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Rumor Central

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  • The 2021 COLA Rate

    Jan 27, 2021, 1:34 PM By MOSERS
    When are we going to know what the cola rate going to be for 2021 ??  

    The COLA rate for 2021 is 0.987%. We calculate it every year in mid-January. This COLA rate applies to: 

    • All retired members of MSEP 2000 and MSEP 2011
    • MSEP retirees who have reached their 65% COLA cap
    • MSEP retirees first employed on or after August 28, 1997

    If you were employed before August 28, 1997, and retired under the MSEP, you will get a COLA of at least 4% each year (maximum 5%) until you reach your COLA cap. You reach the COLA cap when the sum of your COLAs equals 65% of your initial base benefit amount. After reaching your COLA cap, your annual COLA will be equal to 80% of the percentage increase in the average Consumer Price Index (CPI) from one year to the next, which, as noted above, is 0.987% for 2021.

    The purpose of a COLA for any type of pay or retirement benefit is to help you cope with inflation. COLAs help you maintain your purchasing power as inflation increases the cost of various items you buy. See the article, The 2021 COLA is Here, and the COLA page on our website for more information. 

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  • 70 & Out Rumor

    Jan 21, 2021, 4:42 PM By MOSERS
    I continue to hear rumors about a proposal for "70 and out" retirement.  Is there any validity to this?  And how would it affect someone who was separated from employment but had not yet filed for retirement?  Thank you.

    No, we are not aware of any legislative proposals related to a “70 and out” retirement. MOSERS administers retirement benefits but we do not have the authority to change plan provisions. Any change to the Rule of 80/”80 & Out” (or any other state employee pension provisions) would require a change in the law. Anytime the Missouri General Assembly is in session, you can follow any bills affecting MOSERS on our Legislation page.

    RETIREMENT ELIGIBILITY  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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  • Understanding Available Retirement Dates

    Jan 20, 2021, 9:32 AM By MOSERS

    I am in a MOSERS eligible position actively employed. When I do my retirement calculator to analyze my options, the retirement dates "default" to the next month. Out of curiosity, why does this occur? Thanks for providing the opportunity to ask and appreciate any input you may be able to provide.

    When you log in to myMOSERS to generate a benefit estimate or to retire online, our system will display your “Next Available Retirement Date(s)”. This may be a future date, even if you were already eligible for retirement. This is because there is a deadline for getting your retirement application in. If you don’t submit an application by the deadline for a given month, the system automatically rolls forward to your NEXT available retirement date.

    For example, if you were initially eligible to retire on January 1 but didn’t apply, then you logged in to myMOSERS, in February, you would see a retirement date of April 1. Again, the reason for this is to retire on April 1, you need to apply by February 28. See the chart showing deadlines on our Ready to Retire page. You may apply for retirement up to 120 days prior to your retirement date. Please see the Retirement Guide or contact us if you have any questions about the retirement process. 

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  • Retiring Online

    Jan 15, 2021, 2:29 PM By MOSERS
    I need to fill out a Retirement application form.  How do I do that?  I read that there is no form, that each on is individualized.  So, where do I begin?  Thank you!

    The easiest and most convenient way to apply for retirement is online. Complete both steps in the two-step retirement process all at once or leave and come back later. Log in to myMOSERS. From there, select Retire Online. The step-by-step instructions will guide you through the online retirement process. For more information, please see our quick video, Retire Online, or our Applying for Retirement web page.

    If you choose not to retire online, please contact a MOSERS benefit counselor to request a personalized paper Retirement Application.

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  • 1099-Rs are Coming Soon

    Jan 15, 2021, 10:24 AM By MOSERS
    i would like to know when i can possibly print out the 1099r for 2020 , when are they coming out 

    We will mail your 1099-R tax form to you by the end of January. After we have mailed it, it will also be available for you to view and print or save from your Document Express online mailbox after you log in to myMOSERS.

    This form lists your 2020 retirement benefit income from MOSERS. You will need this form to file your income tax return. If you receive more than one benefit from MOSERS, you may receive more than one 1099-R from us. For more information please see our latest news item regarding 1099-Rs.

