Cleaning Up the HR Update Emailing ListOct 14, 2020, 11:11 AM By MOSERS
In January 2021, we will be cleaning up our HR Update email list.
We will work to keep anyone on the list who has an active Access Authorization form on file with MOSERS. (This form gives authorized users access to employee information through the MOSERS Employer Login and must have been signed by the agency director.)
In January, we will remove email addresses that do not match up in our records with someone who currently has access authorization.
If you don’t have Employer Login access authorization, but still want to get HR Updates, you can. You will just need to re-subscribe in January. If you currently have access but perhaps with a different email address than what we have on file, you can also re-subscribe using the email address of your choice.
The Importance of Comp Time Pay on Pension BenefitsOct 14, 2020, 10:14 AM By MOSERS
If you have an employee nearing retirement, it is beneficial to pay out any compensatory time balances before or with the employee’s final salary payment. Since this pay may impact the final average pay (FAP) calculation for retirement purposes, a delayed compensatory time payout could result in the employee receiving an incorrect benefit estimate or their first benefit check.
After receiving information on a compensatory time payout, MOSERS must obtain information from you to allocate the pay to the months earned for the calculation of the FAP. Having this information as early as possible will help to make the retirement process as smooth as possible.
Reminder: Benefit-Eligible PositionsOct 14, 2020, 10:04 AM By MOSERS
We get questions about benefit eligibility, especially related to the reemployment of retirees. Please note that the decision about whether or not a position is benefit-eligible should be based on an analysis of the position, not based on who will fill the position. See the Benefit Eligibility page on our website for more information.
Annual Optional Life Insurance Review ReminderOct 14, 2020, 9:44 AM By MOSERS
We’re halfway through the 2020 Annual Life Insurance Review period. We will be sending e-mails reminding our eligible members of this opportunity, which ends on October 31st. During the month of October, members can log in to myMOSERS to increase their optional life insurance coverage, without having to prove insurability! Please encourage your employees to take advantage of this special opportunity to help provide financial security for their loved ones if something happens to them. Don’t miss out!
Word on the StreetOct 14, 2020, 9:43 AM By MOSERS
True or False – When your employee retires, their MOSERS pension benefits may be exempt from state taxes?
True! The total public pension exemption is limited to the maximum Social Security benefit of each spouse. In order to be eligible for the full deduction, their Missouri adjusted gross income must fall within certain income limitations. If their income exceeds the limitation, they may qualify for a partial exemption.
- Up to $85,000 - Single, Head of Household, or Qualifying Widow(er)
- Up to $100,000 - Married, filing jointly
- Up to $85,000 - Married, filing separately
For more information about taxes, please contact the Missouri Department of Revenue or go to www.dor.mo.gov/personal/ptc/pension.php.
Benefits Tip: Final Average Pay (FAP)Oct 14, 2020, 9:30 AM By MOSERS
We often receive questions from members regarding Final Average Pay (FAP), and whether pay earned during the BackDROP period (or after they reach their normal retirement eligibility date) is included in FAP.
Please share this information with your employees:
How is Final Average Pay (FAP) calculated?
Whether or not pay, for a given period, will be considered in determining your Final Average Pay (FAP) depends on if you elect BackDROP* (if eligible); not when you reach normal retirement eligibility.
To calculate your pension benefit, we will use your highest 36 full consecutive months of pay – wherever that occurs in your individual pay history. Most people earn their highest 36 consecutive months of pay in their last three years of state employment, but not always. If you become eligible for and elect the BackDROP upon retirement, your FAP will be calculated using your MOSERS-covered work history prior to your BackDROP date. In other words, pay (and service) during the BackDROP period is excluded when calculating your monthly benefit amount.
If at retirement, you do not elect BackDROP, we will review your entire pay history and find the 36-month period with your highest pay (regardless of whether that is before or after you might hit normal retirement eligibility) and will use that in calculating your monthly benefit. You may elect not to take BackDROP if you want all of your pay and service to count. In most cases, opting not to take BackDROP will increase your monthly benefit amount.
*BackDROP is available only to general state employees who are members of MSEP or MSEP 2000.
It’s National Retirement Security Month!Oct 14, 2020, 9:27 AM By MOSERS
October is National Retirement Security Month, a national event raising awareness about the importance of saving for retirement. To help your employees reflect on their personal situation, the MO Deferred Comp Plan will be sharing information on its website and social media channels regarding the understating of investment principles, budgeting, calculating your retirement savings needs, and more. In addition, each week the plan will be sharing a checklist of items for your employees to complete at their leisure. Every task they check off will help them reflect on their personal financial situation, increase their financial knowledge, and learn more about the state’s retirement savings plan.
