Pension Matters

State Employees Retirement Fund
Most Recent Market Value | Michigan Treasury Bureau of Investments

June 2018

News From Treasury

State Treasurer Nick Khouri, State Budget Director John Walsh, Senate Fiscal Agency Director Ellen Jeffries and House Fiscal Agency Director Mary Ann Cleary today reached consensus on economic and revenue figures for the remainder of Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 and for the upcoming 2019 and 2020 fiscal years.

Following today’s Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference, net FY 2018 General Fund-General Purpose (GF-GP) revenue is projected at $10.46 billion, up $155.9 million from estimates agreed to in January. Net FY 2018 School Aid Fund (SAF) revenue is now estimated at $13.24 billion, up $159.5 million from January. Combined, GF-GP and SAF estimates are up approximately $315 million for FY 2018. Read more on Treasury’s web site.

Dept of Treasury - Pension Doing Well

The first quarter investment review is on line. You can find the minutes from the March Advisory Committee meeting on the Bureau of Investment web site. The Executive summary report given by Mr. Braeutigam indicates,

“that the excess returns were consistently generated over all time periods, the one, three, five, seven, and ten years periods. Mr. Braeutigam stated that for the one year, the plan was 110 basis points (bps) over peers, the five year approximately 130 bps, and the ten year narrowed a little bit to 50 bps. That 50 bps over the ten years added approximately $5 billion in value above and beyond what peer returns would have earned. Mr. Braeutigam indicated that he believes much of the outperformance of the plan was driven by staff selectivity.”
Do You Really Know SSA?

About half of American adults can’t pass even a very basic quiz about Social Security, even though those benefits will play a crucial role in their future retirement finances. In fact for many couples, Social Security could represent as much as a $1 million dollar retirement asset which, one would think, would make educating yourself on how the program works a high priority.  In a recent CNBC article by Lorie Konish, the author describes the conundrum that so many people who will rely on Social Security to secure their retirement  don’t bother to educate themselves on how the program works so they can get all of the benefits they are entitled to. Take their little quiz at I took it and found out I’m not as clever as I thought.

More on Medicare Cards

As the government begins issuing new Medicare cards, an AARP survey finds that a majority of those enrollees are at risk of being victimized by fraud schemes designed to capitalize on the card replacement program.

AARP — including AARP Michigan — will participate in an education campaign to raise awareness among consumers about Medicare Card scams.

The year-long national effort to mail new ID cards to 58 million Medicare recipients began this month, including about 2 million in Michigan. The redesigned cards no longer contain enrollees’ Social Security numbers — a move designed to fight against identity theft. Consumer advocates, including AARP, welcome the development but are concerned the card replacement program has opened these new opportunities for con artists:

  • Scammers reportedly pose as Medicare representatives and contact beneficiaries to demand immediate payment via credit card of a processing fee for the new card. No such fee exists.
  • In other cases, the scammers falsely say that Medicare needs to “verify” a recipient’s Social Security number or other personal information before issuing the card. Medicare says it does not make such calls and does not initiate uninvited contact.
  • Yet another version of the scam tells beneficiaries that they are due a refund on transactions with their old card, and asks them to provide bank account information for the processing of the alleged refund.

The results of the AARP survey, which polled Medicare enrollees age 65 and older, indicate a significant number of people could end up as victims of the scams. Among the key findings in AARP’s survey:

  • There is little public awareness: Three-quarters of those surveyed (76 percent) knew nothing or very little about Medicare’s plan to issue new identification cards.
  • Six in 10 think they could face a fee: Although the redesigned ID cards are free, 60 percent of Medicare enrollees did not know or weren’t sure if they would be required to pay a fee.
  • Half might not question a purported call from Medicare: When asked if beneficiaries could expect to receive a telephone call from Medicare asking them to verify their Social Security number, half (51 percent) said they weren’t sure.

The AARP Fraud Watch Network (FWN) launched in 2013 as a free resource for people of all ages. Consumers can sign up for “Watchdog Alert” emails that deliver breaking scam information, or call a free helpline at 877-908-3360 to speak with volunteers trained in fraud counseling. The FWN website provides information about fraud and scams, prevention tips from experts, an interactive scam-tracking map, fun educational quizzes, and video presentations.

Where’s This New Medicare Card?

Three ways for you to find out when you should expect your new Medicare card in the mail:

  • Check out the map on Keep coming back to check the status of card mailings in your state. Once card mailings begin in your state, it’ll take at least a month to finish.
  • Keep an eye on your email. We’ll send you an email update when new Medicare cards start mailing in your state.
  • Log in to your account to see if your new card has mailed. Don’t have an account yet? Sign up now at —  it’s a free, secure, and easy way to access all your Medicare information in one place


Medicare will never call you uninvited and ask you to give personal or private information to get your new Medicare Number and card.

Editor’s note: June Morse may be contacted at or 517-886-9323.

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