HR Update

HR Update is a way for MOSERS to communicate benefit news and updates with human resource and payroll representatives. Check back often and sign up to receive our emails. 

  • Furlough & Unpaid Leave

    Aug 4, 2020, 2:03 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.

    Impact:

    • 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.

    Impact:

    • 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.

    If you have further questions, please contact Juanita Libbert juanita@mosers.org, Cindy Barbarick cindyb@mosers.org, or Shelley Lehmann shelleyl@mosers.org.


  • Travel Assistance Mobile App

    Jul 15, 2020, 11:11 AM By MOSERS

    The Standard has created an easy-to-use mobile app for Travel Assistance. This app lets members access a wide range of global emergency assistance services. This is replacing the previous Wallet Card.

    Mobile App Features:

    • Tap for Help. Use one-touch calling to reach Assist America's 24/7 Operations Center.
    • Voice over Internet Protocols (VoIP). Avoid international phone charges by calling Assist America for free using a Wi-Fi connection.
    • Pre-Trip Information. Access detailed country-specific information to prepare for your trip.
    • Travel Alerts. Receive alerts on urgent global situations that may impact travel.
    • Travel Status Indicator. Use the GPS feature to know when you're eligible for services.
    • Embassy & U.S. Pharmacy Locator. Locate the nearest embassy/consulate of 23 countries and pharmacies near you (U.S. pharmacies only).
    • Mobile ID Card. Your Assist America ID card is conveniently stored within the app.
    • Available in Seven Languages. The app is available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin, Thai, Bahasa, and French.

    Please encourage your employees to download the app following the simple steps below.

    1) Visiting Google Play or the App Store

    2) Find the Assist America Mobile App

    3) Enter reference number 01-AA-STD-5201 and member name

    To learn more, see the Travel Assistance Flyer and Service Overview located in our online Library.


  • Unused Sick and Annual leave

    Jul 15, 2020, 11:10 AM By MOSERS

    We understand that there is often confusion regarding unused leave upon retirement. This is a common concern so we have provided a quick overview below that you can reference when asked by employees.

    Unused Annual Leave:

    Did you know?

    • The amount of your unused annual leave/vacation has no impact on your MOSERS pension benefits.
    • Your employer should pay you for at least some of your unused annual leave. The amount of annual leave that you may get paid for is determined by your agency or university, not by MOSERS.
    • Your agency or university may have a limit on how much they will pay out. Limits may vary from one agency or university to another. Check your employee policies for details well in advance of your retirement date.

    Unused Sick Leave:

    Did you know?

    • Your monthly pension benefit from MOSERS will be based on your final average pay and your credited service. This can include unused sick leave.
    • Each block of 168 hours of unused sick leave is converted into one month of service credit to be used in your pension benefit calculation. (There is no partial credit; any amount less than 168 hours will be equal to zero additional months of credited service.)
    • Unused sick leave does not count as service in determining retirement eligibility but it can increase your benefit amount once you have become eligible for retirement.
    • If you use sick leave near your retirement date, it may affect previous benefit estimates you have received.
    • If you are eligible for BackDROP and elect to take it, you will receive credit for unused sick leave accrued during your BackDROP period.

  • PreRetirement Seminars Go Online for the Remainder of 2020

    Jul 15, 2020, 11:10 AM By MOSERS

    We are transitioning MOSERS PreRetirement Seminars into online webinars for the rest of this year. This is due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Starting in August, we will consolidate the number of webinars offered in order to add open webinars this fall (more to come).

    If an employee registered to attend an in-person seminar, they will receive an email invitation with instructions to join an online webinar. The webinar will occur during the same week they were originally scheduled to attend an in-person seminar. We will also send a packet to them in the mail containing several resources. This will include a benefit estimate based on the information they provided when they first registered.

    The general breakdown for the daytime webinars will be:  

    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).

    Evening sessions with MOSERS information only will be available on August 12 and September 10. A closed-captioning session will be available on September 15.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding while we navigate this situation. 


