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  • Temporary Benefit and BackDROP

    Aug 10, 2020, 5:48 PM By MOSERS

    Next year I'll be five years into my backdrop. I'm hearing that if you work past that you'll actually lose money. True? What's the particular significance of the five-year milestone? Thank you!

    The amount of a BackDROP lump sum could decrease if you were eligible to retire before age 62 but worked beyond age 62 and retired under MSEP 2000. This is due to a provision in MSEP 2000 called the Temporary Benefit. The Temporary Benefit is an amount paid to you in addition to your Base Benefit but the Temporary Benefit ends at age 62. The 5-year milestone significance is that it is the longest BackDROP period allowed by the state statutes.

    Since your BackDROP lump-sum amount is 90% of what you would have received if you had been retired during the BackDROP period, it can max out at age 62 under the MSEP 2000 and begin decreasing if you work beyond age 62 (and retire under MSEP 2000).

    The Temporary Benefit is not available to those who retire under MSEP, so your MSEP BackDROP lump-sum amount will not decrease if your work beyond age 62 and retire under MSEP.

    You are not required to take BackDROP, regardless of how long you work beyond normal retirement eligibility, and you don’t have to notify MOSERS of any decisions about BackDROP until you retire.

    The BackDROP is simply a benefit payment option that is available to eligible members. Members who are or may become eligible for BackDROP are encouraged to attend a Ready to Retire/PreRetirement Planning Seminar and/or contact a MOSERS benefit counselor to make an appointment for further explanation.

    *BackDROP is available only to general state employees who are members of MSEP & MSEP 2000 and who work at least two years beyond normal retirement eligibility

    I would encourage you to utilize our Comparison Calculator to look at different scenarios. Additionally, our benefit counselors would be happy to provide you with a more in-depth explanation of BackDROP, your options, and various benefit estimates under different scenarios. Contact us to schedule an appointment or virtual counseling session.

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  • Virtual Benefit Counseling

    Aug 7, 2020, 3:35 PM By MOSERS
    My friend found it very beneficial to meet with a MOSERS representative before she retired. I trying to decide when to retire and which plan to use. Are you still making in-person appointments? Can an appointment be done in zoom?
    Yes, we offer online counseling sessions. Check out our article on how to schedule a Virtual Benefit Counseling session! 
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  • Early Retirement Incentives

    Jul 28, 2020, 9:23 AM By MOSERS
    I plan on retiring first of the year. If the legislature meets in January and approves an incentive to get state employees to take early retirement, would I just miss out or would any offers customarily be retroactive to the start of the legislative session - January?

    As you are aware, a retirement incentive would require legislative authorization. The specific provisions of any such proposed legislation would determine timeframes and who would be eligible. We are not aware of any such proposals. You can follow any bills affecting MOSERS on our Legislation page. 

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  • Resume Waived Benefits

    Jul 27, 2020, 3:46 PM By MOSERS
    I took early retirement a couple of years ago. Can I stop my retirement now and resume at full retirement age?

    A retired member may waive receipt of their benefits. Once the benefit is waived, it can be resumed at any time, however, the calculation of the benefit will not change. Any reductions (such as a reduction due to early retirement) will remain in force once the benefit resumes. If a member retires and returns to work in a benefit-eligible* position, their monthly retirement payment will stop as soon as we are notified that they are re-employed. Once they have worked for at least 12 continuous months in their new benefit-eligible position, they will begin accruing a separate retirement benefit. Once they re-retire, their previous benefit will restart and their new benefit (based on their new service and salary) will be calculated and their benefit payments (old benefit plus new benefit) will resume. 

    We encourage you to contact one of our benefit counselors to fully explore the circumstances applicable to stopping and restarting retirement benefits.

    Call Center Hours

    Monday - Friday
    8:00 am - 12:00 pm
    1:00 pm - 4:30 pm

    Contact Us

    (800) 827-1063 toll-free
    (573) 632-6100 in Jefferson City
    (573) 632-6103 fax

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  • Refund of Contributions for Beneficiaries

    Jul 21, 2020, 3:39 PM By MOSERS
    I’m a member of the MSEP 2011 retirement plan. As required, I have paid in 4% for almost nine years of service to the state totaling in excess of $10,000. I am currently a retiree as of 2020 and I’m receiving a pension. If I die before I’ve received at least $10,000 of my 4% contributions through the pension plan are my beneficiaries eligible for a refund?
    Thank you.

    Yes. You or your beneficiary or a survivor will receive, at minimum, benefit payments or a refund in an amount equal to what you contributed and any interest credited thereon, less any benefits received. 

    For example, let’s assume the following (numbers rounded for simplicity):

    • Your member contributions plus interest (earned on your contributions while you were actively employed) equaled $10,000.
    • You retired and you receive a monthly benefit of $800 per month.
    • During the 10th month, unfortunately, you pass away.
    • We will pay your final benefit payment at the end of the month in which you die to the person or entity you designated to receive your final benefit payment. At this point, MOSERS would have paid $8,000 in benefits.
    • If you elected a benefit payment option on your Election Form resulting in a spouse or someone else becoming eligible to receive a benefit based on your service, MOSERS would begin payments to that person, according to the election you made.
    • If you elected the Life Income Annuity, which has no ongoing survivor benefits, then the person or entity you designated to receive a refund of your member contributions would receive the balance of $2,000.
    • If you died without designating a beneficiary, we would pay the refund in the following order to your:
      • Surviving spouse (to whom you were married at the time of death)
      • Surviving children (divided equally)
      • Surviving parents (divided equally)
      • Surviving brothers and sisters (divided equally)

    If there are no eligible family members, your final benefit payment will be paid as otherwise permitted by law.

