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During this presentation, you’ll learn more about the Health Care Savings Program (HCSP), the benefits of having an HCSP account and how it works. Additionally, you’ll learn how you can use your HCSP account balance at separation from employment. Topics covered include: Understanding program eligibility and beneficiary structure, What to expect when you become eligible to use your account, Health care expenses that are eligible for coverage with HCSP funds, Payment and reimbursement options, Resources to help guide you
Understanding the components of your retirement income is important and Social Security is a big factor to consider. This presentation reviews hot topics such as eligibility, the process to apply and resources to help you navigate the system. If retirement is in your near future, this video is for you.
In simple terms, retirement plans are supposed to provide employees with income in retirement. But how much do you know about how public sector retirement plans work? Are they different than private sector options? How are the various types of programs funded? How much income will they provide to retirees? This video is specifically designed for those looking to understand the basics of how MERS retirement plans and supplemental savings options work to provide income in retirement.
In this short video, you’ll learn about, considerations you should take into account when investing, the MERS investment menu, how to locate your investment expenses, and the impact expenses can have on your overall account balance.
This short video provides an overview on, what is Medicare and who is eligible for coverage, when you can enroll, the different components that make up Medicare, Medicare costs, what’s covered and what’s not covered, supplemental policies and drug coverage, and available resources.
Wonder what the important aspects of managing your investment portfolio are or how often you should review your investments? During this video, you’ll learn more about the reasons we invest, where to locate and manage important information about your investment account and how to make changes when needed.
In this short video, you’ll learn more about IRAs including, what is an IRA?, contribution options and key differences, annual contribution limits, the MERS IRA option and how to enroll, and get answers to some frequently asked questions.
In this short video, you’ll learn more about Health Savings Accounts including, what they are, eligibility requirements, HSA access, advantages of an HSA, qualified expenses, annual contribution limits.
MERS has partnered with Mercer, a private retiree health care exchange, to provide retirees with access to quality benefits at an affordable cost. In this short video, you’ll learn more about the benefits of this option, hear how you can use the MERS Health Care Savings Program to assist with premium costs and get information on taking steps to find a plan that meets your needs.
In this short video covering the MERS Health Care Savings Program (HCSP), you’ll learn more about, retiree health care considerations, what is HCSP and how does it work?, contribution options, the benefits of tax-free investing, who can use the account and when, reimbursement and payment options, and eligible expenses.
Do you have a MERS Defined Contribution Plan? Are you interested in learning more about plan considerations and saving for your future? If so, check out this video where we walk through the importance of participation and tips to create a paycheck in retirement. We’ll also review investment, beneficiary and distribution information.
Budgeting is an important aspect of your journey toward financial wellness. In this video, you’ll learn more about the purpose of budget and how it can help you manage your day-to-day expenses, how to build a comprehensive budget, addressing shortfalls and monitoring your plan to ensure you are meeting your goals.
This short video provides an overview of forfeitures in the MERS Defined Contribution and Hybrid Plans. Employers will learn what they are and the options to utilize funds in accordance with IRS guidelines.
If you offer a Defined Benefit Plan, your Annual Actuarial Valuation (AAV) is an important tool to help you understand the current and future health of your retirement plan. We will walk you through understanding key components of your AAV, and what those numbers tell you about your plan's current costs and future sustainability.
Ever felt trapped by your growing amount of debt? It can accumulate fast and leave you in a deep financial hole. By understanding the categories of debt such as “good” versus “bad”, you can learn how to put a repayment strategy in place.
This video will provide valuable information and insight on how the MERS 457 Supplemental Savings Program works.
This video explains how to access and manage your claims in your myMERS account.
Recruiting and retaining talent is a concern for many public sector employers, especially if budget constraints make it difficult to offer competitive pay. An attractive benefits package can make the difference, but only if employers understand and can communicate the value of it to employees. This session will look at how MERS employers can build an affordable and comprehensive retirement benefit, as well as how to make it appealing to both current and prospective employees.
Are you taking the right steps to complete your ideal retirement picture? Spending your golden years doing fun things like golfing or traveling sounds great, doesn’t it? Being prepared for the other expenses you will face in retirement can help you keep those dreams alive!
When it comes to saving and investing for retirement, there are many questions to consider when it’s time to retire. This video will offer concepts to help you understand each of your various retirement accounts and build an appropriate retirement withdrawal strategy to make your money last throughout your retirement years.