To learn more about National Retirement Security Month, visit https://www.modeferredcomp.org/news/2020-NRSM.html, and be sure to follow the MO Deferred Comp Plan on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Employer Training Videos ReminderOct 14, 2020, 9:24 AM By MOSERS
We encourage you to utilize the employer training videos on the MOSERS Employer page. They are a great resource for information. As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email us firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recently Updated ResourcesOct 14, 2020, 9:20 AM By MOSERS
NEO-Keeping Up to Date Video – October 2020
Beneficiary Request for Refund of Employee Contributions – October 2020
Member Request for Refund of Employee Contributions – October 2020
Mid-Career Education - Find Your Direction Video – September 2020
The Standard – Benefits at a Glance for MOSERS Members – August 2020 with rates effective January 2021 (now enter bi-monthly pay instead of monthly pay)
Travel Assitance Flyer – July 2020
Travel Assistance Overview – July 2020
For more information please visit MOSERS' Online Library: https://www.mosers.org/library
2021 Annual Life Insurance ReviewSep 16, 2020, 12:56 PM By MOSERS
For members who ALREADY have optional life insurance through MOSERS: It’s that time of year again—the month of October is your employees’ window of opportunity to evaluate their optional life insurance coverage and decide if they would like to increase it (within the established guidelines) without proving insurability. Please note this review period does not apply to spouse and child(ren) coverage (see FAQs). If your employees wish to maintain their current level of coverage, no action is required.
Updating Their Beneficiaries
Included on your employees’ Annual Benefit Statement is their primary life insurance beneficiary designation. If their beneficiaries have had a life change that may affect this information, such as a marriage, divorce, or death, please encourage them to update their beneficiary designations as soon as possible. For your employees’ convenience, they may quickly and easily update their beneficiary designations online by following these steps:
- Log in to myMOSERS
- Click on Forms then Life Insurance Beneficiaries in the top menu.
- Follow the instructions for completing and submitting the online form.
The new designation form will become effective upon receipt at MOSERS.
Remind Employees to Check Their Email
In late September, MOSERS sends instructions via email to eligible members explaining how to increase coverage. They may view their notification in their Document Express folder. Please encourage them to read it carefully. If there is no valid email address on file for them, MOSERS will send a letter to them in the mail.
Note: All MOSERS members have access to Document Express. They may use ESS and go to MOSERS. Or log in to myMOSERS and follow the prompts. To create their MOSERS Online ID & password they must have a valid email address on file with MOSERS. If they cannot enroll online, please have them contact a benefit counselor at (800) 827-1063 for assistance.
To be eligible for the Annual Term Life Insurance Review, your employees must:
- Be actively employed in a MOSERS benefit-eligible position.
- Be currently insured with less than the maximum amount of optional life insurance coverage (the lesser of six times your annual salary or $800,000).
Online Election Method
If your employee wishes to increase their optional life insurance coverage amount, have them go to their MOSERS Member Homepage through ESS or log in to myMOSERS between October 1 and October 31, 2020 (midnight). On their MOSERS Member Homepage, they will need to simply click on the Update Now button and follow the steps to increase their coverage.
Confirmation of Their Election
If they increase their coverage, their confirmation letter will be posted to their Document Express, which they can access by logging in to myMOSERS. They will receive an email notification alerting them when it is posted and ready to be viewed; they may then save it to their computer, or print it. If they opted out of electronic delivery, they will receive a confirmation letter in the mail reflecting any changes to their coverage.
- To aid in their decision, they will be provided with their current 2019 coverage amount and monthly premiums, as well as what their new 2020 premiums will be if they opt for the increase.
- Any new elections in October will go into effect on January 1, 2021, as long as they meet the “Actively-at-Work” requirement. More information is available in the Life Insurance Handbook.
- Term life insurance proceeds are paid to their beneficiary(ies) when they die. It has no cash or loan value.
- They can use the Optional Life Insurance Calculator to determine the premiums for themselves.
MOSERS’ life insurance is not available to employees of the Department of Conservation or state regional colleges/universities (except State Technical College of Missouri & Lincoln University), because those employers provide their own life insurance benefits.
Optional Term Life Insurance FAQs
Q: Can they decrease or terminate their optional life insurance coverage?
