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High 36 and the Rule of 80

Feb 23, 2022, 15:56 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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