MPSERS Employer News - November 2020

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MPSERS Employer News

November 2020

Hazard pay and COVID-19

Covid-19 update

The Office of Retirement Services has reviewed hazard pay as it relates to COVID-19. Hazard pay is considered reportable compensation if all of the following criteria are met:

  • Payment is compensation within the time period of March 10, 2020 through June 30, 2021.
  • Payment is offered district-wide to entire categories of employees (i.e. teachers, bus drivers, etc.).
  • Payment is specifically documented regarding what was done to earn the payment and includes at least one of the following:
    • Additional duties above and beyond regular or contracted duties (for more information on additional duties, see 4.08.01: Additional Duties in the Reporting Instruction Manual).
    • Exposure to increased risk of contracting COVID-19 due to in-person activities.

The payment must be reported on a DTL2 and DTL4 record. When reporting this payment on a DTL2 record, please use the Supplemental Employment 9510, 9520, or 9530 class codes.

Reporting units must provide timely supporting documentation to ORS for review if requested. Please contact ORS if you have any questions about the reportability of a payment.

Additionally, pay for fully contracted wages while an employee works part time due to COVID-19 is still nonreportable after Sept. 30, 2020.

Please watch for updates. We will be adding a new section in the Reporting Instruction Manual regarding COVID-19 reporting in the near future.  

Small Steps

Small Steps campaign moves to March

As a result of your feedback, this year’s Small Steps campaign will not go into effect in December 2020, but instead, will take effect on the first available pay period in March 2021. This will avoid the holiday processing and make for a smoother process for your reporting unit.

A mailing will be sent out to applicable employees in mid-December regarding the campaign, which will include their opt-out code. This includes employees in the Pension Plus, Pension Plus 2, DC, and those with the Personal Healthcare Fund (PHF). No additional notices will be sent to employees after this, so please inform your employees to keep this mailing. You can view the Small Steps campaign mailer here

Payroll calendars and the holidays

Holiday calendar

As the winter holidays approach, please bear in mind that ORS does not change calendar dates when a pay period falls on a holiday or weekend.

Employees may be paid ahead of the holiday or weekend date, but for your report header, you must use the holiday or weekend date as reflected on your payroll calendar.

If you pay employees on a day other than your pay period end date, adjust your record end date accordingly, while keeping the same report end date.

For example, if your pay period end date falls on January 1, 20xx, but you pay your employees on Dec. 30, 20xx, your report header will have a pay period end date of Jan. 1, 20xx, while records within the report will have an end date of Dec. 30, 20xx.

This is especially important for retiree earnings limits on DLT2 records and IRS limits associated with DC/PHF contributions on a DTL4 record. Be advised that records will flag if they do not match your payroll calendar, and if the record posts, the employee may receive inaccurate service credit.

PYR online

ORS offers Planning Your Retirement workshop online

ORS conducts Planning Your Retirement (PYR) workshops around the state during a normal school year. In April, and because of the pandemic, we cancelled meetings on our schedule. Because of continuing precautions, even now in this school year, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, we do not have any plans to conduct onsite PYRs for the foreseeable future. 

In the spring we posted our PYR content online, and over the summer we revised that content to be even better.

If you have Basic or MIP members (i.e. hired before July 1, 2010) who may thinking about retirement, 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.

We are looking forward to a day when we can once again offer the option for people to attend onsite presentations. We will post any new meetings on our member website.


Audit adjustments

Compensation Corner

As a reminder, if you have any outstanding adjustments that need to be made based on previous audit findings, please get those done as soon as possible. Completing these adjustments promptly reduces the number of times that ORS needs to contact your reporting unit for follow up.

In This Issue:

Nov and Dec 2020

Important Dates & Reminders

Nov. 26-27
Thanksgiving - ORS is not open for business on these state holidays

Dec. 2
Last day to complete the Employer Survey

Dec. 24-25
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day - ORS is not open for business on this state holidays

Dec. 31-Jan. 1
New Year's Eve and New Year's Day - ORS is not open for business on this state holidays

Recent Communications

Recent Communications

Fall 2020 Employer Survey – for administrative staff

Fall 2020 Employer Survey – for payroll staff

Recent RIM updates

Recent RIM updates

06.19 Compensation for Reporting Unit Board Members (updated 11/04/2020)

03.13: Reporting Unit Board Members (updated 11/04/2020)

02.10 Election Worker (marked obsolete 11/02/2020)

03.10 Election Worker (updated 11/02/2020)

Helpful Tip

Helpful Tip

Please provide your reporting unit number on all Web Reporting email communications to help us better assist you.