June 2020 ProActive newsletter

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June 2020 ProActive newsletter

Hello Friend


Your plan:





In this issue

June 2020 - Messages from your retirement system

Anthony Estell

From Anthony's desk

Notes from Anthony Estell, ORS director

Hello. My name is Anthony Estell, and I’m the new executive director of the Michigan Office of Retirement Services (ORS). I was born and raised in Lansing and I’m a graduate of Michigan State University. Go Green! I have been at ORS for more than 20 years and have worked in a variety of roles here. I've been part of the executive team for more than a decade and I assumed the role of director in late December 2019.


My professional career has been devoted to public service and retirement, and there is no better place to do that than working at ORS. I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to work with the great people here to serve you.


Over the past few months, our lives have been consumed with the global pandemic caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus. It has had an impact on our world that is without precedent in modern times. It has created fluctuations in the stock market that we haven’t observed since the Great Recession of 2008-09. Our Voya partners have videos available to advise you on investments in a volatile market.


I’m happy to share that we have expanded the way we deliver retirement plan information to you. Our new online workshops deliver the same content as our in-person presentations — which have been suspended during the Stay Home, Stay Safe order — with the added convenience of you controlling when to watch it. The Preretirement Orientation is for state employees who are less than five years away from retirement. Planning Your Retirement is for Michigan Public School Employees’ Retirement System employees who are less than five years away from retirement.


It is our goal to provide you with relevant and timely resources to help you along your pre-retirement journey.


I hope you find the articles in this issue of ProActive informative and enjoyable.


Shook up by market volatility

Shook up by market volatility?

Don’t panic. The ups and downs of the stock market aren’t as unusual as they may seem.


We’ve had a wild ride in the market beginning last fall and continuing through the spring season and the COVID-19 pandemic. In recent memory, two prior events threatened the pension fund: the attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, and the collapse of subprime mortgage securities and subsequent stock market crash and recession in 2008-09. We can add the uncertainty during this current pandemic as a third major market event in less than 20 years. In the first two, portfolios and markets recovered within 18-36 months. In this current situation, we can take solace in the relative strength of the economy before the pandemic and can expect a recovery now, as well, probably within the same time frame.


You may be tempted to sell off your assets after watching the market go down one day, then up the next. Resisting the urge to react to volatility, however, may allow you to benefit when it recovers. Instead of worrying about the market, consider focusing on the factors you can control, like how much you are saving. And consider putting more of your attention toward constructing a portfolio that reflects your risk tolerance and your long-term retirement planning strategy.


Security tips

Tips for keeping your account secure

Protecting your personal information can reduce your risk of identity theft. You are your best first line of defense against fraud. But the worst thing you can do is nothing. In fact, that’s exactly what scammers and fraudsters are counting on you to do. Our partners at Voya Financial shared some precautions you can take to help keep your online retirement account safe.

  • Change your password regularly. Use a unique password that’s a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
  • Avoid writing down or emailing passwords and personal identification numbers (PINs). Don’t share passwords or PINs or answers to security questions with anyone.
  • Monitor your account frequently.
  • Open statements and transaction confirmations immediately to verify all activity on your account. To receive account information faster, sign up for electronic delivery of statements and other regulatory documents.
  • Install the latest operating system, patches, anti-virus software, and anti-spyware software on your computer and mobile devices.
  • Don’t use an automatic login feature that saves your username and password; always log off when you’re finished viewing your account.
  • When you access your account in an airport, library, hotel or other public place, make sure you’re using a secure wireless network so your information is protected.

Use these tips for any account you have that could be susceptible to identity theft.