December 2021 ProActive newsletter

Proactive newsletter
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Your plan:



In this issue:

December 2021 – Messages from your retirement system

Anthony Estell

From Anthony's Desk

Notes from ORS Director Anthony Estell

Welcome to the December 2021 issue of the Proactive newsletter.

From miAccount to our website and social media channels, you are more connected to the Michigan Office of Retirement Services (ORS) than ever before. Spurred on by the internet and new technologies, these conveniences also bring opportunities for harm.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), from Jan. 1, 2021, to Sept. 30, 2021, there were more than 1,066,783 reported cases of identity theft in the United States, including 15,427 cases in Michigan. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center’s 2020 Internet Crime Report shows an increase in most types of internet crime, netting a cumulative $4.2 billion for perpetrators. Even the state of Michigan is a frequent target of attacks, receiving anywhere from 200 to 1,000 malicious emails daily, occasionally spiking into several thousand.

I share this information with you not to cause alarm, but to stress the importance of being proactive safeguarding your information.

Let me add, I’m sorry that for some retirees, this change to MILogin and the initial setup has been a frustrating and challenging experience. Despite our planning and best efforts, we've run into unforeseen complications which have directly impacted some of you. This has resulted in a surge of calls to our contact center and long hold times. In response, we’ve hired temporary staff to answer calls and follow-up on requested call backs.

If you’d like more information on cybersecurity, Michigan’s Department of Technology, Management and Budget provides some cyber safety resources. You can also find useful information on the FTC’s Consumer Information on Identity Theft website.

We hope you enjoy this issue of Proactive.

Stay safe and stay healthy this holiday season.

Anthony Estell, director
Michigan Office of Retirement Services

Woman man jogging

Catch up on your retirement

Thanks to a change last month by the IRS, in 2022 you can contribute up to $20,500 in both the State of Michigan 401(k) and 457 Plans and $6,500 in an IRA, regardless of your age. If you are turning age 50 or older during the calendar year, you are eligible to contribute up to $27,000 in both the State of Michigan 401(k) and 457 Plans and $7,000 in an IRA. That’s $6,500 more for 401(k), 457, and 403(b) plans and $1,000 more for IRAs.

The IRS allows for people nearing retirement to increase their savings through catch-up contributions. Anyone age 50 or older at the end of the calendar year can make annual catch-up contributions.

Catch up table State systems

Traditional 457 catch-up contributions

If you have not made the maximum contribution to your 457 plan in prior years, you may be eligible for the traditional 457 catch-up contribution instead of using the age 50 or older catch-up contributions. This allows you to contribute up to twice the annual contribution limit — up to $41,000 in 2022 — to your 457 plan for the three calendar years prior to the year in which you reach normal retirement age. Normal retirement age could be as early as age 50 for State of Michigan 457 Plan participants but can vary by work assignment.

Interested in learning more?

The catch-up contribution is the focus of our Women and Retirement campaign this month, including a handy two-page flyer.

Voya’s Financial’s Education Hub is another great resource. If you need more assistance, register for a 1-on-1 appointment to speak with a Voya advisor.

Your plan is more important than ever. Take time to evaluate and adjust your plan to ensure a smooth transition to retirement.

Woman at laptop

Online retirement seminars

Retirement is a journey, and we’re here to help you along yours. No matter where you are on your path to retirement, the Michigan Office of Retirement Services has a variety of e-learning modules and an online workshop to assist you in understanding and preparing for retirement.

Learn more about your retirement plan and pension when it’s convenient for you. Our e-learning modules can be viewed anytime and include Pension Payment Options, Paying Off a TDP Agreement at Retirement, Dependent Eligibility Proofs, and more.

The Preretirement Orientation workshop is specifically designed for those in the state employees Defined Benefit plan. This module will walk you through each step of the retirement process. You’ll learn about meeting eligibility requirements, picking your pension payment option, deciding on insurance, and more.

After viewing our e-learning modules and on-demand workshop, you’ll feel more confident and ready for the next steps in your retirement journey.

MiLogin screen

MILogin enhances security in miAccount

Beginning on Nov. 20, the Michigan Office of Retirement Services (ORS) adopted the state of Michigan single sign-on standard, MILogin, for miAccount. This new standard requires authentication before you can log in to miAccount. It also provides stronger security for your personal information, including multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA is a security method that requires a person to provide two or more credentials to authenticate their identity. When you click on miAccount from the ORS website, you’ll go directly to MILogin. On Nov. 19 and Nov. 24 ORS sent emails to recent miAccount users with instructions on using MILogin to access miAccount.

Need more help with MILogin? Check out the MILogin Help Instructions on the ORS website.


New web page to include FOIA responses

To bring more transparency to how it handles requests for public information, the Michigan Office of Retirement Services (ORS) has created a new web page devoted to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

Michigan’s Public Act 442 of 1976 grants “full and complete information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of those who represent them as public officials and public employees.”

Generally, pension and salary amounts are subject to FOIA disclosure as determined by case law.

Although the act does not require notification of shared information, ORS created the web page to bring transparency to both sides of the request. ORS FOIA information – including the name of the requestor and the information sought – is available by following the “FOIA” link at the bottom of the ORS homepage.

Subject to other statutes and court rulings, ORS does not disclose information or records containing an individual’s address, date of birth, beneficiary information, medical information, Social Security number, and related types of personal information, which are generally covered by the Michigan FOIA personal privacy exemptions. An individual’s Social Security number and medical records are also protected under federal law.

You can learn more about FOIA in a handbook from the Michigan Attorney General’s office.

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