Winter 2019 ProActive newsletter

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In this issue

Winter 2019 – Messages from your Retirement System

Director Kerrie Vanden Bosch

From Kerrie's Desk

Notes from ORS Director Kerrie Vanden Bosch

Life’s journey includes various milestones like landing a first job, getting married, purchasing a home, caregiving and planning for retirement. Each milestone includes important financial decisions. It’s necessary to keep the big picture in mind; major financial decisions throughout life can impact retirement later. Even in the face of other financial demands, it’s essential to create a financial road map to help you navigate the stages in life.


Everyone’s road map may look different, but they all should include planning for retirement. Make sure you understand your employer-sponsored retirement benefits, whether you are in a Defined Benefit (DB), hybrid, or Defined Contribution (DC) plan.


If you’re in a hybrid or DC plan, contribute to the plan consistently. At the very least, be sure to invest enough to get the employer match — it’s an immediate 100% return on your investment. Our Small Steps program was launched to help DC and hybrid participants make progress toward their retirement goals no matter what stage they are in life; increasing contributions by as little as 1% matters. Consider increasing your contribution percentage even further when you receive cost-of-living increases — give your retirement plan a raise as well!


If you’re in a DB plan, consider saving more toward retirement, either through the deferred compensation plan offered by the State or in an outside retirement account. It’s also important to understand what type of retiree healthcare benefit you are eligible for and save enough to pay for healthcare in your retirement.


Michigan Capitol

Insight into FOIA requests

Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (Public Act 442 of 1976) requires public bodies — including the Michigan Office of Retirement Services (ORS) and other state agencies — to release information deemed public under this act. As an actively employed public servant, your name and salary amount are considered public record and may be requested by interested parties.


ORS receives FOIA requests regularly and is legally required to respond.

To process a request, ORS determines what must be released under the statute, what (if any) fee the requestor will be charged under the FOIA for the information, and then provides a written response to the requestor.


ORS does not release certain personally identifiable information, such as Social Security numbers, dates of birth, contact information, or medical records. ORS is legally required to provide information that the act tells us we need to release. We do not have the ability to control what requestors do with the data they receive.


To promote transparency, ORS contacts customers by email when their names are included in data that has been released under FOIA.

For more information about Michigan’s FOIA, you can review the act on the Michigan Legislature website.


Woman reviewing form

Keep your beneficiary designations current and updated

If you have a retirement investment account with Voya Financial, check the beneficiary designations for your account at least once a year. If there’s been a change in your personal situation, such as a marriage, divorce, birth/adoption or a death in the family, you may need to change your beneficiary to reflect your intentions.


Your beneficiary is the person or people who would receive your account balance in the event of your death. That’s why it’s important to not only name beneficiary(ies) for a new account, but also to maintain that election as life events dictate.


You’ve worked hard to save these assets to create a legacy for your loved ones. Make sure that legacy is left to all those you intend to share it with. Please note that naming an entity other than an individual as your beneficiary may have implications on the IRS required minimum distribution payments to beneficiaries. We encourage you to speak with a tax adviser before naming an entity as your beneficiary to help you understand the full implications of your decision.


You can review and make changes to your beneficiary information anytime. It’s easy to name or update your beneficiary, log in to your Voya account select Personal Information > Add/Edit Beneficiary.


Don’t delay. Do it today!