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Jan 17, 2019, 8:25 AM By MOSERS
I need to know if we still have Travel Assistance thru The Standard? I was told it might change beginning 1-1-19 and I will be leaving on a trip out of the US. I am retired & live in Fl. now. It also paid anything over 100 miles from home. Any information will be greatly appreciated.
Yes, members and retirees who have MOSERS basic life insurance* are eligible for travel assistance when traveling at least 100 miles from home or in a foreign country. Family members, including a spouse and children through age 25 are also covered. Medical assistance is one of the services they provide, including locating medical care, 24-hour access to nurses by phone, and emergency transportation services. (Please note: Travel assistance is not the same as travel health insurance. Please contact your health insurance provider regarding health care coverage when travelling.)
*MOSERS' life insurance is not available to employees of the Department of Conservation or state regional colleges/universities except for Lincoln University and State Technical College of Missouri.
Dec 19, 2018, 10:02 AM By MOSERS
Your RetireeNews, Fall Winter 2017 states if a retiree lives in Missouri, then Missouri state income tax may be due on the pension. Does this imply that if a retiree is a resident of another state (even one without a state income tax) that the Missouri pension is not taxed by the State of Missouri?
Each person’s situation may be different and we cannot advise you on your tax liability as it pertains to your MOSERS pension. We suggest you contact the Missouri Department of Revenue and/or a qualified tax advisor about your tax liability.
MOSERS withholds state taxes only for Missouri residents. If you aren’t a Missouri resident in retirement, contact the appropriate state and local tax authorities to determine the taxability of your MOSERS benefit there. We will mail 1099-R tax forms to all retirees by January 31.
Dec 17, 2018, 8:33 AM By MOSERS
After a person retires and receive their first retirement check, I am curious to know how will it will be paid out? Will it be monthly, or bi-weekly?
Retirees are paid once a month, on the last working day of each month. If you enroll in direct deposit during the retirement process, your payment will be transferred electronically on that day. If you receive a paper check, it will be mailed on the last working day of the month. We encourage retirees to participate in direct deposit, since it is faster and more secure than a paper check.
You can view the Pension Payments page on our website, which we will be updating for 2019 soon.
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.
Dec 11, 2018, 8:03 AM By MOSERS
My initial State employment was as a part time employee. Do any of those years count towards my years of service when calculating my retirement options?
No, most likely not. The position must be “benefit-eligible”. Part-time positions are usually not benefit-eligible so that service likely does not count for retirement purposes. You will receive service credit only for periods that your employer reports you worked in a benefit-eligible position and for which they made employer contributions to MOSERS.
A position is benefit-eligible if it normally requires the employee to work at least 1,040 hours per year.
If the position meets both requirements, the position is eligible for MOSERS benefits. If not, the position is not eligible for MOSERS benefits. You may contact a MOSERS benefit counselor and they can tell you what service we have on record for you and provide you with benefit estimates.
Dec 3, 2018, 1:45 PM By MOSERS
Employee is vested and dies before retirement, will their spouse receive any retirement benefit.
Yes, if you are a general state employee, married, vested in MOSERS, and die before you retire with MOSERS, your eligible surviving spouse will receive survivor benefits. Survivor benefit payments can begin as early as the month following your death provided that MOSERS receives and processes the survivor application and all necessary documentation, such as a death certificate*. The monthly benefit for your spouse will be based on the benefit you have accrued as of your date of death and calculated according to the Joint & 100% Survivor Option. The survivor benefit will be paid monthly for the remainder of your spouse's lifetime. You can find information regarding the death of a member on our website. Survivors should contact a MOSERS benefit counselor for guidance through the process.
Otherwise, during the retirement process, you will make elections to determine if any potential survivor benefits will be paid to anyone after your death or not.
*Exception: The “immediate” survivor benefit provision is not available for terminated-vested members of MSEP 2011 who were first employed on or after January 1, 2018. This was a change made in SB62 during the 2017 legislative session as a cost offset for the reduction in the vesting requirement from 10 years to 5 years for members of MSEP 2011. Eligible survivors of such members will begin receiving benefits when the deceased member would have attained normal retirement age.
Nov 29, 2018, 10:43 AM By MOSERS
My Pension is based on my best 36 months earnings. Wages during my 5 year BackDrop period are excluded. What if my best 36 months are after I complete my 5 year BackDrop period?
Any pay earned after your BackDROP date (the beginning of your BackDROP period) does not count - it is excluded - when we calculate your monthly retirement benefit. We will look at your entire pay history in your MOSERS-covered employment prior to your BackDROP period to find your highest 36 consecutive months of pay and use that to calculate your monthly benefit.
Remember, your BackDROP period, whether it is a 2-year or 5-year period, will always be immediately prior to your retirement date. That means, you wouldn’t continue to be employed in a MOSERS benefit-eligible position after your BackDROP period.
This is one of the factors to consider when making your elections about BackDROP. You can run benefit estimates under a variety of scenarios by logging in to myMOSERS or contact a MOSERS benefit counselor to run them for you. You may find our Creating a Benefit Estimate video and our Comparison Calculator video helpful in weighing your options.
Nov 20, 2018, 10:40 AM By MOSERS
Will there be another pension buyout?
There are no plans in place at this time to offer another buyout option. The Missouri Legislature authorized the MOSERS Board of Trustees to offer the recent Buyout Program under SB 62 but that authorization expired on May 31, 2018. This was a one-time program. If MOSERS were to offer another buyout program in the future, it would require legislative approval. If such legislation passed, we would notify all eligible members.
Nov 20, 2018, 8:03 AM By MOSERS
My retirement plan is MOSERS 2011. If I leave state employment AFTER I am vested but BEFORE my retirement age/date, how do I figure my monthly benefit amount?
If you are vested with MOSERS (you have at least 5 years of service) and then leave state employment, you will be eligible* for a lifetime monthly benefit, which will begin once you meet the age requirement (and all other legal requirements) and retire under a MOSERS defined benefit pension plan. In general, your benefits will be based on the laws in effect on the day you leave state employment.
For general state employees, we calculate retirement benefits using this three-part formula:
Final Average Pay (FAP) x Credited Service x Multiplier = Monthly Base Benefi
(The multiplier is determined by your plan; 1.6% for MSEP; 1.7% for MSEP 2000/MSEP 2011.)
FAP $3,000 (per month) x 7.5 years of Credited Service x 0.017 Multiplier for MSEP 2011 = $382.50 Monthly Base Benefit
Keep in mind that additional service will increase your benefit:
FAP $3,000 (per month) x 23 years of Credited Service x 0.017 Multiplier for MSEP 2011= $1,173 Monthly Base Benefit
As a member of MSEP 2011, you will become eligible for normal retirement when you have at least 5 years of service and reach age 67 OR under the “Rule of 90” which is when you are at least age 55 and your age plus service equals 90 prior to you leaving state employment.
As a member of MSEP 2011, you pay contributions to help fund the system. Upon termination of employment, you may request a refund of your contributions or you may leave your contributions with MOSERS. It you take a refund of your contributions, you will forfeit all your credited service and any future rights to receive benefits from the system, but you get a check equal to the amount of contributions you made plus any interest. See our Employee Contributions brochure (2011 Plan) for more information.
For more information, see the MSEP 2011 Retirement Plan video or the General Employees' Retirement Handbook (MSEP 2011). You can also contact a MOSERS benefit counselor to request a benefit estimate.
*An exception is if you were fired because you were convicted of a specified felony committed in connection with your job as a state employee on or after August 28, 2014. See Missouri Revised Statute §105.669.
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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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.