On December 20, 2017, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that all public school employees having 3% of their compensation held for health care costs from 2010 to 2012 should have that money refunded. This decision set in motion the need to establish a process in which school districts could issue these payments back to the impacted current and former staff members.
With over 200,000 employees state wide, there are several factors making the refund process a challenge, the least of which is how to handle the tax related implications. This will take a little time as every employee’s tax situation is unique.
Zeeland Public Schools is committed to making sure that each refund is processed in an accurate and timely manner. Please take the time to read the letter below that provides an overview of the situation as it relates to Zeeland Public Schools. We will make every effort to keep you up to date with any information as we receive it.
Also, here is a summary document from the state that addresses some of the Frequently Asked Questions.
Will I receive a refund?
Yes, if you were employed at Zeeland Public Schools between July 2010 and September 2012. If you were retired or a student 19 years of age or younger during this time frame, you did not contribute to the health care fund and you will not receive a refund.
When will I receive my refund payment?
Active Staff will receive their 3% refunds on March 2, via direct deposits that are on file. If you do not have a direct deposit, checks will be put in interschool mail on March 2. Inactive staff refunds will be processed on March 16th and mailed that same day.
How will I know if I have a refund from a different district where I was previously employed?
On January 19, 2018 the Michigan Office of Retirement Services sent an e-mail to all school district employees, using the e-mail address that was on file in your Mi Access account. If you did not receive this e-mail, you will need to contact ORS, they will have refund information from previous districts you may have been employed during this time.
What do I need to do if I no longer work for ZPS, have moved and will be receiving a refund?
You will be receiving an e-mail from email@example.com, requesting 3 documents to be completed so that the business office can process your refund, Federal W-4, State W-4 and a direct deposit form for a current bank account or a loadable debit/credit card. The request should be issued the week of January 29th, with the return date of February 16. If the e-mail address that was provided to ZPS from ORS is not valid, the requested documents were mail to the address listed in your Mi Access account which was provided by the State of Michigan.
How will this impact my taxes?
The refund checks will be subject to Federal and State taxes, tax calculations will be based on your current W-4.
How will I receive payment for this refund?
Current employees will receive a direct deposit to their primary bank account, with look up detail on the Employee Service Portal. Retired and Inactive staff will be receiving a direct deposit form to complete.
Will I be able to contribute to my 403(b) or HSA account ?
After reviewing all options with legal counsel, our software partner and the ZEA, it was decided we will not be processing the refund checks with the option to contribute to 403b plans and/or your H.S.A. account. With our wish to refund this money back to our staff as quick as possible, we believe this is the best for all concerned. If you would like to change your voluntary deduction for future payrolls, please feel free to complete those changes thru the Employee Services Portal.
Will my wage garnishment by applied to my refund check?
If the garnishment order requires withholding as a percentage, it will apply to this refund.
When will refund checks be processed and distributed?
We are in contact with our financial software partner, and once our payroll system is set up for this process we will provide a date to staff and post on this website page.
The best way to communicate with the business office would be to send all inquiries to the following secure e-mail account: firstname.lastname@example.org.