Proos and Miller to clarify MPSERS contributions for student workers

Senator John Proos

Senator John Proos

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. John Proos and Rep. Aaron Miller have introduced legislation to provide clarity concerning retirement plan contributions by community colleges for student workers.

“There is great ambiguity in MPSERS regulation about whether or not student employees at a community college are participating members of the state’s school retirement system,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “This has caused confusion at many community colleges across the state.”

Senate Bill 888 and House Bill 5679 would clarify in statute that students working part-time at a community college would be exempted from the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS) contribution requirements, something that is already the case for full-time student employees. These bills would treat all students equally and provide clarity for community colleges and the Office of Retirement Service.

According to the Senate Fiscal Agency, more than half of the state’s 28 community colleges do not contribute to MPSERS for part-time student employees and no community college contributes for full-time students.

“It is my belief that no student should be paying into a retirement system they do not plan on collecting from,” said Miller, R-Sturgis. “It is lost income for students trying to earn money to pay for books and tuition.”

Proos said, “Educators at Michigan community colleges are doing a tremendous job in giving students the tools necessary to meet the workforce needs of a growing economy. This reform is designed to ensure that community colleges have the resources to allow their instructors to continue their excellent work and have access to a secure retirement after a career of preparing students for success.”

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Editor’s note: Audio comments by Proos will be available at www.SenatorJohnProos.com/Audio.