Click on the headings below to view the answers to some frequently asked questions.
You may want to consider talking about your plan options with the people in your life who would be affected by your decision and possibly consulting with a tax or financial advisor. When you are ready to choose a retirement plan, click I'M READY TO MAKE MY ELECTION and make your election in miAccount before the deadline. You must have your Member ID, which is in your welcome letter, and a valid email address to register in miAccount so that you can make your election online.
The deadline is 75 calendar days from the end of your first payroll period.
Log in to miAccount to see how many days are left to make your election.
You will become a participant in the Defined Contribution plan.
Your Member ID is located in your welcome letter from ORS. After your employer reports you to ORS as a new Michigan public school employee, ORS will mail you a welcome letter. Allow time for the welcome letter to arrive.
If you lost your welcome letter, you can request your Member ID through miAccount as a guest user.
To do so, go to the miAccount login screen, select your retirement system, and click the Mail my Member ID button. Fill in the fields with your information and click Mail my Member ID at the bottom of the page.
It takes about 3-5 days for the letter to arrive at the address ORS has on file for you.
No. Your employer withholds retirement contributions. As a new employee, your initial paystubs may indicate withholdings for the pension plan. This does not mean you are in the pension plan. You must affirmatively elect the Pension Plus 2 plan in miAccount to be enrolled in the pension plan.
Employers notify ORS about employees who are new to Michigan public school employment. Welcome letters are sent to employees who first worked for a Michigan public school on or after February 1, 2018. If you did not receive a letter, your contact information may not be correct with your employer or your employer did not report you as a new public school employee to ORS.
Check with your employer to make sure your mailing address is correct. (Your employer provides ORS with your contact information.) If the address is incorrect, notify your employer of your correct mailing address.
If your mailing address is correct, check with your employer to make sure you were reported to ORS as a new employee with Michigan public schools. If they have reported you to ORS, contact ORS at 800-381-5111.
You cannot change plans once you have made your election in miAccount or the deadline passes.
A pension is a retirement plan set up to pay a specific benefit during retirement. The benefit is based on a formula that takes into account the number of years worked for the employer and your final average compensation. With the Pension Component of the Pension Plus 2 plan, you are eligible to receive monthly payments over your lifetime when you reach the regular retirement age, currently set at age 60, and you have at least 10 years of service.
This plan offers two types of retirement plans in one: it pairs a Pension Component with a Savings Component.
With the Pension Component of the Pension Plus 2 plan, you are eligible to receive a monthly pension when you reach the regular retirement age, currently set at age 60, and you have at least 10 years of service. Your pension amount depends on how long you work and how much money you earn. Your annual pension is based on this formula: The average of your highest earnings five years in a row multiplied by a 1.5 percent pension factor multiplied by your years of service. For example, if your average earnings are $50,000 and you had 25.6 years of service, your straight-life benefit would be $1,600 per month ($50,000 x 1.5% x 25.6 = $19,200 annually or $1,600 per month).
Your pension also depends on the pension payment option you choose when you retire: a straight life option or a survivor option. The straight life option pays you the maximum monthly pension payable throughout your lifetime, but no ongoing payments or insurances are provided to your survivors. The survivor option pays you a reduced pension throughout your lifetime, but upon your death, your pension continues for the lifetime of your survivor pension beneficiary.
With the Defined Contribution plan, you will not receive a pension.
A defined contribution plan is a retirement savings program that allows dollars to accumulate on a tax-deferred basis for retirement. The benefit is based upon the contributions to the plan and investment earnings. There’s no guaranteed retirement benefit, and the benefit ceases when the account balance is depleted.
The Defined Contribution plan enrolls you in a tax-deferred retirement investment account. You don’t pay any taxes on your contributions and investment earnings until you withdraw money from the account, generally at retirement. Your retirement income will depend on your contributions to the plan, the employer matching contributions and investment performance. You choose how to invest the money in the account.
Pension Plus 2 and the Defined Contribution plans have some features in common:
Your contributions to the retirement investment account in both the Pension Plus 2 and the Defined Contribution plans, including the Personal Healthcare Fund, are invested in the State of Michigan 457 Plan. Your employer’s contributions are invested in the State of Michigan 401(k) Plan.
No. You will remain enrolled in the Personal Healthcare Fund whether you choose Pension Plus 2 or the Defined Contribution plan.
The Personal Healthcare Fund is a portable, tax-deferred fund that may be used to pay for healthcare expenses in retirement. Your Personal Healthcare Fund contributions are invested in the State of Michigan 457 Plan. Your employer’s matching contributions are invested in the State of Michigan 401(k) Plan. The Personal Healthcare Fund also includes a credit into a Health Reimbursement Account at termination if you have at least 10 years of service at termination. The credit will be $2,000 if you’re at least age 60 at termination or $1,000 if you are less than age 60 at termination.
Pension Component: Your employer makes contributions to help fund member benefits.
Savings Component: You automatically began contributing 4 percent of your paycheck to your retirement investment account, which is made up of your Personal Healthcare Fund and your retirement savings. This automatic enrollment earns you your full employer match.
For every dollar you contribute, up to 2 percent of your wages, you will receive an equal matching contribution to your account from your employer. This is directed to your Personal Healthcare Fund. For the next 2 percent of your wages that you contribute, your employer’s matching contribution will be half of what you contributed, up to 1 percent of your wages. This, plus any additional contributions you make, is directed to your retirement investment account.
You automatically began contributing 5 percent of your paycheck to your retirement investment account, which is made up of your Personal Healthcare Fund and your retirement savings. This automatic enrollment earns you your full employer match.
For every dollar you contribute, up to 2 percent of your wages, you will receive an equal matching contribution to your account from your employer. This is directed to your Personal Healthcare Fund. For the next 3 percent of your wages that you contribute, your employer’s matching contribution will be 100 percent of what you contribute up to 3 percent of your wages. This, plus any additional contributions you make, is directed to your retirement investment account.
Your employer will contribute an additional 4 percent of your wages to your retirement investment account, regardless of how much you're contributing.
If you have questions after reviewing a description of your benefit options in this Retirement Plan Election Guide, you can call us toll free. However, we cannot advise you on which retirement plan is right for you. Consider consulting a tax or financial advisor about your personal situation.
For questions about the Pension Plus 2 Savings Component, Defined Contribution plan and the Personal Healthcare Fund, call 800-748-6128.
For questions about the Pension Component of the Pension Plus 2 plan, call 800-381-5111 or log in to miAccount and use the secure Message Board.
Remember: You have a short time to elect which plan is right for you, so be sure you don’t miss the deadline. You only have 75 days from your first payroll end date to make your choice. Once you make your election, you cannot change your retirement plan.
I'M READY TO MAKE MY ELECTION