By Topic

By Audience

By Product

One topic retirees tell us they would like to learn more about is Medicare and how to pick the right health care plan in retirement. In this video, an expert from the Michigan Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP) explains the how the various parts of Medicare works, when you can enroll in Medicare, what you should consider if you have employer-sponsored retiree health insurance, and why you should reevaluate your plan every year. We also discuss the trained benefits counselors with Mercer Marketplace 365+ Retiree can help you choose the right health care plan.
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 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.
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.
2020 Business Meeting
During the Business Meeting, CEO Kerrie Vanden Bosch gives a “State of MERS” update and designated delegates voted for MERS Retirement Board members.
MERS Chief Investment Officer Jeb Burns provides an overview of the MERS Defined Benefit Portfolio. He discusses how MERS balances the need to generate enough investment gains to fund the future retirement of current employees, while preserving the assets required to pay existing retirees. He shares insight into how our carefully diversified asset allocation strategy reduces the portfolio’s exposure to market volatility and explore challenges that may lie ahead.
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.
An investment update from MERS
Join MERS for an update on how our investments have responded in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Our investments team shares insight into how our carefully diversified asset allocation strategy reduces your defined benefit plan’s exposure to market volatility and explores challenges that may lie ahead.
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.
Using Your Retirement Account
When it comes to saving and investing for retirement, there are many questions to consider when it's time to retire. This video offers concepts to address those very questions such as finding an appropriate retirement (decumulation) strategy and figuring out how to make your money last throughout your retirement years.
Managing and Monitoring Your Portfolio
Wondering if your investments are on track to meet your goals? During this recorded webinar, we'll walk through the resources MERS makes available to you, so that you may feel confident in your ability to align your investments with your retirement needs.
Making Your Money Work For You
When it comes to saving and investing for retirement, there are many questions to consider. How much should you save and how should those savings be invested? Should your strategy change as your life circumstances change? What is your risk tolerance level when investing? This session will address those very questions as well as help you better understand some concepts such as riding out market volatility and determining an asset allocation that meets your needs. We'll then explore savings strategies to use in the accumulation (or working) phase.
Basics of Investing
You don't have to be a stock market wiz to put a strategy in place. This webinar will explain concepts in plain English and provide you with practical ways to help you invest with confidence.
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.
How to Invest
Depending on your financial goals in retirement, it may be necessary for you and your spouse to consider supplemental retirement plan options. In this video, we'll explore your retirement savings choices to help you add security to your retirement plan.
Service Credit Purchase: an Overview of the Basics
Learn about the basics of a service credit purchase and gain insights to the updated process.
An Overview of MERS Resources
Learn about the resources available to help you understand your plan and tools to help you prepare for your retirement.
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.
Debt Management Strategies
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.
Budgeting for the New Year
We’ll walk you through the process to create your own financial plan, including defining your short, mid and long-term goals, assessing your current income and expenses, and examining your savings plan. Along the way, we'll help you identify barriers that may interfere with your plans and provide tips and best practices to help you overcome them. You'll walk away with tools and resources to help you create your financial plan and next steps to putting that plan into action.
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.
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.
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.