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Refund / Cash Out / Buyout – What’s the Difference?

Feb 14, 2020, 08:49 AM by MOSERS

Former Missouri state employees may be eligible to receive a distribution of their retirement benefits or employee contributions. But who’s eligible for what? The following guide breaks down the difference between the options.

Refund of Employee Contributions

What is it?

- Upon request, MOSERS will issue a refund of employee contributions plus any interest, if applicable to members of the MSEP 2011 or Judicial Plan 2011 who are not currently employed in a benefits-eligible position.

Who’s eligible?

- Former employees first employed in a MOSERS benefits-eligible position on or after January 1, 2011, are eligible if they:

  • Are not currently eligible for normal retirement.
  • Are not applying for long-term disability benefits through the MOSERS policy with The Standard Insurance Company.
  • Have submitted a completed Request for Refund of Contributions form.

For more information, please see our Employee Contributions brochure (2011 Plan)

Cash Out

What is it?

- The Cash Out provision allows certain vested members who left state employment prior to retirement to take the present value of their future retirement benefit in a lump sum, rather than a monthly benefit at retirement age.

Who’s eligible?

- Vested former members of MSEP who left state employment between 10/1/1984 and 9/1/2002 are eligible if they:

  • Have less than 10 years of creditable service.
  • Are not within five years of normal retirement eligibility
  • The present value of their future retirement benefit does not exceed $10,000. 

- Fewer than 500 terminated vested members are eligible.

For more information, terminated-vested members should contact a MOSERS benefit counselor and request a Cash Out Brochure and application.


    What is it?

    - The Buyout was a one-time program for certain eligible terminated-vested members. Senate Bill 62, passed in 2017, provided the MOSERS Board of Trustees with the authority to establish a buyout program for terminated-vested members. The Board’s authority to offer the program expired on May 31, 2018. (Note: This one-time buyout program was offered in two stages. The first buyout deadline was November 30, 2017. The second stage, known as the second chance buyout, was offered by the Board at the end of April 2018 with a deadline of May 31, 2018.) Any terminated-vested member who elected the lump-sum buyout and then returns to state employment will be considered a new employee and a member of the MSEP 2011.

    Who’s eligible?

    - Presently, no one is eligible for the Buyout program as the eligibility window has closed.