Rumor Central Posts

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 How often is Rumor Central updated? Maybe it should be updated at least once a week to keep us all posted about the latest concerns and/or talk about our retirement program.
We update Rumor Central when we receive a question about retirement, life insurance or long-term disability benefits administered by MOSERS. When we post a new question, everyone who is signed up to receive the notifications will get an email on Friday of that week so they will know a new question has been posted. If no new questions are submitted, we don’t post any updates, because the content is generated by our members and what they would like to know about.

In addition, if we receive a question we have recently addressed on the blog, we may not post it again and instead just respond individually to the sender (if contact information is provided.) We encourage members to review the Categories section before submitting a question to see if a similar question has already been answered before submitting a new question. For example, the number (181) posted next to BackDROP means we’ve answered 181 questions about BackDROP on the blog. If there is something you’d like to know about related to MOSERS benefits, and it’s not listed under the Categories page, please send us a question!

We also encourage our retirees to attend a Coffee Break educational seminar in their local area. The 2018 schedule will be posted on our website in January and included in the Fall/Winter issue of RetireeNews in December. These seminars are an excellent opportunity to hear the latest MOSERS news and network with other retirees!

MOSERS & PSRS?

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I keep hearing rumors that Peers and Mosers are joining forces. Just wondering if this is a possibility or not. 
No, we are not aware of any efforts to merge MOSERS and the Public School & Education Employee Retirement Systems (PSRS-PEERS).

Income Replacement in Retirement

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I was told that if you work for the state for 40 years that your retirement will be roughly the same as your salary. This doesn't make sense to me but need to check it out.
With forty years of service, your retirement benefit from MOSERS would not be the same as your salary; however, your MOSERS benefit plus your Social Security benefit would be closer to replacing most of your pre-retirement salary. Here is more information:

The retirement plan through MOSERS is a defined-benefit pension. That means the benefit is defined by law and based on a formula as shown here:

Final Average Pay (FAP) x Credited Service x Multiplier (1.6% for MSEP; 1.7% for MSEP 2000/MSEP 2011) = Monthly Base Benefit  

Example: Let’s assume that when you retire, your annual salary is $40,000; you have 40 years of service; and you elect MSEP with a  multiplier of 1.6% (0.016)

FAP ($40,000/12 = $3,333.33 monthly) x Credited Service (40 years) x Multiplier (0.016) = Monthly Base Benefit

$3,333.33 x 40 x 0.016 = $2,133.33

With 40 years of service, your monthly base benefit is equal to 64% of your salary at retirement. This does not include the impact of such provisions as the Temporary Benefit which may apply, if eligible, or COLAs in retirement.

As noted in our publication, Key Facts, generally speaking, combined pension and social security benefits should replace approximately 75% of a 30-year employee’s final average pay. Additional personal savings through programs such as MO Deferred Comp can make up the difference. You can get a pension benefit estimate at any time by logging in to your Member Homepage. Click on Estimates, then on Estimate Your Retirement Benefit. You may wish to print several versions based on different dates or other factors. Or, contact a MOSERS benefit counselor to request estimates or to make an appointment for a face-to-face meeting. We encourage you to explore the section of our website called “What Plan Am I In?” to read more about the specific provisions in each plan. Once you meet the age and service requirements and retire under a MOSERS defined benefit plan, you are guaranteed a lifetime pension benefit. When you are Ready to Retire, we are here to help.


Pension Funding

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If the MOSERS retirement fund is only 69.6% funded currently and that figure does not go up or only goes up a little by the time I am eligible to retire in 5 years then does that mean I will only get
69.6 % of what I am supposed to get on my monthly pension?
No. MOSERS pays 100% of the promised benefits due to members. The funded status (technically the unfunded actuarial accrued liability or UAAL) of the retirement system is separate from the formula that is used to calculate your MOSERS retirement benefit. We are not a “pay-as-you-go” system, rather we are pre-funded through contributions from the state, contributions from members who were first employed on or after January 1, 2011, and from investment earnings. The funded status refers to the value of assets we have currently relative to all present and future liabilities.

MOSERS provides a defined-benefit pension. That means the benefit is defined by law and based on a formula as shown here:

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). We encourage you to explore the section of our website called “What Plan Am I In?” to read more about the specific provisions in each plan.

We have answered many Rumor Central questions on system funding recently that you may also find helpful.

Change to Rule of 90?

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I have heard from several people including some in a supervisor position that with the change from 10 year vesting to a 5 year vesting period that we will also be returning to 80 and out as opposed to 90 and out, is this true?
No. Other than the vesting period changing from 10 years to 5 years, the provisions of SB 62 have NO impact on members of MSEP 2011 who work in a MOSERS benefit-eligible position until they reach normal retirement eligibility.

Members of MSEP 2011 will become eligible for normal retirement when they are age 67 and have 5 years of service OR under the “Rule of 90” (“90 & Out”) which is when they are at least age 55 and their age and service equal 90 when they terminate/leave state employment.

It is important to note that the 5-year vesting for MSEP 2011 members will go into effect on 1/1/2018. MSEP 2011 members must be actively employed on or after 1/1/2018 to be covered by this change. For more information on vesting, see The Change from 10 to 5-Year Vesting for MSEP 2011 Members.



Sick Leave & Retirement

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Is there any discussion about allowing current employees to use sick leave hrs as time worked in order to retire earlier, rather than counting them at retirement for yrs of service? If so what type of time frame for implementation is being looked at.
No, not that we are aware of. Currently, you will get one month of credited service for each 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. That is, the months of unused sick leave will not make you eligible for retirement sooner, but will increase the amount of your payment.

Any change to this, or any other state employee pension provision, requires passage of legislation by the Missouri General Assembly and approval by the Governor. Pre-filing of bills begins on December 1, 2017 and the 2018 legislative session begins on January 3, 2018. We do not know what might happen with individual bills during the legislative session but we will monitor all legislation impacting MOSERS and inform our members of any changes that become law.

Buyout Program

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So why is MOSERS trying to buy former employee's retirements from them? I know it to be true, one such employee I worked with now works with my spouse and showed him.
Senate Bill 62, passed during the 2017 regular legislative session, authorizes the MOSERS Board of Trustees to establish a voluntary pension buyout program. This program allows certain former state employees who are vested for a pension to cash out their future monthly retirement benefit in exchange for a one-time lump-sum payment now. The Buyout Program is NOT available to current state employees or members who are already retired.

The Buyout Program is completely voluntary and we encourage each eligible former state employee to discuss their individual situation with a financial advisor before making a decision.

We provided eligible former state employees with letters and a newsletter in September that outlined their options so that they may make an educated decision. If they do not elect the buyout, we will contact them prior to their retirement eligibility.