A: Yes. They must complete an Enrollment/Change - Optional Life Insurance form and submit it to MOSERS. The form can be completed and submitted electronically by logging in to myMOSERS. This can be done at any time throughout the year. Remember, to be eligible for future annual review periods, they must maintain at least $10,000 of optional life insurance coverage.
Q: Can they continue their optional life insurance into retirement?
A: Yes. If they retire within 60 days of leaving state employment, the state will continue to provide $5,000 in basic life insurance coverage at no cost to them. You may retain up to $60,000 in optional life insurance, provided they had at least that amount while actively employed. They may retain all their coverage until age 62 if they retire under the “Rule of 80” in the MSEP 2000 or under the “Rule of 90” in the MSEP 2011. At age 62, the coverage amount will automatically reduce to $60,000. They may reduce or terminate their optional life coverage amount after they retire, but they may not increase it.
Q: Can they purchase (or increase) coverage for their spouse or dependent child during the annual review?
A: They may increase coverage on a spouse at any time, but will need to prove insurability. To do so, they must complete and submit the following forms by logging in to myMOSERS:
- Standard Medical History Statement
- Enrollment/Change - Optional Life Insurance
Dependent changes for eligible children can be requested at any time without proof of insurability, not just during October. The coverage amount will remain $10,000 per child with a premium of $2 per month, regardless of the number of insured children. For coverage purposes only, a child is defined as your child from live birth to age 26. This includes dependent stepchildren and grandchildren, adopted children, and children for whom you are the court-appointed legal guardian provided they are living with you. Full-time members of the armed forces of any country, regardless of age, are not included in the definition of an eligible child.
Disabled children older than age 26, who are continuously incapable of self-sustaining employment because of developmental, intellectual, or physical handicap and are dependent on the member for support, are also eligible for dependent coverage. However, the member must provide proof that their child is handicapped and be approved by Standard Insurance Company for continued coverage. (They may request a Continued Dependent Life Insurance for a Disabled Child form from a MOSERS benefit counselor.)
Q: Can they enroll in the Optional Life Insurance Plan if they currently not enrolled?
A: If they have a family status change (includes marriage, divorce or legal separation; birth of a child; adoption of a child; or death of a spouse or child), they may be eligible to apply for up to $30,000 of optional life insurance coverage, in $10,000 increments, for themselves without proving insurability. Those previously denied coverage or already carrying the maximum coverage are not eligible. They must complete an Enrollment/Change - Optional Life Insurance form within 31 days of the event and submit proof of family status change. Otherwise, to enroll in the Optional Life Insurance Plan, they will need to submit the online Medical History Statement along with the Enrollment/Change - Optional Life Insurance form and be approved by Standard Insurance Company.
Q: Can they increase their optional life insurance coverage by MORE than $20,000 if they don’t have a family status change as described above
A: As a MOSERS member, they may increase coverage on themselves at any time, but they must prove insurability. To do so, they must complete and submit the following forms by logging in to myMOSERS :
- Standard Medical History Statement
- Enrollment/Change - Optional Life Insurance
Employees Terminating On Their Retirement DateSep 16, 2020, 12:50 PM By MOSERS
Please note that MOSERS retirement benefits are only payable as monthly installments. A member may not be counted as an employee AND receive a retirement benefit within the same month. Employees who are retiring typically terminate their employment at the end of a month, so that they may be classified as a retiree at the start of the next month. Occasionally, an employee may confuse this scenario and work on the first day of the month that is their intended retirement date. When this happens, the employee may NOT retire until the following month.
For Example: If an employee plans to retire on October 1 but is still an employee for ANY time in October, they will NOT be permitted to retire until at least November 1.
To ensure smooth transitions for your outgoing staff, please pay special attention to your employees who are eligible for retirement and plan to leave employment on the first day of any month. It may be helpful to explain that their last day of employment and first day of retirement will always be two separate dates.
You may contact MOSERS to confirm if an employee has applied for retirement. If you discover an employee who plans to work on the same date their retirement becomes effective, please advise them of the conflict or direct them to contact MOSERS for more information.
Benefits U ConferenceSep 16, 2020, 12:43 PM By MOSERS
As a reminder, the Benefits U Conference for state HR representatives and payroll clerks, is only being held in odd years. The next conference is scheduled for the fall of 2021. It is undetermined if that conference will be held in-person, virtual, or both. We will update you as plans develop for next year. If you have questions about the MCHCP health insurance plans for 2021, please contact them directly. Thank you!
