By Paul Helder
MEA Retirement Consultant
Are you eligible for retirement benefits you were not aware of? That is a possibility if you were a student who worked part-time at a Michigan community college before July 1, 2014.
The problem is this: The state doesn’t have information to identify and notify those people. Instead, eligible individuals have until Jan. 31, 2020, to step forward and claim their retirement benefits.
Those eligible people who had been incorrectly left out of the Michigan Public Employees Retirement System (MPSERS) now can join the retirement system. Current MPSERS members who are eligible can claim the added service credit—and might even be able to retroactively change their MPSERS plan.
So who’s eligible? For students who worked part-time at a Michigan community college before July 1, 2014:
• If you are not a MPSERS member, you can now join and choose a plan.
• If you are already a MPSERS member, you can add service credit.
• If you are already a MPSERS member and you belong to Pension Plus, Pension Plus 2 or DC plans, you can switch to a plan that is more advantageous to you—maybe even one that includes health insurance in retirement.
To find out if you are eligible, go to michigan.gov/ccstudents and complete the verification form no later than 5 p.m. on Jan. 31, 2020.