  • Reminder: Benefit-Eligible Positions

    Jul 15, 2020, 11:10 AM By MOSERS
    We get questions about benefits eligibility, especially related to the reemployment of retirees. See the Benefit Eligibility page on our website for information but remember, 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.

  • Recently Updated Resources

    Jul 15, 2020, 11:10 AM By MOSERS

  • Questions Regarding Furloughs and Layoffs

    Jun 17, 2020, 2:54 PM By MOSERS

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have received questions from members about the possibility of state employee layoffs and furloughs and how it could affect their benefits. 

    We encourage you to remind your employees that the impact of a salary reduction or furlough/layoff without pay on retirement benefits depends on the employee’s individual pay history and their service credit relative to retirement eligibility.

    FAP refers to final average pay and it is one part of the 3-part formula used in calculating retirement benefits:

    FAP x Multiplier x Credited Service = Monthly pension benefit payment

    FAP is calculated from the employee’s highest 36-consecutive months of pay, not necessarily their last 36 months of pay. See some FAP calculation examples that illustrate the impact of a salary reduction or a furlough/layoff without pay on FAP and monthly pension benefits. A furlough/layoff without pay may also delay eligibility for retirement since the employee would not be earning service credit.

    Departments and benefit providers may use different terms. However, for MOSERS' purposes, a "layoff" occurs when a department lays off an employee by reason of a shortage of work or funds, the abolition of the position, or other material change in the duties or the organization, or for other related reasons, which are outside the employee's control.

    • This definition is intended to include any instance where the employer eliminates a position due to the above reasons, regardless of the term (i.e. layoff, furlough, reduction in workforce, etc., which are all considered a leave of absence).
    • Employers should submit a leave of absence form to MOSERS indicating layoff status.
    • An employee does not earn service or salary credit during a layoff period. However, an employee in their BackDROP period can continue to work toward BackDROP eligibility while on an approved leave of absence.
    • After twelve months on layoff status, the employee is automatically terminated and MOSERS group life and long-term disability insurance coverage ends.

     As always, please encourage employees to contact a MOSERS benefit counselor to discuss their individual situation and options and to see our PDF on the Impact of a Layoff on Your MOSERS Benefit for more information.


  • Employer Contributions Reminder

    Jun 17, 2020, 9:34 AM By MOSERS

    The FY21 employer contribution rate for pensions will begin on July 1, 2020. Please remind payroll staff to update their systems to reflect the MOSERS contribution rate change effective July 1. For more information, please see our Contribution Rates page.


  • Reminder for Mid-Career Webinars!

    Jun 17, 2020, 9:34 AM By MOSERS

    Please remind employees that if they have at least five years of service (vested) and are more than ten years from their first normal retirement eligibility date, now is a great time to attend a Mid-Career Webinar! They can join us to learn about the employee benefits administered by MOSERS, including pension plan features, how different career and life events may affect their pension benefit, and about their retirement savings plan options with MO Deferred Comp.

    Remaining webinars for 2020 are scheduled for July 23, September 23, and November 5. The webinar is from 9:30 am until 11:00 am and will be followed by an open Q & A session until 11:15 am. Please remind employees to select the date of the webinar they wish to attend and provide all information requested during the registration process. Confirmation and reminder emails will be sent to the email address provided during the registration process. 

    Register today at https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/2533457713669314818!


  • PreRetirement Seminars Changed to Webinars!

    Jun 17, 2020, 9:34 AM By MOSERS

    We are continuing to transition our in-person seminars to webinars. If you or your employees are registered to attend an in-person seminar in June or July, be sure to check your email for instructions to register for the live online version!

    Our interactive webinars allow members to ask questions and directly communicate with educators. Closed captioning will be available during the June 24 session and we are offering an evening session on July 22. If you are interested in attending either of these sessions, please send an email to Education@mosers.org or call (800) 827-1063 for more information.

    The safety of our members is a top priority. We will continue to evaluate future PreRetirement seminars and give updates to our members. Follow our website for more information.


