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  • Your Pension is Secure

    Mar 2, 2022, 2:02 PM By MOSERS
    Is my pension secure?  Concerned about russia investments.

    Yes, your pension is secure.

    As an institutional investor, MOSERS, like many public pension funds across the country, maintains a diversified portfolio to invest the funds of the System. Within the portfolio, MOSERS utilizes external fund managers when investing in non-US securities, rather than any direct investing. As of March 1, MOSERS had approximately $9 million of indirect Russian exposure within MOSERS’ global investment funds. This exposure, which is a portion of MOSERS’ diversified investment strategy, accounts for approximately 0.07%  (seven one-hundredths of one percent) of the total MOSERS portfolio exposure of $13.3 billion.

    The MOSERS Board of Trustees will hold a special Board meeting on Thursday, March 3, at 4:00 p.m. to discuss Russian exposure within MOSERS’ asset allocation.

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  • Life Insurance After Retirement

    Feb 28, 2022, 11:53 AM By MOSERS
    I am a 74 year old retiree. I do not have term life insurance through MOSERS. Can I get it at this late date? If so what is the coverage and cost and do I have to undergo a medical exam?

    Unfortunately, the answer is no. If you retired under MOSERS without any MOSERS life insurance, you cannot add it later. Below are the guidelines.

    MOSERS offers basic life insurance of one times their annual salary at no cost to active employees. MOSERS members can purchase additional optional life insurance while actively working.

    Basic Retiree Coverage After Retirement

    • If you retire within 60 days of leaving state employment, the state will continue to provide you with $5,000 of coverage at no cost to you.
    • If you wish to do so, you have 60 days from your retirement date to port or convert any remaining basic life insurance through The Standard Insurance Company.

    Optional Life Insurance and Retaining Coverage After Retirement

    If you retire within 60 days of leaving state employment, or retire directly from active employment, you may be eligible to retain some of your optional life insurance coverage.

    • You may retain up to $60,000 in coverage if you are a member of the MSEP. Your coverage cannot exceed the amount your carried while actively employed.
    • You may retain all of your optional coverage until age 62 if you are a general state employee who retired under the “Rule of 80” (MSEP 2000) or the “Rule of 90” (MSEP 2011). At age 62, your coverage will automatically reduce to a maximum of $60,000.

    Once you terminate coverage in retirement, it cannot be reinstated. You cannot increase your coverage after retirement.

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  • High 36 and the Rule of 80

    Feb 23, 2022, 3:56 PM By MOSERS

     A co-worker told me that any pay I earn after my "Rule of 80" date doesn't count toward by 3 highest years. I am currently in back drop, but wanted to postpone my retirement if the state raises salaries by 5.5%. This co-worker said they talked to a MOSERS benefit counselor and were told anything past the date they can "80 and out" isn't used for the 3 highest years to calculate benefits. I have never gotten that impression in the retirement seminars I've attended. Please help! Thank you

    When you make an application to retire with MOSERS, you will have options regarding how your retirement benefit will be paid. BackDROP is simply another payment option available to you if you have worked at least 2 years beyond eligibility for normal retirement (“Rule of 80” or any other age & service eligibility criteria).   

    If you work beyond when your reach eligibility for normal retirement (under the “Rule of 80” or any other eligibility criteria), your pay can be included in your highest 36 months of pay IF it is not in your BackDROP period.

    Any pay or service you get during your BackDROP period is not counted when calculating your monthly benefit payment. If you become eligible for and elect the BackDROP upon retirement, your highest 36 consecutive months would be determined from your MOSERS-covered work history prior to your BackDROP date.

    But keep in mind, you are not required to take BackDROP, regardless of how long you work beyond normal retirement eligibility, and you don’t have to notify MOSERS of any decisions about BackDROP until you retire.


    • You may elect not to take BackDROP, if you want all your service and pay to count and, likely, increase your monthly benefit, or,
    • You could elect to take a shorter BackDROP period, or
    • You could work additional years, if you want to take advantage of a significant increase in pay being included in your Final Average Pay.

    Our BackDROP page, with a BackDROP graphic near the bottom, may help you visualize how it works or you can read the BackDROP brochure for more information. BackDROP can be complicated to understand, so MOSERS benefit counselors are available to help by phone or through an in-person appointment.

    Note: BackDROP is available only to general state employees (including university employees) in MSEP and MSEP 2000. 

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  • Seminar Guests

    Feb 18, 2022, 9:03 AM By MOSERS

    Hi Folks My question is, is my spouse still allowed to attend the Ready to Retire Seminar? Thank you very much.

    In order to give priority to our members who may not have been able to attend a session in 2020 or 2021, we are not allowing spouses or guests to attend with you at an in-person Ready to Retire seminar in 2022. However, your spouse or guest is welcome (and encouraged) to attend with you in an online webinar.

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  • Tax Penalty and BackDROP

    Feb 15, 2022, 1:45 PM By MOSERS
    This year(2022) I will be 54 and will have completed 32 years working for the State. I will have my 5 year backdrop complete in 2024 at age 56. I plan to roll over my back drop sum. Will I be penalized for collecting my monthly retirement checks before 59-1/2? 

    Once you meet both the age and service requirements for normal retirement, there is no tax penalty for collecting your monthly defined benefit pension payment from MOSERS prior to age 59 ½.

    Given a retirement of age 55 or later and a rollover of a BackDROP payment to a qualified retirement account *(such as MO Deferred Comp), future withdrawals from that account prior to age 59 ½ would not be subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty.

