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  • Accessing Benefits Prior to Retirement

    Jun 25, 2020, 10:05 AM By MOSERS

    can you borrow money from your account prior to retirement and if so, how do you do this?

    Thank you for your question. You are not able to access your MOSERS defined benefit pension until retirement. However, if you no longer work in a MOSERS benefit-eligible position, and you are a member of MSEP 2011, you may be eligible to request a refund of your employee contributions. By taking a refund, you will lose all your credited service and future rights to receive pension and LTD benefits from MOSERS.

    The MO Deferred Comp 457 retirement savings plan permits in-service withdrawals from your account 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 for more information or if you have any questions please call 800-392-0925. 

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  • State Contribution to Retirement?

    Jul 30, 2018, 8:41 AM By MOSERS

    Does the State of Missouri contribute any matching funds to the retirement program?
    I am receiving conflicting information, that there are and are not matching funds. I've been told 0 and "up to 3%."

    As a MOSERS benefit-eligible member, you have a defined benefit pension plan, which provides lifetime monthly benefit payments to you after you retire. It is based on the formula:

    Final Average Pay x Credited Service x a Multiplier = Your Monthly Base Benefit

    Remember, it is this formula, NOT contributions, that determines your monthly retirement benefit.

    There are three sources of income that fund your MOSERS defined benefit pension plan:>/p>

    1. Contributions from members of the MSEP 2011 and the Judicial Plan 2011, which are 4% of pay,
    2. Your employer’s contributions, which are currently, 20.21% of covered payroll, and
    3. MOSERS’ investment income. 

    You can read more about plan funding on our website. If you leave state employment prior to normal retirement eligibility, you may request a refund of your employee contributions plus interest. (Your employee contributions consist of #1 above; #2 and #3 remain in the MOSERS trust fund.) Interest on employee contributions is calculated using the 52-week Treasury bill rate.

    You may also participate in the State of Missouri Deferred Compensation Plan (MO Deferred Comp), which is a supplemental retirement savings program. Currently, the State does not match any contributions to MO Deferred Comp, but there are many other reasons that MO Deferred Comp is an important part of your benefit package.

    Watch our New Employee Orientation video or a quick overview of your MOSERS benefits.

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  • Rollovers & MO Deferred Comp

    Feb 26, 2018, 3:59 PM By MOSERS
    When I began employment with the State I did a 401k rollover of my previous employer. How does this effect my retirement and Backdrop ? Is it already in the "benefit estimate." ?

    A 401(k) rollover has no impact on retirement eligibility or monthly or BackDROP lump-sum payment amounts. The rollover is not shown on the “MSEP 2000 Benefit Estimate” from MOSERS. See below for more details.

    First, it is important to clarify where your rollover funds are kept. As a state employee, you have both a defined-benefit pension with MOSERS and a supplemental defined contribution account with MO Deferred Comp. If you had retirement funds from a previous employer, it was rolled over into MO Deferred Comp.

    The Defined Benefit (DB) Plan (MOSERS)
    The DB plan is non-contributory for members employed before January 1, 2011. As such a member, you do not pay money toward your DB plan. Your employer pays the necessary contributions to MOSERS while you are actively employed so that you may receive a future monthly retirement benefit and potential survivor benefits. Since you do not pay contributions, you are not eligible to withdraw funds from the retirement system. You do not have a separate account, rather the state’s annual contribution toward your benefit is pooled with investment returns and employee contributions (from members first employed on or after 1/1/2011) to fund the retirement system. Once you are vested with MOSERS, even if you leave state employment, you will be eligible for a lifetime monthly benefit once you meet the age and all other legal requirements and retire under a MOSERS defined benefit pension plan.

    The Defined Contribution (DC) Plan (MO Deferred Comp)
    The MO Deferred Comp Plan is a voluntary governmental 457(b) plan designed to help employees save additional income to supplement their defined benefit pension and Social Security benefits in retirement. The deferred comp plan provides a convenient way to save extra money for retirement through payroll deduction. Unlike pension and Social Security benefits, YOU have control over how much you save in this plan throughout your career, how your dollars are invested, and how you will withdraw those savings in retirement. While voluntary, many employees find this plan crucial for accumulating additional savings that can add another layer of financial security in retirement.

    Once you leave state employment, you can keep your money in deferred comp, even if you're retired or simply working outside state employment. Furthermore, you are not required to start withdrawing your savings until you reach age 70½. Keeping your money with MO Deferred Comp is a smart way to maintain access to all of the great features you enjoyed while you were working. Once retired,the deferred compensation plan provides a variety of manual and automatic payment options to help you access your hard-earned savings.

    BackDROP Options
    When you retire with MOSERS, you will be asked if you want to elect BackDROP * (if eligible), and, if so, how you want to receive that distribution: cash option, rollover option, or combination cash and rollover option. State employees eligible to receive a lump-sum BackDROP payment get this payment in addition to a lifetime monthly benefit payment and can choose to roll the lump sum into the MO Deferred Comp Plan at retirement. This option is available to all state of Missouri employees, even if they have never participated in the deferred compensation plan. Doing so is an attractive choice for many because it allows employees to consolidate the lump-sum payment with their existing retirement savings. This makes managing their savings in retirement easier and grants them continued access to the Plan’s low fees and custom investment solutions. Another popular reason to roll the lump-sum payment into the deferred compensation plan is that it allows employees to defer taxes on the payment until those assets are distributed in retirement. We suggest you speak to a tax professional or financial advisor for advice specific to your situation and to discuss all of your options at retirement.

    On your MOSERS defined benefit plan “MSEP 2000 Benefit Estimate”, if you are eligible for BackDROP, your benefit payment amounts and options at retirement will be shown, both with and without BackDROP. We encourage you to discuss your options with a MOSERS benefit counselor, and use our onlineComparison Calculator to see which option might be most advantageous to you over the long-term. This short Comparison Calculator video provides an overview of how the calculator can be helpful in comparing various benefit payment options. MOSERS benefit counselors are available by phone at (800) 827-1063 or you may make an appointment to meet with a counselor in person.

    *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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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.