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  • 2020 COLA Determined

    Feb 5, 2020, 3:15 PM By MOSERS
    WHEN WILL WE KNOW WHAT THE COLA FOR 2020 WILL BE (RETIREE)

    The cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2020 is 1.450%. This 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 28th, 1997

    Please see the COLA page on our website for additional information. 
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  • State Employee Pay Raises & Retiree COLAs

    Feb 20, 2019, 11:46 AM By MOSERS

    (Note - We have edited the question slightly to clarify it.) If all state employees get a raise, for example, a 3% raise from the legislature, will retired state employees also get a raise?

    No. The two are not connected. A change in active state employee pay has no impact on benefit amounts for retired general state employees (or retired judges).

    However, by law, regardless of whether active state employees get a raise or not, MOSERS retirees receive an annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) of 0 - 5%. The amount is based on the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Retired general state employees (and judges) receive a COLA each year on the anniversary of their retirement date, unless one of the following exceptions apply:

    • Retirees who converted from MSEP to MSEP 2000 during the conversion window in 2000 receive COLAs each year in July.
    • Retirees who elected a BackDROP receive COLAs each year on the anniversary of their BackDROP date.
    • MSEP 2011 members first employed after January 1, 2018 who leave state employment prior to retirement eligibility will receive their first COLA on the second anniversary of their retirement.

    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. You can find more information about retiree COLAs on our website.

    Additional Note: Legislators and statewide elected officials who took office on or after July 1, 2000 (members of MSEP 2000 or MSEP 2011) may have their benefit adjusted according to the percentage increase in pay for an active legislator or statewide elected official but receive no other COLAs.

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  • COLA This Year?

    Dec 11, 2018, 8:09 AM By MOSERS

    Will there be any COLA this year?

    Every year, we calculate and announce the retiree COLAs in mid-January. We won’t have data for the 2019 COLA until mid-January of 2019 because the information necessary to make that calculation is based on a comparison of changes from 2017 to 2018. The rate calculation is based on 80% of the percentage increase in the average CPI from one year to the next with a maximum increase of 5% (minimum 0%).* 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.

    Watch our website in January for more information. Learn more on the COLA pageand in the upcoming issue of RetireeNew coming in late December.

    * If you retired under the MSEP, and were hired before August 28, 1997, your COLA will be determined based on the annual COLA calculation except that you will receive a minimum 4% COLA (maximum 5%) until accumulated COLAs reach 65% of your initial (or original) benefit. This is called your COLA cap. After your benefit has increased to the COLA cap amount, your COLA will be between 0-5% each year.

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  • COLAs and BackDROP

    Nov 16, 2018, 1:36 PM By MOSERS

    My retirement date is January 1, 2019 and my backdrop date is March 1, 2016. Will I receive a COLA on my backdrop date in March, 2019?

    Typically, members receive a COLA each year on the anniversary of their retirement date, unless one of the exceptions* applies. In your case, since you elected BackDROP, your COLAs will be payable each year on the anniversary of your BackDROP date rather than on the anniversary of your retirement date. In your specific case, your COLAs will be awarded in March, and you will receive a COLA on March 1, 2019.

    We will determine the 2019 COLA in mid-January of 2019, and will announce the COLA amount on our website. We will send you (all members) a notice, either in the mail or in your MOSERS Document Express online mailbox, when the COLA is applied to your monthly benefit payment.

    *The other exceptions of when COLAs are applied include:

    • Retirees who converted from MSEP to MSEP 2000 during the conversion window in 2000 have COLAs payable each year in July.
    •  MSEP 2011 members hired after January 1, 2018 who leave state employment prior to retirement eligibility, will receive their first COLA in retirement on the second anniversary of their retirement.
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  • 2019 COLA Announcement

    Oct 2, 2018, 2:34 PM By MOSERS

    Will there be raise for retirees for 2019? When will it be decided and how much?

    Yes, if you are referring to the annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs), assuming there is an increase in Consumer Price Index. We will calculate the 2019 COLA in January 2019. The rate calculation is based on 80% of the percentage increase in the average Consumer Price Index from one year to the next. The maximum increase is 5% (minimum 0%). We will get the data we need to make the calculation in mid-January 2019.

    As a retired general state employee, you will receive a COLA each year on the anniversary of your retirement date, unless one of these exceptions applies to you:

    • Retirees who converted from MSEP to MSEP 2000 during the conversion window in 2000 have COLAs payable each year in July.
    • Retirees who elected a BackDROP will have COLAs payable each year on the anniversary of their BackDROP date.
    • MSEP 2011 members hired after January 1, 2018 who leave state employment prior to retirement eligibility, will receive their first COLA on the second anniversary of their retirement.

    Watch our website in January for more information. Learn more on the COLA page and in the upcoming issue of RetireeNews coming in December.

