MPSERS Employer News – January 2020

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

MPSERS Employer News

January 2020

Email Inbox

"Payment due" e-mails and online payment messages

If you receive an e-mail or a message on the Employer Reporting website stating that a payment is due, please remember these are only friendly reminders. If you have verified that you have made your payment, either by looking at your Pay Cycle Statement or Recent Activity, you can disregard these notices. 

If your payment is made before the seventh business day of the pay cycle, please be sure to view your Pay Cycle Statement on Day 7 (the day your payment is due), to verify whether any additional amounts are owed to avoid late fees and interest.

Small Steps campaign update

Small Steps campaign

At the beginning of January, employees who were contributing less than 15% to their state of Michigan 457 accounts had their contributions increased by 1%  through the annual Small Steps campaign. These increases continue each year until the employee either opts out or reaches the 15% savings rate.

Below are the results of the campaign for public school employees, as of early January:

  • 80,042 participants received a Small Steps campaign notification by mail.
  • 1,900 (2.37%) participants opted out of the Small Steps campaign increase.
  • 144 participants increased their contribution rate to 15% or higher before the 1% increase took effect.
  • 3,340 participants were removed from the campaign due to termination.
  • 50 participants reached the 15% contribution rate through the Small Steps campaign.

Please ensure you have updated your own payroll system to reflect the increased contributions for those employees affected by the Small Steps campaign. If you do not, you run the risk of not withholding the amount of contributions that are owed to ORS.

Redesigned Employer Information website is here

PSRU navigation bar

As we announced in the December issue, ORS has redesigned the Employer Information website.

Do you have questions about the new layout? Here’s a guide to the redesigned website. Subheadings in the guide are linked to the website sections they describe.

Everything you had access to in the past is still there but may appear under a different section heading. The reorganized website groups together resources based on roles. Resources for administrators (superintendents, finance or business officials, those who prepare financial reports) are in the top section. Resources for those with access to the Employer Reporting website (web administrators, payment processors, and reporting staff) are found the Reporting Resources section. The Reporting Instruction Manual (RIM) is now found under Reporting Resources.

If you are having difficulty finding something and the guide doesn’t answer your question, feel free to contact us.

Go slow

Slow down to avoid double payments

Juggling multiple responsibilities can lead to people making mistakes, especially when performing tasks in a rush. It can be difficult to wait for a confirmation message to indicate a task has been processed.

On occasion, ORS Employer Reporting receives requests for a refund or reversal from a reporting unit representative who has discovered that a contribution or UAAL rate stabilization payment has been made twice. 

Unfortunately, ORS is unable to undo the error in this situation.  The overpayment will remain in your reporting unit’s ORS account until it can be applied to future contributions and/or UAAL amounts due.

To avoid double payments, please read the message that appears when submitting a payment. That text is a reminder to wait until a confirmation screen appears, and to refrain from refreshing your browser or clicking the back button.

Confirm payment information screen

ORS mobile app benefits employers and employees

MobileApp on phone

In today’s age of technology, we are committed to providing our members with the most advanced level of retirement account accessibility. Our new ORS mobile app offers members the ability to instantly view personal retirement account information on their phones or other devices.

The ORS mobile app has various features available for members to use. Some of these functions include the ability to view retirement plan details, update addresses and phone numbers, and run pension estimates, just to name a few.

Not only will employees find our mobile app useful, it also has its advantages for reporting units. Encouraging members to use our mobile app can save employers time, increase productivity, save paper, and reduce office waste.

When members ask questions regarding their retirement plans or benefit structures, refer them to the mobile app where they can quickly and confidentially view their own personal information.

If members need help with adding or changing dependents or beneficiaries, suggest using our mobile app to make updates instead. This will result in less employer interruptions and more time to complete other important tasks.

When assisting a member to print ORS forms or fax them to us, remind them they can now request and upload forms using the mobile app. By doing this, reporting units ultimately save money while promoting employee privacy and security.

ORS appreciates both our reporting units and members. We recognize that you as employers are also members. We encourage you to use our mobile apps as well.

The mobile app is available for download on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Compensation Corner: Merit Pay

Compensation Corner

Is merit pay reportable?

When a reporting unit compensates employees for achieving specific performance objectives it is considered merit pay. Merit pay may or may not be considered reportable compensation. 

Merit pay is reportable when: 

  • A specific performance objective is established prior to the fiscal year, or onset of pay period, during which the employee acts toward achievement of the performance objective.
  • The performance objectives associated with the merit pay are measurable and time bound.
  • The participation in merit pay is available to other employees in the reporting unit.
  • Supporting documentation can be provided.

 Even if merit pay meets the above criteria, it is not reportable when:

  • It is paid for the specific purpose of increasing the employee’s final average compensation.
  • The increase in compensation results in the employee exceeding the Normal Salary Increase.

For more information, see RIM 4.04.06: Merit Pay.

In This Issue:

February 2020

Important Dates & Reminders

Feb. 2
Scheduled system maintenance (Employer Reporting website unavailable)

Feb. 17
Presidents Day
– ORS is not open for business on this state holiday

Feb. 18
UAAL invoices available on Employer Reporting website

Recent Communications

Recent Communications

12/20/2019: Action Required: View DC Feedback File

Recent RIM updates

Recent RIM Updates

No RIM sections were updated since the newsletter sent on Dec. 18.

Helpful Tip

Helpful Tip

For faster response to emails sent to, please remember to include your reporting unit number in the email.

There are more than 600 active reporting units in the MPSERS database, and the data is stored by reporting unit number. Having that number right up front makes it quicker and easier for us to find your reporting unit and answer your questions.

Thanks for giving us a helping hand; we appreciate you!