From the Education DeskSep 16, 2020, 12:03 PM By MOSERS
University Ready to Retire Webinars – MSEP & MSEP 2000
The University Ready to Retire (Pre-Retirement) seminars for FALL 2020 have transitioned into online webinars due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. These part-day sessions are designed for higher education institution employees who are within 5 years of retirement eligibility and are either MSEP or MSEP 2000 members. University faculty and staff can enroll by logging in to their myMOSERS.
Ready to Retire Webinars – MSEP 2011
We have two 2011 Ready to Retire (PreRetirement) sessions left on the schedule this year. These sessions are designed for general state employees who are within 5 years of retirement eligibility and are MSEP 2011 members. The September 29 webinar will continue as scheduled and the October 20 in-person seminar will be transitioned to a webinar due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Please advise your employees that both webinars are open for registration at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/8209038878405080065.
NOTE: Members of MSEP 2011 include those employed in a benefit-eligible position for the first time on or after January 1, 2011, or who elected a buyout and returned to state employment.
NEW Ready to Retire (PreRetirement) Webinars – MSEP & MSEP 2000
We have added three NEW Ready to Retire (PreRetirement) webinars to our 2020 schedule. These full-day sessions are for general state employees who are within 5 years of retirement eligibility are either MSEP or MSEP 2000 members. If you or your employees haven’t had a chance to attend one of the sessions, this is a great opportunity and registration is now open!
- October 16
- November 13 (closed captioning)
- December 18
- 8:30 – 12:00 – MOSERS (includes breaks)
- 12:00 – 12:30 – Lunch Break
- 12:30 – 1:20 – MO Deferred Comp (MODC)
- 1:30 – 2:20 – Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan (MCHCP)
- 2:30 – 3:20 – Social Security Administration (SSA)
- 3:20 – 3:30 – Final Wrap-up
- Sign up at Go To Webinar – Ready to Retire Webinars.
- Select the date (from the dropdown) you wish to attend.
- Complete the information requested. Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email with the opportunity to add the date to your calendar along with reminder emails closer to the date of the session.
- If they register 15 days prior to the webinar date, attendees will receive a packet in the mail containing handouts for the session along with an individualized benefit estimate.
- If they register within 15 days of the webinar date, attendees will be able to download the handouts during the webinar and are encouraged to generate a benefit estimate online.
MOSERS’ DROP-BOXSep 16, 2020, 12:01 PM By MOSERS
Have you heard about our new Drop-Box?
This is a great alternative option for members who live locally and would prefer to deliver their forms and documents, rather than mailing them. The secure drop-box is located at the front of our building and is checked daily by staff. Please advise your employees that this is NOT a drive-up box. They will need to park and walk up to it. For more information please see our website.
Recently Updated ResourcesSep 16, 2020, 11:02 AM By MOSERS
The Standard – Benefits at a Glance for MOSERS Members – September 2020
Total Compensation Calculator – August 2020 (now enter bi-monthly pay instead of monthly pay)
New Employee Orientation – Life Insurance & Long-term Disability Benefits video – July 2020
Travel Assistance Flyer – July 2020
Travel Assistance Overview – July 2020
Examples of Impact of Reduced Salary on Benefits – June 2020
Impact of a Layoff on MOSERS Benefits – June 2020
For more information please visit MOSERS' Online Library: https://www.mosers.org/library
Important Salary Verification Report InformationAug 13, 2020, 1:55 PM By MOSERS
If you are responsible for working the Annual Salary Verification Report, please note the report is now available online in the secure portion of MOSERS' employer website. Please click on the Employer Login section of the site and use your Social Security number and password to log in.
Once you are logged in, click the Error Reports heading, and then the Salary Verification Report heading. Names of individuals responsible for working the Salary Verification Report will appear. You may view any or all portions of the report by clicking on the appropriate name or department. You will then be able to submit your responses to MOSERS electronically.
The Salary Verification Report is used to update the member's life insurance coverage amounts and optional life insurance premiums for January of each calendar year. MOSERS has used SAM II base salary plus shift differential information from July payroll to update basic and optional life insurance amounts for most state employees. Manual salary verification is still needed for hourly and intermittent employees, employees on leave, those with multiple state positions, and anyone who is not in SAM II. Do not include second appointment salaries for employees in multiple state positions.
Please provide the requested information by September 6th. It is critical that we promptly receive this information to provide correct information for employees this fall. If you have any questions, please contact Thania at (573) 644-1290 or email: email@example.com. You can also watch a video tutorial on how to work the Salary Verification Report.
