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  • Biweekly Benefit Payments?

    Apr 27, 2022, 1:40 PM By MOSERS
    Will retirement checks be issued bi-weekly as a result of legislative change?

    No, there are no legislative proposals to change benefit payments for retirees or beneficiaries from monthly to biweekly.

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  • Taxes & Penalties on Pensions

    Apr 19, 2022, 10:41 AM By MOSERS
    If I take early retirement next year (2023), at age 57, with 15 years of service, will I be penalized with taxes for taking my pension?

    Your MOSERS benefit is subject to normal federal taxes. It is also subject to normal Missouri state income taxes if you are a resident of Missouri. However, if you are a Missouri resident, you may qualify for the Public Pension Exemption.

    Visit the Missouri Department of Revenue's Public Pension Exemption page or read our Missouri Public Pension Exemption flyer for more information.

    IRS Tax Penalties: Taking your MOSERS defined benefit (DB) pension at age 57 does not subject it to IRS tax penalties. However, taxes and/or penalties related to other distributions include:

    • There may be a 10% IRS tax penalty if you are younger than age 59 ½ at the time of payment, elect BackDROP*, and take a lump-sum cash payment. If you terminate employment in or after the year you reach age 55, this penalty will not apply. Additionally, MOSERS is required to withhold 20% of a BackDROP cash payment for federal taxes. More details are available in the Special Tax Notice brochure on our website. In such a situation, you can avoid the IRS tax penalty by rolling over the BackDROP payment to a qualified retirement account such as with MO Deferred Comp and not withdrawing it until you meet all IRS regulations (generally speaking, that is after you attain age 59 1/2 but there are exceptions, see page 4 of the Special Tax Notice brochure (BackDROP and Refunds), including one for public safety employees).
    • If you have made pre-tax contributions to the MO Deferred Comp plan (an internal revenue code section 457(b) plan), distributions from that plan following retirement or termination of service at any age are subject to ordinary income tax only.
    • Employer “match” contributions made on behalf of an employee to a 401(a) plan are subject to an additional 10% penalty if withdrawn prior to age 59 1/2.

    Be sure to check with your financial institution or a tax advisor for information about your tax liability when you begin withdrawing your funds.

    *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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  • Calculating the COLA

    Apr 19, 2022, 8:51 AM By MOSERS
    With the CPI nearing 5% and expected to rise above it I'm wondering how what the 5% maximum on the COLA is. Is the maximum COLA 5% or is the maximum COLA calculated as 80% of a maximum 5% CPI (5% x .80 = 4%)?

    The maximum cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for MOSERS retirees and beneficiaries is 5%. If the percentage change in the CPI from one year to the next were 5%, the COLA would be 4% (80% of 5%). If the percentage change in the CPI from one year to the next were 6.2%, the COLA would be 4.96% (80% of 6.2%). If the percentage change in the CPI from one year to the next were 10%, the COLA would be 5% (80% of 10% is 8% but the maximum COLA is 5%).

    The COLA that our retirees or their beneficiaries will receive this year is 3.758%. 

    To learn more, see our Cost-of-Living Adjustments page. 
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  • Basic Life Insurance Increase

    Apr 14, 2022, 9:01 AM By MOSERS
    Can I increase my Basic Life Insurance?

    As an actively employed MOSERS member, you receive basic life insurance equal to one times your annual salary at no cost to you. Your employer pays the premium. The only time your basic life insurance coverage increases is if your salary increases. However, as an active member, you may be able to purchase additional optional life insurance coverage for yourself and your dependents.

    To do so, complete and submit the Enrollment/Change-Optional Life Insurance form at myMOSERS and also the Standard Medical History Statement.

    MOSERS offers an Annual Life Insurance Review Period every October for member coverage. The review period gives eligible members the chance to increase their own optional coverage in increments of $10,000 without completing additional medical history forms. We will notify you each September if you are eligible. A family status change, such as marriage, also allows you to apply to increase your coverage within 31 days of an eligible life event without proving insurability. You may be eligible to purchase optional life insurance any other time during the year, but you will need to submit evidence of insurability.

    Please note that once you have retired, you cannot add or increase MOSERS insurance coverage on yourself, and you cannot continue optional life insurance coverage on your spouse into retirement. To retain life insurance coverage for any dependent child(ren), you must complete the Retain/Terminate Dependent Child Life Insurance form prior to the payment of your first retirement benefit.
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  • Unused Sick Leave and Legislation

    Apr 6, 2022, 1:21 PM By MOSERS
    How will HB2234I effect someone that is 7 years pass their BackDrop with 1500 hours of sick leave if it passes?

