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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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  • Separation of Service

    Nov 24, 2020, 3:52 PM By MOSERS
    If a person retires from the state, part time work is offered to meet a state agency's needs, how many days/hours/months must a person be separated from full time state employment to accept a part-time position?

    At their November 19, 2020 meeting, the MOSERS Board of Trustees adopted:

    • Board Rule 9-2, "Termination of Employment and Reemployment of MSEP/MSEP2000/MSEP 2011 Retiree"
    • Board Rule 4-9, "Termination of Employment and Reemployment of ALJLAP Retiree"
    • Board Rule 4-10, "Termination of Employment and Reemployment of Judicial Plan or Judicial Plan 2011 Retiree"
    • Revisions to various other MOSERS Board Rules.

     

    The purpose of Board Rules 9-2, 4-9, and 4-10 is to set forth procedures relative to compliance with the Internal Revenue Code and Treasury Regulations regarding retiree re-employment and in-service distributions.

    Before receiving a benefit payment from MOSERS, IRS rules require a “bona fide termination” of the member’s employment. For purposes of these new rules, a "bona fide termination" occurs when:

    1. a member has completely severed the member’s employment;
    2. the member has 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. the member is not subsequently employed by any employer on any basis (full-time, part-time, or other) within 30 days after the member’s employment with the member’s prior employer has ended.

    For purposes of these rules “employer” means the State of Missouri or any other employer covered by MOSERS.

    All board rule changes will take effect on December 21, 2020.  

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  • 5 Year vs. 4 Year Backdrop Period

    Oct 21, 2020, 1:57 PM By MOSERS
    What is the difference between taking a 5 year vs. a 4 year backdrop?  Do you wait one year after you retire for the 4 year backdrop?  

    When we calculate your monthly benefit we use your final average pay (FAP) and credited service as of your BackDROP date. This is where the difference between 4 and 5 years would come into play. The 5-year milestone significance is that it is the longest BackDROP period allowed by the state statutes. It is likely that your monthly payments will be lower if you take BackDROP than they would be without BackDROP. You may be able to increase your monthly payment by not electing BackDROP or by electing a BackDROP period of 4 years rather than 5. On the other hand, if you elect a 4-year (or shorter) BackDROP period, you should expect that your lump-sum amount will go down. A MOSERS benefit counselor can provide you with estimates for all your options.

    If you elect BackDROP, we will issue your lump-sum payment on the same day as your first monthly benefit payment.

    Please see our BackDROP page or contact a MOSERS benefit counselor for more information.

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  • Purchasing Military Service

    Oct 7, 2020, 4:19 PM By MOSERS
    Is there a way to purchase 48 months of military time, where Mosers deducts the purchase amount from the Back Drop total. ??? 

    No. You must complete any purchase of military service prior to applying for retirement. BackDROP funds are distributed after retirement. However, if you have money in your MO Deferred Comp account, as a member of MSEP or MSEP 2000, you can use those funds to purchase prior military service (exception: Roth 457 assets cannot be used to purchase service credit). You can view our Purchasing and Transferring Service Credit brochure (MSEP & MSEP 2000) for more information. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact a MOSERS benefit counselor or contact MO Deferred Comp.

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  • Electing BackDROP at Retirement

    Oct 6, 2020, 8:46 AM By MOSERS
    Hi, If I choose not to receive drop back may I in the future draw money from drop back? Thank you.

    No. If you retire and do not elect BackDROP, you will get your ongoing monthly benefit but there is no option for a BackDROP lump-sum payment in the future once you have retired. 

    You may continue working longer than 5 years beyond your normal retirement date if you wish, and still have the option of electing BackDROP at retirement. 

    Once eligible (members of MSEP and MSEP 2000 who work at least two years past their normal retirement eligibility date may elect BackDROP), you will make your decision about whether or not to elect BackDROP during the retirement process on your Election Form. 

    Please see our BackDROP page for more information and feel free to contact a MOSERS benefit counselor to discuss all your options. 

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  • Early Retirement Incentive Due to COVID-19

    Oct 5, 2020, 3:11 PM By MOSERS
    Is he Governor considering an Early Retirement package/incentive for State Employees that might help with the state budget in the long run due to COVID19?

    We are not aware of any proposed early retirement incentives for state employees. Any such incentive would require legislative authorization. There were no early retirement incentives that passed during the recent regular legislative session, which ended May 15, nor during the special session this past summer. Anytime the Missouri General Assembly is in session, you can follow any bills affecting MOSERS on our Legislation page. The General Assembly will meet again for their next regular session beginning in January 2021. 

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  • Adding Insurance Coverage for your Spouse and Child(ren)

    Sep 24, 2020, 4:16 PM By MOSERS

    How do I go about getting life insurance on my son? thanks 

    You may purchase $10,000 in optional life insurance coverage on each of your eligible children. You can do this by logging in to myMOSERS and completing the Enrollment/Change-Optional Life Insurance form to add coverage for your child(ren). Please see the Life Insurance page on our website for more information. 
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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.