  • Using the Online SEBES Card

    Jun 17, 2020, 9:33 AM By MOSERS

    In July 2017, the SEBES workgroup introduced the online SEBES Card. There are several advantages to the online card compared to the old generic card that HR previously had to print and fill in by hand:

    • The online card is personalized to the member. It will show only the benefit providers that apply to that member.
    • The deadline to enroll for benefits is printed on the card.
    • The employee’s email address where enrollment and notification info will be sent is printed on the card.
    • If the employee can start medical, dental, and vision insurance sooner, the deadline to do so is shown, too.
    • The online SEBES card can be printed as a PDF, saved, and emailed to the employee. This may be handy if the HR person is working from home.

    Each of the above features is circled in green or red on this sample SEBES Card.


  • Annual Benefit Statements

    Jun 17, 2020, 9:33 AM By MOSERS

    Please remind employees that all Annual Benefit Statements for active members are now available online. We apologize for the delay. Due to COVID-19, we had postponed sending out statements to some members until May. Members can access their Annual Benefit Statement today by logging in to myMOSERS. Click on Online Documents then on Document Express


  • Recently Updated Resources

    Jun 17, 2020, 9:33 AM By MOSERS

  • PreRetirement Seminar REMINDER!

    May 14, 2020, 12:13 PM By MOSERS

    Please remind employees that if they are registered to attend an in-person seminar in May or June, be sure to check their email for instructions on how to register for the live online version! Our interactive webinars allow members to ask questions and directly communicate with educators. Closed captioning will be available on certain sessions. If they are interested in attending a session with closed captioning, please advise them to send an email to Education@mosers.org or call (800) 827-1063 for more information. 

    The safety of our members is a top priority. We will continue to evaluate future PreRetirement seminars and give updates to our members. Follow our website for more information.


  • We Appreciate You!

    May 14, 2020, 12:09 PM By MOSERS

    May 3-9 was Public Service Recognition Week. We would like to personally thank all of the HR representatives for their hard work and dedication. As a liaison between MOSERS and our members, we sincerely appreciate your diligence and efforts to educate your staff on the benefits we offer. You make a difference in people’s lives every single day. THANK YOU!


  • MOSERS Office Buildings Remain Closed to Visitors

    May 14, 2020, 12:06 PM By MOSERS

    Please advise employees that MOSERS staff members are still available by phone and email to answer any questions they may have about MOSERS benefits.

    While we are transitioning from most of our staff working from home to them returning to the office in several waves, the office buildings remain closed to visitors to protect the health of members and staff.

    Please watch the COVID-19 page of our website for regular updates.


  • SPAM ALERT!

    May 14, 2020, 12:04 PM By MOSERS

    There has recently been a circulation of fishy emails that we believe may target some of our members. If you or any of your employees receive an email from an organization titled Public Employee, (Civil Employee) Retirement Assistance, or Pensionrx with a subject line mentioning MOSERS, please be aware that we are NOT affiliated with this organization. They may ask you to schedule an appointment to discuss your MOSERS benefits. Please advise your employees to contact MOSERS directly.


  • Word on the Street: Early Retirement Incentive

    May 14, 2020, 11:52 AM By MOSERS

    True or False: There is currently an early retirement Incentive.

    FALSE!

    An early retirement incentive and/or another buyout would require legislative authorization. We are not aware of any legislative proposals that have been offered at this time to provide either for general state employees. You can follow any bills affecting MOSERS on our Legislation page. May 15, 2020, is the last day of the current legislative session.


  • Recently Updated Resources

    May 14, 2020, 11:01 AM By MOSERS

  • MOSERS' PreRetirement Seminars

    Apr 17, 2020, 12:52 PM By MOSERS

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to transition ALL May PreRetirement Seminars to Webinars. Please watch our website for updates and remind employees to check their emails if they have already registered for a seminar. Additionally, we have made the difficult decision to cancel ALL Coffee Break seminars for retirees for the remainder of 2020. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as our scheduling changes due to the pandemic.

    *Note that the May 14th Webinar has now been moved to May 15th.


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