Reporting Retirees

Michigan Office of Retirement Services - Message for Public School Employers

June 20, 2017

Reporting Retirees

As a reporting unit, you have many reporting rules that you’re responsible to know, and apply, for accurate reporting. The information below helps to clarify the requirements for reporting retirees to ORS. You’ll find that reporting retiree wages is different than reporting active employee wages.

The most recent technology updates make it even more important for you to understand the difference between the two, and how it affects you and your retirees that return to work.

Retiree Earnings

Consistent with IRS requirements, all retiree earnings must be reported to ORS. A complete explanation is available in section 9.01: Earnings of Retirees Who Return to Work of the Reporting Instruction Manual (RIM).

These are some examples of reportable earnings for retirees:

  • Cash in lieu of an excluded benefit paid after retirement.
  • Employer contributions deferred to a tax-sheltered annuity, such as a 403(b).
  • Payouts, such as sick leave payouts, paid after retirement.
  • Retirement incentives paid after retirement.

Report wages when paid, not earned.

Reporting retiree wages in the pay periods they’re paid and not earned isn’t new to retirement reporting. What’s important is how those wages may affect a retiree’s earnings limit.

As mentioned above, you must report all retiree earnings. For example, a retirement incentive that is paid after retirement, maybe even over a period of years, is reported when paid, not earned. These after retirement earnings will affect a retiree’s earnings limit.

RIM section 7.20.00: How to Report Retiree Wages  and section 9.01: Earnings of Retirees Who Return to Work will give you the information you’ll need when reporting retiree wages.


Get complete retiree reporting instructions by using the Working After Retirement – Employer Guide. The guide walks you through every possible retiree scenario, with results on Unfunded Actuarial Accrued Liability and retiree employment class codes.

Reporting Retiree Wages e-learning module

Look for a series of Reporting Retirees e-learning modules coming soon. These modules will encourage you to look at reporting retirees using real-life scenarios.

Find this, and other e-learning modules, on the Education & Training section of the Employer Information website.