Two major cases affecting MEA members’ retirement benefits are slowly making their way through the state’s court system, and it’s not yet known when — or if — members will receive refunds of a “retirement tax” imposed upon them by the state Legislature.
Members of the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System have until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 9, to make their final elections on pension and retiree benefits.
Members hired before July 1, 2010, have three options:
Remit higher contributions in exchange for retaining the 1.5-percent pension multiplier for future years of service. Employees will be required to identify whether they wish to contribute the higher amounts until retirement, or until they achieve 30 years of service.
Remit the same contributions as before, but have a 1.25-percent pension multiplier for future years of service.
Remit no contributions, freeze the existing pension benefit, and convert to a specified 4-percent defined contribution plan for future years of service.
If you've already selected your retirement options with the Office of Retirement (ORS), you can make changes to your elections, according to the ORS website today. The election period deadline for MPSERS members to make their retirement choices came and went at 5 p.m. last Friday. The Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) issued against the state and its enforcement of the Oct. 26 deadline remains in effect until the Supreme Court acts on the Attorney General's Emergency Motion for Stay.
The Court will have to issue a new deadline and that could come at any time. There may be no advance warning, so be prepared. If you've already made your choices, you can log in to your miAccount to review them. If you're still deciding, go to the ORS website to learn more about the options. Seek advice from your financial planner. If you don't have one, contact MEA Financial Services (800-292-1950) for advice about the best option for you. Once you're sure of your choices, make your retirement elections.
Today was the deadline set by the Legislature for school employees to make their decisions regarding what retirement options or retiree health benefits they want. So far, there’s been no decision from the Supreme Court, so the temporary restraining order (TRO) preventing the ending of the election period remains in effect.
If you’ve already made your choices, the TRO allows you to change those elections while the election period remains open and gives you the opportunity to rescind or change them if PA 300 is found to be unconstitutional.
The Michigan Office of Retirement website has also changed its message to read, “The court has issued two temporary restraining orders. The practical effect of these orders is that the window remains open until the courts take action.”
Things could change quickly. Be prepared. First, make sure you have an miAccount number. Go to www.michigan.gov/ors to set up your account if you don’t already have one.
Members have until 5 p.m. this Friday--Oct. 26--to make their decision regarding what retirement options or retiree health benefits they want. Right now, even though a temporary restraining order (TRO) is in place pushing back the deadline for MPSERS members, MEA is recommending members still make their choices by the Oct. 26 deadline because the Michigan Supreme Court is still considering whether the Oct. 26 deadline will apply.
In her ruling on the TRO, Michigan Court of Claims Judge Rosemary Aquilina stated that any choices members made could be rescinded or changed if the law is found to be unconstitutional. It's now up to the Supreme Court to decide the deadline.
Remember that in order to even be eligible to make a retirement choice, you must have an miAccount number. Go to www.michigan.gov/ors to set up your account.
MEA will keep you updated on any court decisions. Go to www.mea.org/retirement for the latest news and information.
School employees received another win in the ongoing legal battle over SB 1040. Yesterday, the Michigan Court of Appeals denied the state’s Motion for Stayof the Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO) in the cases brought by MEA and AFT-Michigan. As part of its decision, the Court agreed to hear the appeals and established an expedited briefing schedule for the case.