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Rule of 80 & Retirement Eligibility

Mar 26, 2018, 08:42 AM by MOSERS

What happens if I leave state employment prior to my eligible retirement date under the Rule of 80? How is my monthly retirement benefit calculated if that happens, and when will I first be eligible to begin receiving my retirement benefit? Also, under this scenario, what retirement benefits, if any, would I lose if I left state employment prior to my Rule of 80 date?

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.

If you are a general state employee, your retirement benefit is calculated using a three-part formula:

Final Average Pay (FAP)        x            Credited Service         x             Multiplier       =               Monthly Base Benefit  

(The multiplier is determined by your plan; 1.6% for MSEP; 1.7% for MSEP 2000/MSEP 2011.)

General state employees who are in the MSEP are eligible for normal retirement once they meet one of the following sets of age and service criteria:

  • Age 65 + 5 years of service
  • Age 60 + 15 years of service
  • “Rule of 80” – (at least age 48) Age + years of service = 80 or more.

See What’s My Plan? with information about plan membership, retirement eligibility requirements, and other plan provisions.

If you are a member of MSEP and you leave state employment before reaching normal retirement eligibility, you may still retire under “80 & Out” (the Rule of 80). Plan provisions in MSEP allow members who terminate employment to “age into” the Rule of 80. (This does NOT apply to members of MSEP 2000 or MSEP 2011**.) However, keep in mind that leaving state employment before reaching eligibility will likely delay when you reach “80 & Out” and reduce your benefit because you will no longer be accruing service. So, you may have to wait longer to begin receiving a smaller benefit if you leave state employment prior to reaching the Rule of 80.

Keep in mind 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).

*The 5-year vesting for MSEP 2011 member went into effect on 1/1/2018, and MSEP 2011 members must be actively employed on or after 1/1/2018 to be covered by this change.

**Plan provisions for MSEP 2000 do not allow members to “age into” the Rule of 80/80 & Out. Plan provisions for MSEP 2011, do not allow members to “age into” the Rule of 90/90 & Out.

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