    HB 2234 does not change the current statutory rules for converting sick leave to service credit or BackDROP.

    You will get one month of credited service for each block of 168 hours of unused sick leave you have at retirement. While this will increase the amount of your benefit, unused sick leave cannot count toward eligibility for retirement or as part of the BackDROP period. That is, the months of unused sick leave will not make you eligible for retirement (or BackDROP) sooner, but will increase the amount of your payment once you have retired.

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  • Your W-2 and 1099-R Tax Form

    Apr 6, 2022, 8:30 AM By MOSERS
     I retired from the state of Missouri in October 2021 am needing access to my 2021 W2 and 2021 1099R. Please tell how to access your system for this information. Please e-mail me with instructions. Thank you. 

    Your W-2 form comes from your employer, not from MOSERS. You will need to reach out to your employer for your W-2.

    MOSERS provides retirees and benefit recipients with a 1099-R tax form. We mailed 1099-R forms at 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 print. 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. 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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  • Social Security and Your Pension

    Mar 24, 2022, 4:12 PM By MOSERS
    I attended the Ready to Retire seminar yesterday and I have one question I forgot to ask. If you receive a pension does it affect the amount of the SS benefit you receive? Or does the SS benefit stay the same regardless?

    Since a MOSERS pension is from Social Security covered employment in which you paid Social Security payroll taxes, it has no effect on your Social Security benefit. Additionally, your MOSERS benefit is a pension and, therefore, it does not count as salary or wages towards the annual earnings limit for Social Security.

    We also suggest you speak to a tax professional or financial advisor for advice specific to your situation. 

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  • State Taxes and BackDROP

    Mar 23, 2022, 1:31 PM By MOSERS
    As a recent retiree, I had a bad shock from my 2021 taxes when I discovered state withholding taxes were not taken out of my lump sum retirement benefit.  Despite the language on the BackDrop distribution form mentioning state and local taxes were my responsibility, I assumed since MOSERS took care of the Federal taxes they would take care of state taxes.  I don't recall this being covered in various pre-retirement information. You may want to make this information more prevalent to retirees,

    Thank you for your email. While we mention the member’s responsibility for state taxes on BackDROP cash payments in the Ready to Retire seminar (and reference book) and on the BackDROP Distribution form, we appreciate your feedback and will try and highlight this point in the future. 

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  • Accumulated Sick Leave at Retirement

    Mar 22, 2022, 11:23 AM By MOSERS

    I was hired in 2012. Does my accumulated sick leave count toward my time served when I retire?

    Unused sick leave does NOT count towards service for retirement ELIGIBILITY. In other words, it will not make you eligible for retirement sooner than you would have been without it. You must meet both the age and service requirements – not counting unused sick leave – to be eligible to retire.

    However, as part of your retirement benefit calculation, we will add one month of additional service for each block of 168 hours of unused sick leave you have at retirement. This will increase the AMOUNT of your benefit payment every month in retirement

    There are some specific situations in which unused sick leave doesn’t count:

    • MSEP 2011 members: If you left state employment after January 1, 2018, and prior to being eligible for early or normal retirement, you will get no service credit for unused sick leave.
    • MSEP retirees: If you leave state employment prior to being eligible for early or normal retirement, you will get no service credit for your unused sick leave.
    • Legislators, statewide elected officials, and judges: You do not accrue sick leave.
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  • Transferring to a Different State Agency

    Mar 18, 2022, 4:07 PM By MOSERS
    I will be going to work for a different state agency on March 24. Will I still be able to get on this system to check my things? Do all the contributions I've selected previously stay the same?

    It depends on where you transfer to. MOSERS defined benefit pension plan covers most, but not all, state agencies. If you are transferring from a benefit-eligible position with one MOSERS-covered employer to a benefit-eligible position with another MOSERS-covered employer, then yes, you can continue to find the information you need on our website and your personal information by logging in to myMOSERS. This is a nice advantage of working for the state since it gives you so many options.

    If you move to an employer not covered by MOSERS, you should contact that retirement system. For example, employees of the Missouri Department of Transportation and the Missouri Highway Patrol are covered by the MODot and Patrol Employees’ Retirement System (MPERS).

    If you are referring to your MO Deferred Comp contributions, when transferring to another state agency, your contribution to your deferred compensation account will not be interrupted. However, we recommend that you confirm with your human resources or payroll representative to ensure that all deductions are accurate. To view your deferred comp account for balance and contribution activity, you can either access through the ESS portal or by logging in at  

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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.