Summer Spread Reporting
It is important to change the wage code to 08 for employees who are receiving summer spread wages with no hours; making the change may require consulting with your software provider. Using the 08 wage code ensures the employees earnings are in the correct fiscal year. When the employee returns for the first pay of the new school year you will have to change the wage code back to 01. If the 08 wage code is not used properly used, it could cause errors with balancing the employee’s Final Payroll Detail (FPD) report at the time of retirement. For details, see Chapter 7.17 in the RIM
Previously, the RIM was a 247 page PDF document that had to be re-uploaded to the web each time even simple edits were needed. The new RIM is an online knowledgebase tool wherein employers can check out a table of contents broken down by each topic within each chapter, browse through the glossary, or even search the RIM. There is also a Hot Topics section that highlights the most used articles, and a Latest Article section that points users to the most recent updates.
The employer website now has a modern, sleek look with a menu that’s easy to navigate and understand. Much of the information was carried over from the old website, but some new tools were added, like the Important Messages and Recent Correspondence sections.
To ensure you always have the most up-to-date forms, clear your files (digital and paper) and go to the Forms and Publications section of the ORS website (www.michigan.gov/orsschools
) when you need a copy of a form. There you can be sure you’ll find the most recent version. Submitting up-to-date forms can help expedite their processing.
For the Defined Contribution (DC) portion of the Pension Plus Plan, members are automatically enrolled to contribute two percent of their gross wages. This amount is entered on a DTL4 record for a Pension Plus member and may be different than the amount used as reportable compensation on the DTL2 record for the same employee.
Gross wages include earnings reported on the member’s W-2 or 1099R form as earnings for services performed for the reporting unit, including but not limited to amounts deferred or contributed to an annuity. The definition of earnings (as compared to the definition of compensation is in Chapter 7.21.01
in the RIM.
On July 1, 2012, ORS will post 8 percent interest to the unpaid balance of TDP agreements that were initiated July 1, 2004 and later. This happens every year on July 1st. You will be able to see the interest posting using the TDP Download Detail link on the View Employee Info screen on the Employer Reporting website. Members will be able to see the interest posting on the Member Statement link in miAccount.
Impact of interest charges.
Members with a TDP agreement that is subject to interest should review their account and make sure their total payment for the year is greater than the interest charged. If the total payment is less than the amount of interest charged, they are at risk of paying more money in interest than the actual cost of their service credit purchase.
Increasing minimum payments.
Members can increase their minimum payment so that the purchase is paid in full earlier and less interest is accrued with the Supplemental TDP Agreement form
Earlier this year, ORS moved to an online only retirement application process. The application form is no longer available on the ORS web site and members are directed to go to miAccount to submit their application electronically. The result has been a resounding success. In the first three months since announcing the switch, the number of public school employees applying online jumped from 69 percent to 99.5 percent.
Applying in miAccount provides members with an efficient, streamlined, and expedited application process and gives them access to all of the retirement management tools that miAccount has to offer.
Please remind your employees that all public school retirement applications with an effective date of July 1, or later must be completed online. Any paper applications received will be returned with instructions for submitting via miAccount.
ORS made some significant improvements to its annual employer survey this year. By combining the standard employer satisfaction survey with the employer outreach survey, ORS only had to send one survey request to employers. As a result, 776 reporting units responded, compared to 441 in 2010. Other results worth noting:
- 92.9 percent of respondents indicated they encourage staff to use miAccount, up from 89.2 percent in 2010.
- 85.2 percent of respondents indicated ORS provides sufficient resources, tools and information on the retirement reporting process compared to 63.9 percent in 2010.
- 89.8 percent of respondents indicated they are aware public school employees must now apply to retire using miAccount. (New measure)
- 92.2 percent of respondents indicated they provide access to computers for staff to use miAccount. (New measure)
Also new this year, ORS used a new email delivery tool called GovDelivery to send the survey link to the schools. GovDelivery gives ORS a report of undeliverable email addresses, which allows us to contact employers and let them know that their contact data needs updating.
ORs is conducting a thorough comparison of this year’s results to previous surveys in order to identify action items for improving customer service and process efficiencies. We would like to thank all who participated in the 2012 Employer Survey.
Earlier this month ORS delivered three presentations and hosted an exhibit booth at the MSBO Annual Conference & Exhibit Show at Detroit’s Cobo Hall.
The presentations to packed rooms of payroll officials and school administrators covered what’s new and upcoming at ORS and how to prepare for the potential MPSERS legislative reform. Several questions were asked in regards to the effects of the reform for members, payroll systems, reporting, deadlines and instructions. ORS was able to answer questions and provide scenarios based on the drafted potential reform.
ORS representatives also encouraged schools to get employees signed up on miAccount to ensure employees have access to all their retirement information.
ORS stressed the importance of having retirement reports posted and having up-to-date demographic information and web reporting contact information so ORS can accurately and quickly communicate information to both members and payroll offices as needed.
There's a new tutorial available on the MPSERS website that explains the rules for working after retirement. The tutorial includes links to core services, social security income limits, and more. View the tutorial from our tutorial page here
The Pension Plus New Employee Welcome Guide
will be delivered to new public school employees in the Pension Plus retirement plan as they are reported to ORS. The guide can also be found on the Pension Plus website at www.mipensionplus.org
. Employees who began public school employment on or after July 1, 2010, are members of the Pension Plus retirement plan. The plan offers a Pension Component, which guarantees a lifetime pension once the employee meets age and service requirements, and a Savings Component which enrolls them in a tax-deferred investment account that can help enhance savings for retirement.
The lawsuit concerning the member health care contribution remains under review in the Court of Appeals. Reporting units must continue to withhold this from employee pay during this appeal process. ORS will advise the reporting units as soon as the lawsuit is resolved.
The contribution rates due on members' wages paid between October 1, 2013, and September 30, 2014, are available on the school employer website at www.michigan.gov/psru
on the Employer Contribution Rate page. The rates apply to K-12 school districts, intermediate school districts, community colleges, district libraries, public school academies and charter schools, and federal programs.
If you have any questions, please contact Financial Services, Retirement Accounting, at (517) 241-5042.
Michigan school districts and public academies are able to take advantage of the new State of Michigan MiDEAL office supply contract with Office Max to order products for the upcoming school year. Over 650 items are available AND you may add up to 50 additional market basket items of your choice. In addition, receive a 3% rebate on your purchases quarterly from Office Max.