    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.

    Note: If you are a legislator or statewide elected official who retired under MSEP 2000 or MSEP 2011, you do not automatically get COLAs. Your benefit will be adjusted only if there is an increase in pay or active members of the general assembly or statewide elected officials, respectively.

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  • COLA for 2019?

    Jul 26, 2018, 4:06 PM By MOSERS

    When we will I know when I am getting an annual COLA for 2019? I thought it was mid-July when MOSERS announced it.

    MOSERS will be able to determine the 2019 COLA in January 2019. The rate calculation is based on 80% of the percentage increase in the average Consumer Price Index from one year to the next with a maximum increase of 5% (minimum 0%). The information necessary to make that calculation will be available in January 2019 and based on a comparison of changes from 2017 to 2018.

    In January 2018, we determined that the COLA for 2018 is 1.704%. Each year, you will receive a COLA on the anniversary of your retirement date, unless one of these exceptions applies to you:

    • Retirees who converted from MSEP to MSEP 2000 during the conversion window in 2000 have COLAs payable each year in July.
    • Retirees who elected a BackDROP* will have COLAs payable each year on the anniversary of their BackDROP date rather than on the anniversary of their retirement date.
    • MSEP 2011 members hired after January 1, 2018 who leave state employment prior to retirement eligibility, will receive their first COLA in retirement on the second anniversary of their retirement.

    We will send you a notice, either in the mail or in your MOSERS Document Express online mailbox, when the COLA is applied to your monthly benefit payment.

    *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.

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  • Pay Raises

    Jul 5, 2018, 8:52 AM By MOSERS

    are we possibly getting a raise in January

    If you are asking about a pay raise for active state employees (versus a cost-of-living adjustment for MOSERS retirees), please understand that MOSERS is not involved in any decision making related to state employee pay.

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  • COLA Cap

    Mar 19, 2018, 9:44 AM By MOSERS

    With regard to the following statement in the most recent MOSERS emailed information:
    If you retire under the MSEP and were hired before August 28, 1997, you will receive a COLA of at least 4% each year (maximum 5%) until you reach your COLA cap. The COLA cap is when the sum of your COLAs equal 65% of your initial benefit amount.
    Question: Please explain in more detail how the COLA cap is figured.
    Is the amount of the annual COLA, for example, a 4% COLA in 2015, again in 2016, again in 2017, and again in 2018 (that amounts to about $40/month in each of those years) multiplied by 12 to get the total annual COLA ($480) for each of those years and then all of the annual totals are added together to determine when the 65% limit has been reached?
    For ex.: $40 X 12 X 4 = $1920
    Or perhaps it’s figured as follows: $40/mo. COLA x 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 years etc.
    If not, please explain in detail how the COLA cap of 65% is figured. Thank you. 

    The COLA cap* is calculated based on the initial base benefit amount, rather than on the COLA itself. Your estimated date to reach the COLA cap can be found on your annual benefit statement in the COLA section. It says “Estimated Date to Reach 65% COLA Cap….” and a date. Typically, it is around 12-13 years after you’ve retired.

    Example of Calculating the 65% COLA Cap:

    $1,000 (Initial Base Benefit) x .65 (65%) = $ 650 (COLA Cap) 

    So, when you look back at your initial base benefit, once it has increased by 65% due to COLAs, you will no longer get the minimum 4% COLA; instead, your COLA will be based on 80% of the increase in the CPI and be between 0 and 5% each year. For example, for those who have their COLA calculated this way, it is 1.704% in 2018.

    *The COLA cap does not apply to MSEP 2000 members; it applies only to members of MSEP hired prior to 8/28/97, who receive a minimum 4% COLA until meeting their COLA cap.

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  • Base Benefit & COLA Cap

    Feb 23, 2018, 10:47 AM By MOSERS
    Where can one find one's base benefit for the purpose of determining the 65% of base benefit when COLA's will end?

    Your COLA does not end once you meet your COLA cap*—it is simply calculated differently. If you retire under the MSEP and were hired before August 28, 1997, you will receive a COLA of at least 4% each year (maximum 5%) until you reach your COLA cap. The COLA cap is when the sum of your COLAs equal 65% of your initial benefit amount. Then, your annual COLA will be equal to 80% of the percentage increase in the average Consumer Price Index (CPI) with a minimum of 0% and maximum of 5%.

    Your estimated date to reach the COLA cap can be found on your annual benefit statement in the COLA section. It says “Estimated Date to Reach 65% COLA Cap….” and a date. Typically, it is around 12-13 years after you’ve retired.

    *The COLA cap does not apply to MSEP 2000 members; it applies only to members of MSEP hired prior to 8/28/97, who receive a minimum 4% COLA until meeting their COLA cap.

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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.

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