Lay Employees’ Retirement Plan Frequently Asked Questions
What type of plan is the Michigan Catholic Conference Lay Employees’ Retirement Plan (LERP)?
It is a defined benefit retirement plan, which means that the plan’s benefit formula defines your benefit based on your Final Average Annual Compensation and your years of Credited Service.
Am I eligible to participate in the plan?
You are eligible to participate if you are:
- A lay (e.g., non-clergy) employee,
- Working at one or more participating units,
- In a position normally requiring you to work 20 or more hours per week for five or more months per year. This is called “Covered Employment.”
What types of employees are not eligible to participate in the plan?
Independent contractors, temporary employees, and seasonal employees, such as substitute teachers, coaches, or camp counselors are not eligible.
What is Credited Service?
Credited Service means the number of years of service credited to you under the LERP for the purpose of determining your eligibility and calculating your benefit.
What is my Normal Retirement Age?
Normal Retirement Age is the date on which you attain Social Security Retirement Age and have completed five or more years of credited service.
When is the earliest I can receive a pension benefit?
Once you are vested, your Early Retirement Age is generally 55. However, if you began participating in the LERP after January 1, 2011, your Early Retirement Age is 10 years less than your Social Security Normal Retirement Age.
What is my Social Security Normal Retirement Age?
It is the age at which you become eligible for full retirement benefits from Social Security. Your Social Security Normal Retirement Age is determined based on your year of birth, as set forth in the following table:
|Year Born||Normal Retirement Age (NRA)|
|1937 and Prior||65|
|1938||65 + 2 months|
|1939||65 + 4 months|
|1940||65 + 6 months|
|1941||65 + 8 months|
|1942||65 + 10 months|
|1943 through 1954||66|
|1955||66 + 2 months|
|1956||66 + 4 months|
|1957||66 + 6 months|
|1958||66 + 8 months|
|1959||66 + 10 months|
|1960 and later||67|
May I continue to receive my retirement benefit if I return to Covered Employment after coming into pay status?
Once you begin to receive pension benefits under the LERP you can continue to receive your monthly benefit only if you are not working in Covered Employment, as defined above.
If I incur a disability while working in Covered Employment am I eligible for a Disability Retirement Benefit?
If you are vested and the MCC Pension Board verifies that you are permanently unable to work because of a physical or mental disability, you would be eligible for a Disability Retirement Benefit.
How will my benefit be paid to me?
Benefits are automatically deposited into the financial account you indicate, on the first business day of each month.
How is my benefit calculated?
Benefits are calculated by using the following formula: Your Final Average Annual Compensation x Benefit Multiplier x number of years of Credited Service. Benefit amounts vary depending upon the type of benefit you request. The Benefit Multiplier was changed in 2012, and different Benefit Multipliers apply to service prior to 2012. See the LERP plan document and the Summary Plan Description for more detail.
How many years of Credited Service does it take to be vested in the Plan?
You are vested when you have completed five years of Credited Service.
How is my Credited Service determined?
You earn one year of Credited Service if you work in Covered Employment during at least five months in a calendar year.
May I purchase Credited Service under the Plan?
No. Effective January 1, 2012, employees are not allowed to purchase additional Credited Service under the Plan.
Does the Plan provide a Death Benefit?
Yes, if you are vested, the LERP provides a death benefit to your primary beneficiary.
What is a Death Benefit?
If you are vested and die prior to the commencement of your retirement benefits, your primary beneficiary or beneficiaries are entitled to a death benefit. If you die after your retirement benefits commence, whether any benefits continue to be paid following your death depends on the form of benefit you elected.
How do I receive a pension estimate?
What do I need to do if I want to retire?
Three months before you want to retire request your retirement kit online, call MCC Benefits at 800-395-5565, or email your request to Benefits@MICatholic.org. Once you receive the kit, complete the forms, attach the supporting documents and return them to MCC at 510 South Capitol Avenue, Lansing, MI 48933.
Terms of LERP document control: In the event of any inconsistency between the information contained in these FAQs and the LERP plan document, the terms of the LERP plan document will control.