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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Budget Restriction Information

    Jul 8, 2020, 1:36 PM By MOSERS
    What impact does the July 1, 2020 budget expenditure restriction in the amount of $754,952 have?

    The budget restriction has no impact on MOSERS or on member benefits. We were able to reduce employer premiums for the long-term disability program administered by MOSERS, which resulted in a savings of $754,952 for the state.

    The Missouri legislature has historically appropriated the full amount needed from MOSERS-covered employers for pension benefits. Each year, the MOSERS Board certifies this employer contribution rate. Our external actuary calculates the rate based on various economic and demographic assumptions. All the calculations go into our annual actuarial valuation. The actuary also conducts an experience study at least once every five years, which compares current assumptions with the most recent actual data. You can read our Employer Contribution Rate infographic for more information.

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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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  • Employee Contributions

    Feb 20, 2020, 8:59 AM By MOSERS

    If I leave the state after 5 years of employment and take the refund option do I get the amount shown on my end of year paystub or do I get the amount yearly that is shown on my W2. Example: W2 for 2019 shows retire contribution of 1800.99 but pay stub shows retire 2011 plan at 9,421.30 for year to date. Which one is the refund amount?

    We are unable to see members’ paystubs or W-2 information so we can’t speak definitively to that information. (And keep in mind that your W-2 for 2019 would include only those contributions you made in 2019.) However, you can log in to myMOSERS and find your total employee contributions plus any interest. Once logged in to your Member Homepage, click on the Personal Information tab. Then, click on Contribution Calculator. Scroll all the way to the bottom for your accumulated balance. This would be your refund amount. Please see our Employee Contributions brochure (2011 Plan) for more information. If you are unable to log in, you may contact a MOSERS benefit counselor for your balance. 

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  • Contribution Refunds

    Feb 14, 2019, 1:09 PM By MOSERS

    I’m considering accepting a job that participates in Moser. There is a substantial payroll contribution for the pension and that it takes five years to be vested. My question is if I do not work the full five years in order to be vested will my payroll contributions be available to me for withdrawal or transfer?

    Anyone who is first employed in a MOSERS or MPERS benefit-eligible position on or after January 1, 2011 must contribute 4% of pay to the retirement system. Your 4% contribution is used to help pay the cost of your future defined benefit retirement plan and could potentially pay you back far more than you contribute. See a simplified example in The Value of Your Retirement Benefit. When you retire, you will receive a benefit payment every month for as long as you live. This means you can never outlive your MOSERS retirement benefit.

    If you leave state employment prior to becoming eligible for normal retirement, you may request a refund of your employee contributions plus any credited interest. By taking a refund, your forfeit all your credited service. Or, you may leave your contributions with the system if you think you might return to work for the state at some point in the future and would like for those years of service to count toward an eventual retirement benefit. See our Employee Contributions brochure for more information.

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  • Increasing Contributions?

    Aug 20, 2018, 3:46 PM By MOSERS

    Is it possible to contribute more to your pension, to lower your retirement date and still receive a full pension?

    No. The only potential way to move your retirement eligibility date closer is to purchase or transfer qualifying prior public service that you may have and combine it with your MOSERS pension. See our Purchasing and Transferring Service Credit brochure (MSEP 2011) for more information or contact a MOSERS benefit counselor to see if you qualify and if it would be beneficial for you to do so.

    In order for any prior public service to qualify, it must have been full-time, nonfederal, public (government) employment that you performed in Missouri. Examples include prior employment with a public school, city, or county in Missouri, or employment covered by the MoDOT & Patrol Employees Retirement System (MPERS). This could potentially make you eligible for retirement sooner if the extra service resulted in you hitting the Rule of 90 prior to age 67. (The Rule of 90 is available only to those still actively employed by the state.)

    You may also want to keep in mind that you are not required to keep working for the state until retirement age in order to get your pension. Once you are vested with MOSERS, even if you leave state employment, you will be eligible for a lifetime monthly benefit once you also meet the age and all other legal requirements and retire under a MOSERS defined benefit pension plan. Your benefit is calculated using the formula:

    Final Average Pay x Credited Service x Multiplier = Monthly Base Benefit.

