MPSERS Employer News - April 2020

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MPSERS Employer News

April 2020

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

COVID-19 update – Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), passed by the U.S. Congress on March 18, employees of businesses with fewer than 500 employees impacted by the virus are eligible for paid leave for two to 12 weeks. Employers will be fully reimbursed by the federal government within three months via 100% tax credits.

Workers are eligible for 80 hours of sick leave with full pay, capped at $511 per day, or an aggregate $5,110 per worker, if they are unable to come into work or work remotely due to self-quarantine or COVID-19 medical treatment, are at risk for shedding viral debris, or are mandated to remain quarantined by the government. Part-time workers will receive a proportionate share of the benefits above. 

For workers who stay home to care for someone who has been infected by the coronavirus or is suspected of having it, or for a child whose school or daycare is closed, the two weeks of paid sick leave will be two-thirds of compensation and capped at $200 a day or an aggregate of $2,000 per worker.

Employees who must stay home with children whose schools and daycare centers have closed are eligible to receive up to an additional 10 weeks of expanded family and medical leave, at a rate of two-thirds of pay, capped at $200 per day or an aggregate $10,000 per worker.

For more information visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s FFCRA website or read its fact sheet for employers: Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employer Paid Leave Requirements.

Special reporting issues during COVID-19

Questions and Answers

The ongoing pandemic has led to many adjustments to how we work and live, and reporting your workers now may lead to some situations you have not dealt with before. Here are a few questions and answers about reporting during this unusual time.

Q: Is hazard pay reportable?
A: ORS will review the reportability of hazard pay on a case-by-case basis. If you plan to report hazard pay, please be prepared to provide contract language, board meeting minutes, or any other documentation that substantiates the payment.

Q: Is unemployment insurance reportable?
A: Unemployment benefits are not reportable. These benefits are not paid as compensation for work performed. (For information about unemployment benefits unrelated to retirement reporting, see the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) webpage: COVID-19 and Unemployment Benefits — Employer FAQ

Q: An employee is off work and still receiving a regular paycheck. Are the wages and hours still reportable?
A: If the employee is still being paid regularly, in accordance with Executive Order No. 2020-35, wages and hours should still be reported when paid.

Online Workshop

ORS offers Planning Your Retirement workshop online

ORS conducts Planning Your Retirement workshops around the state during a normal school year. This was, however, anything but a normal school year. Beginning in mid-March through the end of April, ORS cancelled the remaining 18 meetings on the spring schedule because of the COVID-19 pandemic. At that time, over one thousand employees had registered for one of those meetings. No new meetings will be scheduled for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

To fill the void left by the cancellation of meetings, ORS Customer Education staff completed and posted on the website an online recorded version of the workshop which members can view at any time. The content is the same as what registrants would have received had they attended a meeting.

If you have Basic or MIP members (i.e. hired before July 1, 2010) who may have registered for one of the cancelled meetings or would have been interested in attending one of the meetings, let them know they can still receive the same information online at their convenience. Members will register before viewing the online workshop, using this link: 

Planning Your Retirement - Online Workshop for Public School Employees

As employees near the end of their careers as Michigan public school employees, their retirement plan is more important than ever. Now is the time for them to evaluate their plan to ensure a smooth transition into retirement. They will be able to view the content and download the Planning Your Retirement workbook. Content includes: 

  • Meeting eligibility requirements.
  • Picking your pension payment option.
  • Deciding on insurance.
  • Reviewing your plans, choosing a retirement date, and applying for retirement.
  • Adjusting to retirement.

ORS will also be offering many Question and Answer webinars during the months of April and May. If an employee registers for viewing the online workshop, they’ll receive information about when Q & A webinars will be conducted.

We want your feedback

Got newsletter topics?

Employer Reporting would like to hear from you. If you have a topic that you would like to see in one of our ER newsletters please email the email box with subject line “Newsletter Topic” and we will do our best to include your suggestions.

In This Issue:

May 2020

Important Dates & Reminders

May 3
Scheduled System Maintenance (Employer Reporting website unavailable).

May 22
Last day to submit a request to change 2020-2021 payroll calendar.

May 25
Memorial Day – ORS is closed on this state holiday.

Recent Communications

Recent Communications

4/1/2020: ORS update and Taxpayer Advocate Service Letter on 3% healthcare contributions

Recent RIM updates

Recent RIM updates

No RIM sections were updated since the last newsletter.

Helpful Tip

Helpful Tip

Accepting Reports
As a reminder, if you are accepting your reports before the report end date, records will not post until the night of the report end date. If your report end date falls on a Saturday or Sunday, it will post the following Monday night.