    For further reference, please see the Special Tax Notice brochure for more details.

    *Excludes Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA’s).

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  • Email Preferences

    Feb 2, 2022, 4:37 PM By MOSERS
    I would like paper notifications please.

    If you would like to change your email preferences and receive paper notifications, please log in to myMOSERS. After logging in, select Personal Information then Email Options. From there, you can uncheck the option to “Receive all notices electronically”. If you do so, we will mail hard copies of your member correspondence to you. We will still send some information, which is not available in hard copy, such as the quarterly Board meeting updates, via email. If you are unable to log in, please contact a MOSERS benefit counselor who will be happy to help you.

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  • Final Average Pay (FAP) and "High 36"

    Jan 27, 2022, 4:06 PM By MOSERS
    Everyone talks about your "BIG THREE" as far as retirement goes. How does this work? Is it the top three in all years of service? Do they have to be in a row? Can they be spread out? Does that included Backdrop time? What if your income for the years served are higher than the salary of a specified job? For example, if you made $70,000 but your max pay for that job is $49,000 what is your retirement based on? Never was explained clearly. Thank You.

    When you retire, you will get a monthly pension benefit for life. Your base benefit is calculated using a formula, as defined by law, that takes into account the following factors:

    Final Average Pay (FAP) – The average of your highest 36 consecutive months of pay

    Multiplier – The multiplier established by the legislature

    Credited Service – Your years and months of credited service earned, purchased, or transferred, and unused sick leave (if applicable)

    (Base benefit is the amount before any reductions, taxes, or other deductions.)

     To answer your questions, specifically,

    • Is it the top three in all years of service? Do they have to be in a row? Can they be spread out? It is your highest 36 consecutive months pay. We will look at your entire pay history and find the “high 36”.  All 36 months must be in a row.
    • Does that include Backdrop time? No. If you elect BackDROP at retirement, any pay earned during the BackDROP period does not count in your “high 36”.
    • What if your income for the years served are higher than the salary of a specified job? For example, if you made $70,000 but your max pay for that job is $49,000 what is your retirement based on? We look at your gross pay, as reported by your employer, which may include overtime pay and holiday pay. We do not look at your job title or pay ranges.


    Here is an example of how the base benefit formula works for a person whose gross pay is $50,000 per year (for at least 36 months) and who retires under MSEP 2000 with 25 years of service:

     FAP ($4,167) x Multiplier (0.017) x Credited Service (25) = $1,770.98 monthly base benefit in retirement

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  • Annual Leave Payout for Health Insurance Premiums

    Jan 27, 2022, 10:13 AM By MOSERS

    When you retire can you turn in your Annual Leave to pay for your health insurance to cover the rest of the year you retire?

    Yes, there is an option to pre-pay health insurance premiums in retirement with a payout for unused annual leave. However, this is outside of the scope of benefits that MOSERS administers.

    Please contact your HR office, MCHCP, and ASI Flex for details on the forms you will need to complete and the associated deadlines. Additionally, we encourage you to check with your human resources office about policies on annual and sick leave accrual and usage before retirement. 

    Please note that the amount of your unused annual leave has no impact on your MOSERS retirement benefits.

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  • W-2 vs.1099-R

    Jan 26, 2022, 3:24 PM By MOSERS
    tax forms. W2 vs. Form 1099R Are these the same forms

    No, they are not the same. A W-2 form comes from an employer, not from MOSERS. A W-2 shows income you’ve earned from your employer. A 1099-R shows distributions you have received from pensions and other retirement plans.

    MOSERS provides you with a 1099-R tax form. This form lists your 2021 retirement benefit income from MOSERS. You will need this form to file your income tax return. If you receive more than one benefit from MOSERS, you may receive more than one 1099-R from us.

    We will mail your 1099-R form by the end of January. You can also access it online by logging into myMOSERS You will find it under Personal Information and available for you to save or print.  If you are unable to log in to myMOSERS, call us at (800) 827-1063 or (573) 632-6100 and we can mail you a replacement. For security reasons, we cannot email it to you.

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  • 2022 COLA Rate

    Jan 25, 2022, 9:17 AM By MOSERS
    Will we get the 5% Cola this year? Medicare gave a raise of 5.9%. If not please explain.

    The COLA rate for 2022 is 3.758%.

    According to Missouri state law, MOSERS calculates COLAS as follows:

    Each January, we must compare the average Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the calendar year just completed (2021) to the average CPI from the prior year (2020) to determine the percentage change between the two years. For general state employees, COLAs are based on 80% of the percentage increase in the average (CPI) from one year to the next. The maximum increase is 5% (minimum 0%).

    The 2022 COLA rate of 3.758% 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 28, 1997

    If you were employed before August 28, 1997, and retired under MSEP, you will get a COLA of at least 4% each year (maximum 5%) until you reach your COLA cap. You reach the COLA cap when the sum of your COLAs equals 65% of your initial base benefit amount. After reaching your COLA cap, your annual COLA will be equal to 80% of the percentage increase in the average Consumer Price Index (CPI) from one year to the next, which, as noted above, is 3.758 for 2022.

    The purpose of a COLA for any type of pay or retirement benefit is to help you cope with inflation. COLAs help you maintain your purchasing power as inflation increases the cost of various items you buy. See the article, The 2022 COLA is Here, and the COLA page on our website for more information. 

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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.