In this video, a representative from the Michigan Medicare Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP) explains how and when to enroll in Medicare, what expenses Medicare will and won’t cover, and why you should reevaluate your health care plan each year once you have enrolled. We also discuss some important updates from MERS and share how retirees can get help choosing the right health care plan from benefits counselors at Mercer Marketplace 365+ Retiree.
The types of insurance you need can depend upon your age, assets and dependents. However, each person’s situation is unique. During the webinar, an insurance expert will walk through the various types of insurances available such as health, automobile, mortgage and life and the purpose of each. They will discuss which insurances make sense based on lifestyle and other circumstances. You’ll walk away with a clear understanding of the best options to help protect you, your loved ones and your valuable possessions.
Social Security Basics
Understanding the components of your retirement income is important and Social Security is a big factor to consider. Join Social Security Public Affairs Specialist Vonda VanTil as she discusses hot topics such as eligibility, the process to apply and resources to help you navigate the system. If retirement is in your near future, this video is for you.
Estate Planning
Wills, trusts, powers of attorney — what do all these things mean? No question, estate-planning jargon, and the process to create a plan, can be confusing. During this video, an estate planning expert will walk you through important terms and the steps you should take to create an estate plan that protects your family. You’ll get insight into what the goals of creating your plan might be and some of the available tools you can use to accomplish them.
Life is full of events that lead to many paper and electronic documents. The high volume often leaves people feeling so overwhelmed that they ignore their piles of ever-growing paper, making it hard to find what they need when they need it. During this video, we’ll discuss how to purge the paper you don't need and organize the paper you keep. We'll give you examples of files you should shred, recycle, and save.
Thinking about buying a new home or refinancing your existing mortgage loan? During this video, you’ll learn about the different types of mortgages and the costs associated with mortgage loans. We’ll provide you with steps you can take now to prepare for buying a house. Then, we’ll explore the benefits of refinancing to help you determine if and when it may be a good time for you to refinance.
Walk through the changes and provide a demo of the streamlined navigation and upgraded system capabilities.
Financial concerns follow us everywhere, causing stress both at home and work. Growing debt. A lack of savings. Retirement uncertainty. With MERS’ new Financial Fitness tool, you will be able to take control of your finances! This video will show you a series of financially focused workouts designed to help you see how you are doing and learn where you should be. These easy, intuitive exercises help you make improvements in key areas that affect your overall financial wellness.
A quick walk through of your myMERS landing page and how to access your MERS program information.
Is managing unfunded accrued liability (UAL) a priority for your municipality? In this session we will review how UAL develops and discuss plan design and funding strategies available to address it. Whether you’re considering modifying benefit provisions for new hires, bridging benefits for existing employees, changing your plan type or making additional voluntary contributions, you’ll walk away with a better understanding of your options and what may work best for your municipality’s situation.
As PA 202 has increased awareness of unfunded accrued liability for retiree health care and other post-employment benefits (OPEB), it has also created greater demand for tools to prefund those obligations. This video will introduce you to two programs MERS offers to help municipalities take a proactive approach to OPEB: the MERS Retiree Health Funding Vehicle and the MERS Health Care Savings Program.
Investment earnings from the MERS Defined Benefit Portfolio fund more than half of the benefits paid to MERS retirees. In this video, we'll discuss how MERS manages the Defined Benefit Portfolio, including who is responsible for which investment decisions. We’ll share our investment philosophy and how that affects our asset allocation and investment goals. You'll leave with a better understanding of MERS investments and how those investments impact your plan’s funding.
If you manage your MERS employee benefit plan and its assets, it’s important to know that MERS serves as the plan fiduciary. This session will cover the fiduciary best practices MERS follows, the governing laws and regulations that a fiduciary must adhere to, MERS role as plan administrator and your role as a plan sponsor.
Are you interested in learning more about the resources and educational opportunities MERS offers? Would you like to know what other local governments are doing to improve the financial wellness of their employees? MERS staff will walk you through the tools available to decision-makers within the workplace to help employees better prepare for retirement. We'll also talk about the importance of providing benefit education and highlight some ways that MERS can assist in those efforts.
As the cost of health care continues to rise, it’s important to know your options for providing retiree health coverage. Especially for those municipalities with underfunded other post-employment benefit (OPEB) plans. In this video, you’ll learn strategies for addressing OPEB obligations using the MERS Retiree Health Funding Vehicle and Health Care Savings Program. In addition, you’ll hear how using these programs in tandem with a private health care exchange can be a win-win for both municipalities and retirees.
