Proactive newsletter – March 2022

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Hello Friend

Your plan:



In this issue:

March 2022Messages from your retirement system

Anthony Estell

From Anthony's Desk

Notes from ORS Director Anthony Estell

Welcome to the March 2022 issue of Proactive.

Let’s spring forward. Helping you move forward toward retirement is what we do at the Michigan Office of Retirement Services (ORS).

That is the foundation in our Voya Financial relationship and our partnership highlighting women’s need for retirement planning.

Our ongoing Women & Retirement campaign points out women need to prepare for their future more. On average, women live longer with lower wages, later workforce entrances, and more career interruptions and years in retirement than men.

As the parents of college- and high school-age daughters, my spouse and I taught each of them to “live below your means”: pay yourself first, invest, save, and donate. Whatever income, like allowance or work, they receive gets divided into four buckets: donate to charity or causes; invest for rainy days; save for specific goals; and spend on whatever. Donate and invest buckets are set, but save and spend buckets are discretionary.

We wanted them to learn opportunity costs and delaying gratification to manage finances and reach goals. To save for a tablet or game, they could use spending money. Or they could use saving money for a giant pack of gum or something else. We wanted understanding on choices’ implications.

ORS promotes these principles. Your retirement success might involve foregoing some current spending for a better future.

“Retirement is control over the content and the pace of your life.” That adage sticks with me because it’s personal.

Please check out (or revisit) our Women & Retirement campaign; share with others who might benefit.

Women & Retirement - mother and daughter

Campaign focuses on women’s retirement savings

While it is important for everyone to plan for their future, this is particularly true for women.

The reasons:

  • Women may enter the workforce later than men.
  • On average, women make less in the workforce than men.
  • Women are more likely to take time off to care for elderly parents, family caregiving or to raise children.
  • Women tend to live longer than men, with the Social Security Administration estimating a 65-year-old woman lives, on average, to age 86½.
  • On average, women spend more years in retirement than men.

To help women close financial gaps for their retirement, Voya Financial and the Michigan Office of Retirement Services (ORS) are partnering on the Women & Retirement campaign. Running from November 2021 through October 2022, the campaign covers topics including deciding your retirement age, preparing for risks, investing in yourself, budgeting, caregiving, tax benefits, and the costs of waiting to save for retirement.

No matter your age, what stage you’re at in your career, or when you plan to retire, it’s important to save for retirement. Things you can do:

Good preparation is a key to retirement planning. ORS provides information, tools, and services to help you along your retirement journey.

New Year. New Look

ORS works on websites’ updates

Changes are coming to all websites, including 10 websites managed by the Michigan Office of Retirement Services (ORS).

These changes have been years in the making. The multi-year, state-wide content replacement project replaces a 20-year old platform. Along with making content easier to manage on the back-end, for you on the front-end, the main benefit is more streamlined site navigation and expanded accessibility to the information you need.

Yes, this is a good thing. As with any changes in technology, the new navigation system will make the page look slightly different. Instead of a navigation bar on the left side of the screen, a more condensed navigation screen spreads across the top of the pages. (See to see how this changes the appearance of the page.) All the same information is included, plus we’ll be able to integrate our social media channels directly on the website.

The transition to the new web platform began in January, with completion expected on April 22.


Accounting for inflation in your retirement planning

In a recent survey, 71% of respondents say that inflation is the greatest concern for investors who are either retiring soon or already retired.

This concern is not misplaced. The annual inflation rate for the United States is 7.9% for the 12 months ended February 2022, based on the Consumer Price Index, the federal government’s measurement of changes in prices of goods and services. The Federal Reserve also expressed concern that inflation may extend into through 2022.

To say that inflation is here to stay is stating the obvious. Play around with the U.S. inflation calculator to underscore that reality.

How can you mitigate the risk of inflation on your retirement income? Consider these options:

  • Think about moving money out of fixed income sources, such as a savings account or certificate of deposit. These investments typically do not keep up with the rate of inflation.
  • Calculate how much you have accumulated right now and estimate how much you’ll need to have on hand to keep pace with inflation. Assuming a 2.5% rate of inflation over the long term, if your income right now is $30,000, you’ll need to make or be able to withdraw $49,158 to maintain your current standard of living. This inflation projection calculator can help you with your own numbers.
  • Don’t do this alone. Seek help from a qualified financial planner for insight on your best inflation strategy. If you invest in a 401(k)/457 plan, Voya Financial may be able to provide guidance.

Although inflation is very real and depletes the purchasing power of retirement savings, acting now can help you face the future with confidence.

Woman with tablet

Let us know

The fastest way to access and make changes to your account is in miAccount. When you log in to miAccount, you have secure access to update your personal information. You also can use the miAccount Message Board to contact a representative from the Michigan Office of Retirement Services (ORS) with your changes.

Below are the most common situations that would require contact with ORS, including when you should report these changes. 

Address change: Right away. Be sure we have your current mailing address, physical address, and email address so you don’t miss important updates.

Email change: Right away. As communications continue to go paperless, it’s more important than ever that your email address is up to date with ORS. 

If you have accounts with Voya Financial, don’t forget to contact them with any changes to your street address, phone number, email, and dependent information. You can update your information by logging in to your Voya accounts or by calling 800-748-6128. 

Death: Right away. Let ORS and Voya — if you have accounts with them — know if your beneficiary passes away. Your survivor should contact ORS and Voya upon your death.

Divorce: Right away. If you named your former spouse as your beneficiary, contact ORS and, if applicable, Voya to update your beneficiary.

Marriage: If you want to add your new spouse as a pension beneficiary, report the marriage to ORS right away. Also report the marriage to Voya if you have accounts with them.

2021 ORS Year In Review
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