    You can log in to myMOSERS to check and/or update your Final Payment Beneficiary and/or Contribution Beneficiaries under Forms from your Member Homepage. Feel free to contact MOSERS with any questions for additional assistance. 

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  • Rule of 80

    Jul 21, 2020, 2:00 PM By MOSERS
    Since I am in backdrop currently, I am very curious about the possibility of 70 and out and the medical premium being paid for or reduce to entice early retirement. Is there any basis to these rumors. It would save the State a lot of money long tern and make some seasoned employees retire early. Do we know anything but a rumor?

    No, we are not aware of any legislative proposals related to these rumors. MOSERS administers retirement benefits but we do not have the authority to change plan provisions. Any retirement incentive, such as paying retiree medical insurance or changing retirement eligibility rules, would require legislative authorization. There were no retirement incentives that passed during the recent legislative session, which ended May 15. Any time the Missouri General Assembly is in session, you can follow any bills affecting MOSERS on our Legislation page. If the Governor were to call a special session of the General Assembly having to do with the state employee benefits that we administer, we will post that information on our website. Otherwise, the General Assembly will meet again in January 2021. 

    RETIREMENT ELIGIBLILITY  REQUIREMENTS

    MSEP Members

    • Age 65 + 5 years of service
    • Age 60 + 15 years of service
    • “Rule of 80” – (at least age 48) when age + years of service = 80 or more

    MSEP 2000 Members

    • Age 62 + 5 years of service
    • “Rule of 80” – (at least age 48) when age + years of service = 80 or more

    MSEP 2011 Members

    • Age 67 + 5 years of service
    • “Rule of 90” – (at least age 55) when age + years of service = 90 or more at time of termination
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  • HB 1467

    Jul 17, 2020, 3:48 PM By MOSERS
    What impact, if any, does HB 1467 have on employees that are still on the old plan and do not have to contribute to their retirement fund. Thank you.

    HB 1467 has NO impact on employee contributions to MOSERS.

    As it relates to employee contributions, this bill affects members of the Missouri Local Government Employees’ Retirement System (LAGERS), NOT state employees.

    (House Bill 1467, which the Governor signed on July 13, extends LAGERS employers' options for the employee contribution election from the current 0% or 4% employee contribution to a 0%, 2%, 4%, or 6% employee contribution election.)

    Currently, members of MSEP 2011 and the Judicial Plan 2011 contribute 4% of their pay toward their future retirement benefit with MOSERS. We are not aware of any proposals to require other state employees (members of MSEP and MSEP 2000) to contribute.

    See our Legislation page for more information and to follow any bills affecting MOSERS.

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  • Emergency Withdrawals Due to COVID-19

    Jul 17, 2020, 10:03 AM By MOSERS
    Question about early access to retirement funds base on emergence COVIN-19 policy.

    You cannot access your pension from MOSERS until you are eligible for retirement. However, if you have money in the MO Deferred Comp 457 retirement savings plan, in-service withdrawals from your account are permitted under the following circumstances; you experience a qualifying, unforeseeable emergency that causes extreme financial hardship, or if your account balance is $5,000 or less – you may elect a one-time, in-service distribution provided you have not made a contribution during the prior two-year period. Please visit https://www.modeferredcomp.org for more information or, if you have any questions, please call (800) 392-0925.

    The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides a new in-service distribution type from a plan or IRA called a “coronavirus-related distribution” (CRD). To be eligible for CRD treatment, the distribution must be made to an individual who is diagnosed with the disease, has a spouse or dependent who is diagnosed, or has experienced adverse financial consequences as a result of the disease. Employees may self-certify eligibility. More info on the CARES act, qualifications and provisions can be found here: https://www.modeferredcomp.org/news/2020-caresact.html

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  • Employee Contributions

    Jul 16, 2020, 10:31 AM By MOSERS

    Is there a bill pending that could require all eligible state employees to contribute to the state retirement fund?

    No. Currently, members of MSEP 2011 and the Judicial Plan 2011 contribute 4% of their pay toward their future retirement benefit. We are not aware of any proposed legislation to require other state employees (members of MSEP and MSEP 2000) to contribute. See our Legislation page for more information and to follow any bills affecting MOSERS. 

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  • Divorce and Your Pension Benefits

    Jul 15, 2020, 9:54 AM By MOSERS

     I’m divorcing after 40 years

    We encourage you to review our Divorce and Your Pension Benefits Brochure, in addition to visiting our Life Events web page for more information.

    Please note that to update your beneficiary designations if you get divorced, log in to  myMOSERS:

    • Complete and submit the Designation/Change of Beneficiaries form for basic and optional life insurance.
    • If you are a member of the MSEP 2011 or the Judicial Plan 2011, complete and submit the Contribution Beneficiaries form for your employee contributions.

    If you get divorced, you may be eligible to increase your optional life insurance without proving insurability. Log in to myMOSERS; to complete and submit the Enrollment/Change Optional Life Insurance form.

    Please don’t hesitate to contact a MOSERS benefit counselor who can assist you with any further questions.

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Disclaimer

We strive to provide the most accurate information possible in our answers to Rumor Central questions. However, occasionally, laws, policies or provisions change and individual circumstances may vary. Please contact a MOSERS benefit counselor or see the handbooks in our website Library for more detailed information. If there is any difference between the information provided in this blog or on the MOSERS website and the law or policies that govern MOSERS, the law and policies will prevail. See our Privacy, Security & Legal Notices for more information.