Chief Actuary David Kausch from Gabriel, Roeder, Smith & Company joined us to review the updated economic assumptions that were used in your 12/31/19 Annual Actuarial Valuation, as well as the results of the recently completed Experience Study. Additional updates to demographic assumptions will be effective with your 12/31/20 Annual Actuarial Valuation. You will leave with an understanding of the impacts of these upcoming assumption changes and actions that can be taken now to prepare.
Personal finance experts tell us that ideally, we should have 3-9 months’ worth of expenses saved in an emergency fund. It's also recommended that we save for retirement, so we can replace 80% of our pre-retirement income. For most of us, there is only so much money to go around. In this video, we'll explore different savings options and strategies to help you plan for the unexpected, while still saving for retirement. Additionally, we’ll provide tips that you can use to help educate the next generation – your kids, grandkids or other important younger individuals in your life - on financial basics such as budgeting and saving.
When it comes to saving and investing for retirement, there are many questions to consider. How much should you save? How should those savings be invested? And what are some strategies to increase your account balance? This video will offer concepts to address those very questions such as finding an appropriate savings ratio, learning about your investment risk tolerance, and the importance of longevity. We’ll then explore savings strategies to use in the accumulation (or working) phase. Finally, we’ll show you how to locate your investment information and make investment changes online.
Depending on your financial goals in retirement, it may be necessary for you and your spouse to consider supplemental retirement plan options. In this session, we'll explore your retirement savings choices to help you add security to your retirement plan. Another important component to financial security is ensuring your investments are allocated correctly to help you reach your retirement goals. We'll walk through some investment basics and provide tips to help you evaluate your current investment line-up.
We’ll discuss how the MERS Defined Contribution Plan works and how plan design strategies, such as pairing the defined contribution plan with the MERS 457 Supplemental Savings Program, can help employers incentivize higher employee contribution levels, while providing employees the freedom to adjust their rates as needed. We’ll also walk through the benefit provisions modifications coming soon with the implementation of the Employer Reporting project that MERS kicked off this year. You’ll learn more about employer expectations as a result of this project and important next steps you’ll be asked to take.
During this session, we’ll cover the fundamentals of your MERS Defined Benefit Plan. We’ll review how each participant’s retirement benefits are calculated, and how that benefit is funded over their career. We’ll also walk through the benefit provisions modifications coming soon with the implementation of the Employer Reporting project that MERS kicked off this year. You’ll learn more about employer expectations as a result of this project and important next steps you’ll be asked to take.
The annual actuarial valuation (AAV) is an important tool to help you budget for your municipality’s retirement benefits. This report is a snapshot of your defined benefit plan, and it contains insight to your plan’s liabilities, funding levels, required contributions and important GASB and state reporting. In this video we will guide you through understanding each section of your AAV and answer your questions along the way.
As a MERS Defined Benefit retiree, you’ll receive a monthly benefit payment for the rest of your life. The payment option you choose at retirement will determine how much that monthly payment will be and what will happen to that income stream when you pass away.
Reviewing the results of the recently completed Experience Study, including the updated demographic assumptions that will be used going forward.
It’s not a subject we like to think about, but the fact is, by defining your end of life care wishes, you are making an already difficult time more manageable for your loved ones. We’ll cover important considerations for creating your end of life care directive and talk about ways you can ensure these wishes are followed by your provider and/or caregivers.
Did you know that kids as young as three can grasp the concept of how money works? And yet, most graduate high school without ever taking a course on financial basics. That leaves us – parents, grandparents and influential adults – to teach children the importance of budgeting and saving. During this session, we’ll review key concepts to teach at every age level and provide some tips and resources to help you get started. If you have younger people in life that you care about, don’t miss this session.
Employer Onboarding Training - (for Defined Contribution (including DC portion of Hybrid), 457 and Health Care Savings Program.)
Akemi Gordon
I Am MERS: Eastern UP Transportation Authority's Financial Director, Akemi Gordon, speaks about a secure future.
Ed Klobucher
I Am MERS: City of Hazel Park's City Manager, Ed Klobucher, speaks about peace of mind.
Bonnie Suchecki
I Am MERS: City of Grand Haven's Human Resources Manager, Bonnie Suchecki, speaks about forward-thinking.
Jennifer Seman
I Am MERS: Grand Traverse County's HR Director, Jennifer Seman, speaks about planning.
Kayo Zimmerman
I Am MERS: Bay City Housing Commission's Maintenance Manager, Kayo Zimmerman, speaks about confidence.
Michael Brown
I Am MERS: Barry County's County Administrator and MERS Retirement Board Member, Michael Brown, speaks about trust and commitment.