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  • 2021 COLA

    Jan 13, 2021, 12:00 AM By MOSERS
    When will we know what the cola will be for 2021?

    We expect to have the data by this Friday and we will post it ASAP.

    COLAs are payable on the anniversary of your retirement date except for:

    • Retirees who converted from MSEP to MSEP 2000 during the conversion window in 2000 will have COLAs payable in July.
    • Retirees who elected a BackDROP will have COLAs payable on the anniversary of their BackDROP date.
    • Terminated-vested members of the MSEP 2011 will receive their first COLA on the second anniversary of their retirement (rather than the first anniversary).

    We will send you a notice, either in the mail or in your MOSERS Document Express online mailbox, during the month when you get your COLA.

    *If you retired under the MSEP, and were hired before August 28, 1997, your COLA may be different. See the MSEP/MSEP 2000 Handbook.

    Please see the COLA page on our website for additional information.

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  • Retirement Age and the Rule of 80

    Jan 11, 2021, 9:41 AM By MOSERS
    If an employee near retirement (within 5 years of 80 and out status) leaves state service, when will they be eligible to draw their retirement? Are they required to wait till 70 years of age?

    You do not have to wait until age 70 to retire. If you are vested when you leave state employment (five years of credited service for most members), you are eligible for a future pension benefit from MOSERS. Once you first meet retirement age and service requirements (see below) and complete the retirement process, you will receive monthly pension payments for your lifetime. Members are not required to have age and service equal 80  (or 90 for MSEP 2011) if they meet another set of age and service requirements firstFor example, if a member of MSEP left state employment at age 48 with 18 years of service, they would reach normal retirement under MSEP at age 60 or under MSEP 2000 at age 62. A member of MSEP 2011 would reach normal retirement age at 67. The “Rule of 80” (or “Rule of 90” in MSEP 2011) simply allows some members with a lot of service to reach normal retirement age sooner than they otherwise would. 

    Keep in mind that the longer you work, the higher your monthly pension payment will be. Leaving state employment prior to normal retirement would change the assumptions used and the projected benefit amounts on any previous benefit estimates you may have received because you would have less credited service than previously assumed. 

    If you have any other questions please contact a MOSERS benefit counselor.

    RETIREMENT ELIGIBILITY  REQUIREMENTS:

    MSEP Members

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

    MSEP 2000 Members

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

    MSEP 2011 Members

    • Age 67 + 5 years of service or
    • “Rule of 90” – (at least age 55) when age + years of service = 90 or more at time of termination
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  • Returning to Work - Separation of Service

    Dec 22, 2020, 11:50 AM By MOSERS
    I have a question regarding returning to a temporary, non-benefit position after retiring on 2/1/21 from my FT, benefit position here in my office. Is there any restriction that MOSERS has against this? I was told I had to wait 30 days after my retirement, but do not understand since this would not, in any way, affect my state retirement. I am under the MSEP 2000 plan and was never required to contribute the 4% that employees have to do now. Why can't I transfer to that position on 2/1/21?

    The IRS has specific rules around when a member of a qualified governmental pension plan may receive a retirement benefit. Specifically, the IRS requires an employee to have a bona fide termination with the employer before receiving a retirement benefit. MOSERS has conferred with its outside tax counsel and confirmed that without a separation from service, there can be federal tax penalties for both the member and MOSERS. At their November 19, 2020 meeting, the MOSERS Board of Trustees adopted new Board Rules on the termination of employment and reemployment of MOSERS retirees by any employers covered by MOSERS. The new Board Rules are designed to follow the IRS guidelines for separation of service and prevent such tax penalties from being levied against our retirees and the System.

    Before receiving a benefit payment from MOSERS, an employee must have a bona fide termination. For purposes of the MOSERS’ board rules, a "bona fide termination" occurs when:

    1. You have completely severed employment;
    2. You have not entered into a prearranged agreement, prior to retirement, with any employer for subsequent employment on any basis (full-time, part-time, or other); and
    3. You are not subsequently employed by any employer on any basis (full-time, part-time, or other) within 30 days after your employment with your prior employer has ended.