Invalid Address ReportAug 13, 2020, 1:54 PM By MOSERS
Preparing MOSERS Annual Life Insurance Review
MOSERS is making final preparations for our Annual Optional Term Life Insurance Review, which will occur during the month of October. MOSERS does not send mail to members who have an invalid address on file in our system. It is important that we have correct mailing addresses on file for all benefit-eligible employees. Please sign in to the secure portion of the MOSERS employer website and select the MOSERS Invalid Address report. Submit any necessary changes as soon as possible so that eligible employees will receive their review forms at the proper mailing address.
Furlough & Unpaid LeaveAug 13, 2020, 1:53 PM By MOSERS
In the June 2020 HR Update, we discussed the impact of a layoff of an employee (position eliminated due to shortage of funds, etc.) on MOSERS benefits. We have recently received several questions concerning the impact of furlough days on an employee’s retirement.
– Furlough days are treated as an approved leave that is not illness-related. Pension benefits may be impacted as described below.
A Furlough of One FULL Pay Period or MORE
– If a furlough period lasts one or more full pay periods, an employer should submit a Leave of Absence/Back to Work form indicating the approved leave to MOSERS. Upon an employee’s return to work, an employer should submit a new Leave of Absence/Back to Work form to MOSERS.
- An employee does not earn service or salary credit during a furlough period that is one FULL pay period or longer.
- This could result in lower credited service towards retirement.
- It could also delay when the employee becomes eligible for retirement.
- During the furlough period, the employee is responsible for paying any premiums due for life insurance and/or long-term disability coverage directly to MOSERS to continue coverage. MOSERS will work with the employee to arrange the direct bill process. Upon an employee’s return to work, premiums will revert to being paid via payroll.
A Furlough of LESS than One Pay Period
– If a furlough period lasts less than one pay period, an employer should not submit a leave of absence form to MOSERS.
- An employee does earn service credit and salary credit during a furlough period that lasts less than one pay period.
- An employee does earn salary credit during a furlough period, but the salary credit is based on actual pay during the period. As a result, if the employee receives a reduced salary, this could result in a lower final average pay (FAP) if the leave occurs during the employee’s highest 36 consecutive months of pay.
- A lower FAP will reduce the employee’s retirement benefit.
Please inform your employees of the difference in these scenarios if you are providing options concerning furlough days.
Virtual Counseling Sessions Now AvailableAug 13, 2020, 1:44 PM By MOSERS
Please inform your employees that although our office remains closed to the public, MOSERS is now offering Virtual Benefit Counseling. This virtual counseling option, delivered through the GoToMeeting app, will make it easier to connect one-on-one with a benefit counselor to obtain benefit estimates and information about all of their MOSERS benefits. Not to mention, it’s all done from the privacy of their home.
Please inform employees to contact us to speak with a benefit counselor by phone or to make a virtual counseling appointment. They will receive an email confirmation of their scheduled appointment followed by another email closer to the date, with instructions on how to attend the virtual meeting.
From the Education DeskAug 13, 2020, 1:44 PM By MOSERS
We have two Mid-Career Webinars left for this year. Webinars include speakers from both MOSERS and MO Deferred Comp and provide information on pension plans, how career and life events may affect pension benefits, and personal retirement savings plan options. They are designed for employees who are vested and are ten or more years from retirement eligibility, but all state employees and human resource representatives are welcome to attend. Please encourage your staff to attend and to register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/2533457713669314818.
Special Request Webinars
Many agencies and departments are becoming more comfortable with the online environment and we are too! If you would like for MOSERS to present to your employees online, please contact us at Education@mosers.org. We would be happy to set up a date and time for a special online webinar for your employees on any of these topics:
- New Employee Orientation (NEO-XP) – designed for employees who have approximately six months of service but less than 5 years (not yet vested) – length 45 min to 1 hour.
- MOSERS & You (Overview of Plans) – designed for all general state employees who wish to learn more about the pension plans and which plan they are in – length 45 min to 1 hour.
- MOSERS & You (Nearing Retirement) – designed for general state employees who are starting to think about retirement and wondering what type of decisions they will need to make – length 45 min to 1 hour.
If you have another topic in mind, please let us know!
COMING SOON - OPEN Ready to Retire (PreRetirement) Webinars
MOSERS will be adding three new Ready to Retire (PreRetirement) Webinars this fall and they will be OPEN for anyone to register. We will be sending email invites to those employees who are within two years of retirement eligibility but anyone is welcome to attend. Watch for more information coming soon!
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