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Thursday, April 17, 2014

 

Keeping you on the right road in retirement

You’ve worked hard for your money, and now that you’re in retirement, you can let your money work for you. Your MERS Defined Contribution Plan can be an important source of your income, and a great way to stay on the right road in retirement.

As a retired member, you have an invested account you manage, with flexibility and investment choice.

How It Works

As a MERS Defined Contribution Plan retiree, you have a variety of options on how to use your account. You can leave your account invested with MERS, roll your funds into an eligible plan, or take distributions. Please remember, you must begin taking Required Minimum Distributions when you reach age 70 1/2.

By keeping your account in the MERS Defined Contribution Plan, you’ll continue to receive the benefits of MERS Investment Menu, low administrative fees, and excellent customer service.

Distributions

There are several ways to receive payments from your Defined Contribution account — lump sum, substantially equal payments, periodic, amount certain, or period certain.

To begin taking distributions, or to change your distributions, download and return the Distribution/Direct Rollover Form (MD-005).

Please note that all payments are taxable in the calendar year you receive the money. We are also required to apply mandatory withholding for federal or any applicable state income taxes, although in some instances you may opt out of this withholding.

If you are married and your vested balance is equal to or more than $1,000, you must choose the Qualified Joint and Survivor Annuity, unless your spouse consents in writing to another form of payment.

For more information about your distribution options, please see the MERS Defined Contribution Plan Member Handbook, available here.

MERS Investments

When it comes to investing, it’s important to understand all your options, needs and goals. That’s the first step to finding an investment strategy that best suits you. Even if you are a confident investor, it’s a good idea to make a regular evaluation of your investment choices. The MERS Defined Contribution Plan and the Defined Contribution portion of the Hybrid Plan have four strategic investment categories designed to help you meet your retirement goals. This streamlined approach offers a simple way to choose investments. You should also consult your financial advisor when choosing your investments. For more information, please read Understanding the MERS Investment Menu and the Investment Menu Summary.

The MERS Defined Contribution & Hybrid Plan Investment Menu consists of:

  • Retirement Strategies
  • Diversified Portfolios
  • Expanded Funds
  • Self-Directed Brokerage Window
Please remember, it’s always a good idea for you to review your investment options on a regular basis because investment objectives can change due to changes in your life circumstances, risk tolerances or finances.

Want to learn more? Click the links below for more about the MERS Defined Contribution Plan.

  • Publications
    • You’ll receive quarterly statements detailing your retirement account.
    • You’ll also receive the Retiree News, a quarterly newsletter full of important information about MERS, your benefits, and the issues affecting you.
  • You can also log into your account at mymers.mersofmich.com to find up-to-the-minute information about your MERS retirement at any time.
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Forms
  • Calculators
  • Service Center
    • Our Service Center offers friendly, knowledgeable, over-the-phone assistance for a wide variety of benefit questions and issues. The Service Center is available during business hours at 800.767.2308.

Working in Retirement

After you’ve retired from your municipality, you may want to return to work with your employer at some point.

If you rehire on or after normal retirement age (usually age 60, or as defined by your employer), you are not eligible to be re-enrolled in any MERS retirement plan upon rehire with the same employer.

If you rehire before normal retirement age, you will be placed in the active retirement plan of your new position. These rules have no impact on your Defined Contribution distributions.

Getting Ready For Retirement?

Make sure you’re prepared! Contact us to have a retirement packet sent to you.
Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Complete any necessary paperwork your employer requires.
  2. Download and complete the Distribution/Direct Rollover Form (MD-005).
  3. Mail or fax the completed form to us at 517.703.9706.

Find Forms

Want to change your investments, or your named beneficiary? Click here to find your form.

View the MERS Investment Menu

Click here to see the streamlined MERS DC Investment Menu.

Stay On Track

Are you still on the right road in retirement? Click here to estimate your future costs.

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Disclaimer
The information contained in this Web site is being made available as a public service. The information is not intended to constitute legal or investment advice, or to replace official versions of that information. Benefit Estimates or Service Credit Purchase estimates requested through this Web site are not official descriptions of any benefits, and do not represent a promise by MERS to provide any benefit(s) to any person(s). No one can detrimentally rely upon the information provided in, or requested through this Web site. MERS reserves the right to correct any errors, and presents this information without warranties, express or implied, regarding the information?s accuracy, timeliness or completeness. If you believe the information is inaccurate, out-of-date, or incomplete, or if you have problems accessing or reading the information, please call MERS at 800.767.MERS (6377).