    For purposes of these rules “employer” means the State of Missouri or any other MOSERS-covered employer. See FAQs on Separation of Service for more information.

    While the IRS rules are currently in effect, MOSERS will administer its Board Rules prospectively (on a going-forward basis only) for retirees who submit a retirement application on or after January 1, 2021. MOSERS will not apply the rule retroactively.

    Upon meeting the separation-of-service rules, you may return to work and continue receiving your monthly pension payment, as long as your new position is not a MOSERS or MoDOT and Patrol Employees’ Retirement System (MPERS) benefit-eligible position. 

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  • MSEP vs. MSEP 2000

    Dec 16, 2020, 10:04 AM By MOSERS
    What is the difference between the MSEP and MSEP2000? What are the advantages of each one?  

    The MSEP and the MSEP 2000 have various differences including different multipliers in the formula used to calculate your monthly payment, different benefit payment options, different cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) provisions, and different retirement eligibility criteria. The Temporary Benefit is available in MSEP 2000 but not in MSEP. See the Summary of Pension Benefit Provisions (MSEP & MSEP 2000) for a side-by-side comparison of provisions.

    Benefit Payment Option

    • The MSEP provides “free” survivor benefits for your spouse (Unreduced Joint & 50% Survivor). “Free” means that your retirement benefit is not reduced to pay for the future survivor benefit.

    • There are no “free” survivor benefits under the MSEP 2000.

    • In most cases, the increase in the base benefit formula in the MSEP 2000 will partially, or more than, offset the effect of the difference in the payment option reduction factors between the two plans

    COLAs

    • You will receive a COLA each year for your lifetime regardless of which plan you elect (0-5%).

    • The maximum COLA rate for both plans is 5%.

    • If hired before August 28, 1997, the MSEP provides a minimum 4% COLA each year until the total increases equal 65% of your initial benefit. Generally speaking, you will receive 4% for approximately 12 years. After you reach the 65% COLA cap, the COLA rate will be equal to 80% of the percentage increase in the average Consumer Price Index (CPI) from the previous year.

    Temporary Benefit (MSEP 2000 only)

    • The temporary benefit could significantly increase your MSEP 2000 benefit. However, if you are older than 62 when you reach retirement eligibility, the temporary benefit has no value to you.

    • At age 62, the temporary benefit and any COLAs earned on that amount will stop.

    • The temporary benefit is not considered in determining potential benefits for your survivors. If you die while receiving the temporary benefit, any survivor benefits will be determined by the base benefit amount and the option elected

    We have a helpful Comparison Calculator on our website where you can compare the long-term impact of electing MSEP versus MSEP 2000, different BackDROP* periods under the different plans, and various other options. The Comparison Calculator videos are helpful in demonstrating how to use this tool. You can also contact a MOSERS benefit counselor to ask that they provide you with various benefit estimates and Comparison Calculator results.

    We also encourage you to attend a Ready to Retire webinar when you are within 5 years of eligibility. We will post the 2021 schedule to our website soon. This free webinar includes information on differences in the plans, benefit payment options, and BackDROP, among other topics.

    Please note that your defined benefit retirement plan through MOSERS includes a lifetime benefit for you, the member, regardless of the plan or payment option you elect at retirement.

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  • Annual Benefit Statement

    Nov 24, 2020, 4:01 PM By MOSERS
    I was wondering if MOSERS had some type of packet where we could put all of our MOSER info (retirement, deferred comp and life insurance) all in one packet so that if we die our family would know everything they need to get the benefits. 

    This is a great question! We would encourage you to see your Annual Benefit Statement, as it displays all of your current benefit information in one document.

    We send this annually in March to all active members but you can access it anytime by logging into myMOSERS. Here, it is available to print out or save as a PDF, which you can share with trusted loved ones or family members.

    Retirees get their Annual Benefit Statement each year on the anniversary of their retirement date or BackDROP date. We send benefit statements to vested former state employees once every 5 years. 

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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.