit hours (5 or fewer credit hours for a summer semester or term). A student who is enrolled part-time in the terms on either side of a summer term is considered to still be a part-time student during the summer months.

    After we verify the 512 data you send us, what more are we required to do regarding this group of former employees?

    ORS will send you a list of former employees that were granted service along with the retirement plan they were placed in. We will invoice your reporting unit for the employer contributions on the service claimed by these former employees. Since the final deadline for the member contribution payment is June 30, 2020, your college could be invoiced as late as July 2020. As more information becomes available, we will update this answer here and in an email.

Employee Communications