Ron Coleman
I Am MERS: Holland Board of Public Works's Electrical Distribution Technician, Ron Coleman, speaks about security.
Debbie Wilhelm
I Am MERS: Charter Township of Northville's Human Resources Director, Debbie Wilhelm, speaks about commitment.
Health Care In Retirement
Health care costs are one of the biggest expenses in retirement. Do you know your options? During this video, MERS staff will provide an overview of Medicare and the benefit options you’ll have in retirement. We’ll talk about the costs associated with Medicare and provide you with resources to help you get more information. We’ll also highlight the MERS retiree healthcare exchange and talk about how you can use the MERS Health Care Savings Program in tandem to assist with premium costs.
How Smoothing Works
Learn how smoothing effects contribution amounts towards MERS Defined Benefit Plan.
Investment Return Assumption
Learn how the investment returns assumption and smoothing impact pension funding and how MERS determines what the assumption rate should be.
MERS Retirement Strategies Funds
When it comes to investing, don't put all of your eggs in one basket...unless that basket is diversified with a smart mix of funds.
Service Credit Purchase: an Overview of the Basics
Learn about the basics of a service credit purchase and gain insights to the updated process.
Understanding and Using MERS' Toolbox of Resources
Learn about the resources available to decision-makers within the workplace to help employees better prepare for retirement. We'll discuss the importance of providing benefit education and highlight some ways that MERS can assist in those efforts.
Financial wellness is a buzzword in the financial industry today, but what does it really mean? This video take a deep dive into the four pillars of financial wellness – budgeting, emergency savings, debt management and planning for the future. You’ll learn more about each of these topics and walk away with practical and applicable skills and action items you can use to improve your overall financial health.
Planning for the Unexpected
Personal finance experts tell us that ideally, we should have 3-9 months' worth of expenses saved in an emergency fund. It's also recommended that we save for retirement, so we can replace 80% of our pre-retirement income. For most of us, there is only so much money to go around. During this video, we'll explore different savings options and strategies to help you plan for the unexpected, while still saving for retirement.
Do you know who your beneficiaries are?
Don't forget to let us know who your beneficiaries are so that your retirement benefits are handled smoothly without red tape, expense or delay. MERS makes it easy to update beneficiary information through logging in at mersofmich.com.
Health benefits App
Now that you've left your employer, you — and your spouse and other dependents — can use your MERS Health Care Savings Program account for tax-free medical expense reimbursements. This video explains how to access the Alerus App and manage your claims.
MERS hybrid plan overview
This video will provide valuable information and insight on how your plan works. You can expect to walk away with more information on the formula used to calculate your retirement benefit, the importance of designating beneficiaries and keeping them updated and your investment options. We’ll also discuss the benefits of myMERS and how the resources MERS provides can help meet your retirement goals.
MERS defined contribution overview
This video will provide valuable information and insight on how your plan works. You can expect to walk away with more information on the components that make up your defined contribution plan, the importance of designating beneficiaries and keeping them updated and your investment options. We’ll also discuss the benefits of myMERS and how the resources MERS provides help you stay on track to meet your retirement goals.
Are you within five years of retirement and have questions about the MERS Defined Benefit retirement process? This video reviews the steps you should take now to prepare for your retirement.
You'll learn more about how your defined benefit plan is an important resource to help you reach your retirement goals. We cover key features of the plan and review the resources available to you when retirement is on the horizon.
Understanding Defined benefit pensions
Understanding public pension plan funding is complex. This video helps you understand how Defined Benefit pension plans work, how contributions are determined, and how the practices that MERS follows ensure secure retirement benefits.
not for profit
As a new MERS participant, you may have questions about how your benefits work. We’ve made learning about your new plans easy. This short, interactive video lets you pick which MERS programs you would like to hear more about.
Did you know that if you don’t pay Social Security taxes on your earnings AND you are eligible for Social Security benefits, the formula used to figure your benefit amount may be reduced? This is known as the Windfall Elimination Provision, or WEP. Additionally, if you receive a retirement or disability pension from a federal, state, or local government based on your own work for which you didn’t pay Social Security taxes, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may reduce your Social Security spouses or widows/widowers benefits. This is known as the Government Pension Offset, or GPO. If you will be affected by either of these provisions, this video hosted by Vonda VanTil, a Public Affairs Specialist with the SSA will walk you through WEP and GPO in detail and provide resources to help you better understand your Social Security options.
MERS office
Who are MERS members? MERS members are police officers and fire fighters, lawyers, librarians and more. Who is MERS? They are — and you are, too.