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Retirement Board & Retirement Services

frequently asked questions

General

How do I change my address and phone number?

Changes must be submitted in writing using the address change form (http://retirementboard.macombgov.org/RetirementBoard-RetireeForms). Once the form is completed, submit it to Retirement Services.

 

What taxes will come out of my monthly pension check?

Federal - Yes

State of Michigan – Yes, if your residency is in Michigan

Medicare - No

FICA – No

 

How do I change my tax withholdings?

Changes must be submitted in writing using the Federal W-4P form or State of Michigan MI W-4P form. Once the form is completed, submit to Macomb County Payroll Department at 120 North Main Street, 2nd Floor, Mount Clemens, MI 48043

 

Can I list more than one beneficiary for my pension contributions?

Yes, simply list your beneficiaries on the Beneficiary Designation form (http://retirementboard.macombgov.org/RetirementBoard-EmployeeForms) and submit it to Retirement Services.

 

Can I list a minor as a beneficiary for my pension contributions?

Yes. Complete the Beneficiary Designation form (http://retirementboard.macombgov.org/RetirementBoard-EmployeeForms) and submit it to Retirement Services.

 

 

457b Deferred Compensation Plan and Trust

What is the 457b Deferred Compensation Plan and Trust?

Macomb County Deferred Compensation Plan and Trust is similar to a 401(k). It allows you to make pre-tax contributions into investment funds of your choice. This is a voluntary benefit; you are NOT automatically enrolled in the plan.

 

How do I sign up for the Macomb County Deferred Compensation Plan and Trust (457 plan)?

Simply fill out the form and send it to Vanguard. For information about Deferred Compensation and the enrollment form, please click here.

 

Vanguard says they have no record of me or my employment. What do I do now?

Vanguard will not have any record of your employment until you fill out an Enrollment Form. Please follow the instructions on the form to enroll in their plan.

 

What is our Macomb County 457 Deferred Compensation Plan Number?

078097

 

 

401a Defined Contribution Plan and Trust

What is the 401(a) Defined Contribution Plan?

The 401(a) Defined Contribution Plan has a mandatory participation for all full time employees hired on or after January 1, 2016. Contributions into the 401a are pre-tax.

 

How much of my earnings will be deposited into the 401(a) plan?

Macomb County deducts three percent (3%) of your base earnings and deposits it into the 401(a) plan. The County will also contribute an amount equal to six percent (6%) of your base earnings into the 401(a) plan on your behalf, for a total contribution of nine percent (9%).

 

Once you have completed five (5) years of service, you may elect to contribute four percent (4%) of your base earnings. If you elect to do so, the County will also contribute an amount equal to eight percent (8%) of your base earnings in the 401(a) plan on your behalf, for a total contribution of twelve percent (12%). This election is irrevocable.

 

In addition to mandatory contributions, the County will contribute $100 per pay period, up to $2,600, per year, into your 401(a) account.

 

What is the vesting schedule for the 401a?

Participant’s in the 401a, shall have the following schedule as it relates to vesting for the Employer contributions:

  • Completion of 1 year of service 20%
  • Completion of 2 years of service 40%
  • Completion of 3 years of service 60%
  • Completion of 4 years of service 80%
  • Completion of 5 years of service 100%

 

 

Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP)

What is the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP)?

The Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) allows an eligible member to collect his/her retirement benefit while continuing to work full time in his/her position for up to five (5) years. The pension benefits are credited to the employee’s individual DROP account, which will be established within the defined benefit plan of the Macomb County Employees’ Retirement System. DROP participants must withdraw the funds from their DROP account upon termination of employment. Enrolling in the DROP has significant impacts on an employee’s terms of employment and retirement, including but not limited to the amount of the retirement benefit, the number of sick or PTO days available during employment and longevity payments. For more information, contact Retirement Services.

 

When should I make my appointment to enroll in the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP)?

Applying to DROP (and you have no Eligible Domestic Relations Order (EDRO) in force) an appointment must be made 30 days in advance of your DROP effective date.

 

If an Eligible Domestic Relations Order (EDRO) is in place that affects your pension, you must establish your DROP date at least 3 months in advance and your established DROP date cannot change.

 

Who is eligible to participate in DROP?

In order be eligible for the DROP, you must be eligible to retire and have been vested by December 31, 2012. Employees not vested by December 31, 2012, and members of the Defined Contribution (401a) plan are not eligible to participate in the DROP.

 

Once in DROP, if I leave employment with Macomb County prior to the end of the year, how much annual/PTO time do I have available to me?

Annual/PTO is available on a prorated basis, if leaving before the end of the year. To estimate your monthly available annual/PTO time, take your January balance and divide by 12. This will provide a monthly availability.

 

As a DROP participant, do I need an appointment when I am ready to leave employment (retire)?

Yes, appointments should be 30 days in advance of your desired retirement date, unless you or your spouse are eligible for Medicare. If you or your spouse are eligible for Medicare, your appointment should be 60 days in advance of your desired retirement date.

 

As a DROP participant, do I need a new pension estimate when I leave employment (retire)?

No. Your pension option and monthly allowance was elected at the time you enroll in DROP.

 

As a DROP participant, what may I do with my DROP bank balance when I leave employment (retire)?

You have several options to choose from:

a. The full taxable bank balance as cash. Please note it will be subject to federal taxes (approximately 20%) and state taxes (approximately 4%)

b. The full taxable bank balance can be rolled over into such investments as a IRA or your Vanguard 457b plan

c. The taxable bank balance can be divided by taking part in cash (as noted in a) and part in a rollover (as noted in b)

 

 

Annuity

What is an annuity?

An annuity is the sum of the contributions you contributed to the Macomb County Employees Retirement System, and includes interest earned on those contributions. The annuity is available to the member at the time of retirement.

 

What happens to the annuity when I retire?

You have several options:

1) You may leave the annuity in the Macomb County Employees Retirement System, which will provide a higher monthly pension benefit, or

2) You may withdraw the annuity from the Macomb County Employees Retirement System.

When you withdraw the annuity as a lump sum distribution, you have several options to choose from:

a. The lump sum can be taken as cash. Please note it will be subject to federal taxes (approximately 20%) and state taxes (approximately 4%)

b. The lump sum can be rolled over into such investments as a traditional IRA

c. The lump sum can be divided by taking part in cash (as noted in a) and part in a rollover (as noted in b)

 

 

Retirement

Does my Final Average Compensation (FAC) include the payoff of my sick, annual/PTO and longevity (if applicable)?

Yes, only if they are qualified earnings per your Collective Bargaining Agreement and only if one of your high FAC year is the year you retire?

 

Can I list a minor as a beneficiary for my monthly pension benefit (if available)?

The monthly pension benefit cannot be paid to a minor. A Letters of Conservatorship would have to be filed with the courts before monthly payments can continue to the minor as a beneficiary. Please consult an attorney if you need information about creating a Conservatorship for a minor.

 

When should I make my appointment to retire, leave employment with Macomb County?

Applying to retire (and you have no Eligible Domestic Relations Order (EDRO) in force and you or your spouse are not eligible for Medicare) - 30 days in advance of your desired retirement date.

However, if an Eligible Domestic Relations Order (EDRO) is in place that affects your pension, you must establish your retirement date at least 3 months in advance and your retirement date cannot change.

Applying to retire (and you or your spouse are eligible for Medicare) - 60 days in advance of your desired retirement date.

 

How soon would I get my first pension check?

Click here for the Retirement Planning Schedule.