    Remember, it is this formula, NOT employee contributions (made by those first employed on or after 1/1/2011), that determines your monthly retirement benefit. The longer you work, the more your benefit will be.

    You certainly can contribute more to MO Deferred Comp to increase your supplemental savings for retirement but it won’t make you eligible for retirement any sooner.

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  • Withdrawing Funds

    Aug 3, 2018, 3:59 PM By MOSERS

    Is possible to withdraw a portion of our annuity?

    No. MOSERS is a non-contributory defined benefit (DB) plan for members employed before January 1, 2011. As such a member, 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.

    Members employed in a MOSERS-covered position for the first time on or after January 1, 2011 are required to contribute 4% of their gross salary to help fund the retirement system. Those members, if they leave state employment, have the option of requesting a refund of the contributions they have made to MOSERS plus any interest on their contributions – if they do so prior to reaching normal retirement eligibility. Any member who receives a refund will forfeit service credit and the right to receive any future retirement benefits from MOSERS.

    Any refund of contributions taken as cash (as opposed to rolling it over to MO Deferred Comp, a traditional IRA, or other qualified retirement plan) is considered taxable income for the year you receive it. MOSERS is required to withhold 20% for federal taxes on such a refund. If you receive a cash payment before you reach age 59½ and do not roll it over, you may have to pay an IRS a penalty equal to 10% of the taxable portion of the payment in addition to the regular income tax. See our Special Tax Notice brochure for more information.

    The IRS does not currently allow pension plans to offer lump-sum payouts to current retirees in exchange for reduced future benefit payments. MOSERS did offer a buyout program which enabled eligible members to accept a lump-sum payment in lieu of all future annuity payments. However, this program was not available to members who had already begun receiving monthly benefits.

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  • Lump-Sum Payment Options

    Apr 3, 2018, 8:58 AM By MOSERS

    If I resign before my retirement date and am vested is there an option to take a lump sum payment? To either rollover into a personal IRA or cash out. If so how do I figure that amount?

    No, there is currently no lump-sum option in the scenario you described. If you are vested with MOSERS (you have at least 5 years of service) and then leave state employment prior to reaching the age to qualify for retirement eligibility, you would be considered a “terminated-vested” member. You will become eligible to begin drawing your lifetime monthly benefit payments once you also meet the age requirement (and all other legal requirements) and retire under a MOSERS defined benefit pension plan.

    The scenarios in which a lump-sum option are available through MOSERS are the following:

    1. BackDROP - Work in a MOSERS benefit-eligible position at least two years beyond normal retirement eligibility and then you can elect a lump-sum payment at retirement in addition to your lifetime monthly benefit payments.
    2. Refund of Employee Contributions - If you are a member of the MSEP 2011 or Judicial Plan 2011 (first employed in a MOSERS benefit-eligible position on or after 1/1/2011 and contribute 4% of our pay to MOSERS) and you leave state employment prior to reaching normal retirement eligibility, you may request a refund of your member contributions.
    3. If you meet the qualifications for the Cash Out program (available only to vested members of MSEP who left state employment between 10/1/1984 and 9/1/2002) or a “Buyout” program authorized by the legislature (among other eligibility criteria, you must not have worked in a MOSERS or MPERS benefit-eligible position at any time since 6/30/2017), you may be eligible for a lump-sum payment. However, no one currently employed in a MOSERS benefit-eligible position is eligible for either the Cash Out or Buyout lump-sum program.

    Keep in mind that any of the following may affect your retirement eligibility: Your retirement plan (MSEP, MSEP 2011, etc.), age, service, and if you retire directly from active employment versus leaving state government and waiting to retire. Contact a MOSERS benefit counselor to discuss your specific situation. You may also contact a MOSERS benefit counselor to request benefit estimates for various scenarios (including a scenario of leaving employment prior to 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.