The Latest and Greatest on Your 3%

Bob Kefgen's picture

The trial court has weighed in, the state has distributed funds, and the Office of Retirement Services is feverishly sending out notifications to MPSERS members and updating their FAQ. So when are you getting your money, how much are you going to get, and is there anything you can or should do at this point in the process?

Let's review what we know…

Where Is the Money?

On January 22, the Court of Claims issued an order to ORS to return employee 3% contributions (with interest) to school districts. The ORS sent the money out the same day. Districts must now process these refunds, including handling tax withholdings and reporting.

The Amount of Your Refund

According to the ORS website "ORS will notify members of their refund amount by email on or before January 22, 2018." If you didn't receive an email already from ORS, the website recommends "first, check your junk mail or spam folder" then offers two different options: post a message to the secure miAccount message board or (for MPSERS members not registered on miAccount), use the guest message board to post an inquiry. Visit the ORS FAQ and see question 3 for full details.

The Impact of Taxes

Knowing the amount that ORS reports is only part of the picture. Different districts handled tax withholdings differently since it was unclear at the time whether this was income or not. Now that employees will be refunded this money, districts need to make sure that they properly withhold and report state and federal taxes. So depending on how your district initially handled the taxing of this money, your refund may be different than the amount reported by ORS.

Timeline

According to the ORS website, "you might expect your refund to come to you 60-90 days after the school receives the funds." However, that is an estimate and the specific circumstances of your situation may result in a different timeline.

Is There Anything Can/Should I Be Doing Right Now?

If you are still working in the same district you were at between July 2010 and September 2012, then there is likely nothing to do. If you have since changed districts, retired, etc., then you may need to make sure that your former employer has updated contact information for you.

The ORS sent each district a list of employee information based on what was in the miAccount system as of January 15, 2018. If your miAccount information was not up to date as of January 15 or if you are not sure whether it was up to date, you should contact the district(s) you worked at between July 2010 and September 2012. Some districts have already set up Google forms linked from their homepage or other simple systems that former employees can use to make sure their information is accurate and updated.