Reemployment After Retirement from MOSERS

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Can you retire from a Mosers position and take a position with one of the State universities and still draw your Mosers pension?
As a general state employee, your MOSERS retirement benefit would be stopped if you retire and later return to work in a benefit-eligible position covered by MOSERS or MPERS (MoDot & Patrol Employees’ Retirement System).

Your employer determines if the position is benefit-eligible. MOSERS administers benefits for most state agencies and regional state universities. See our website for a complete list of employers covered by MOSERS. If you have a question about whether or not a position will affect your MOSERS retirement benefit, we advise you to check with your potential employer.

MOSERS DOES administer retirement benefits for the following:
Harris-Stowe State University
Lincoln University
Missouri Southern State University
Missouri State University
Missouri Western State University
Northwest Missouri State University
Southeast Missouri State University
Truman State University
University of Central Missouri
State Technical College of Missouri

 MOSERS does NOT administer retirement benefits for the four campuses in the University of Missouri System – MU, UMKC, UMSL, and Missouri S&T.

Pension Funding

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Very concerned, if Mosers is asking the Legislators for more money, what's to keep them from saying they don't want to fund our retirement any longer and we end up with reduced benefits, like Kansas. I planned my retirement based on this, this is the reason I worked for lower wages, I'd like it to be there when I do retire. Thank you for your insight.
The state of Missouri has been consistent in fully funding the contribution rate recommended by the actuary and certified by the MOSERS Board of Trustees. You may be interested to read a similar question we answered last Friday.

As a vested member of MSEP/MSEP 2000, your accrued pension benefits are protected by law and cannot be reduced or modified.

Financial Health of Pension Plan

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I have heard that MOSERS is asking for over $40 million in additional funding from the State Legislature for the next fiscal year. Is this the case? And if so, why is the additional funding needed? Is the State Retirement fund solvent?
Thank you for your inquiry regarding MOSERS’ funding. Your diligence in maintaining an understanding of MOSERS’ overall fiscal health is commendable. 

To provide some background, money comes into the MOSERS trust fund in two ways: 1) Contributions by the employer and from employees in the MSEP 2011 and the Judicial Plan 2011, and 2) Investment Earnings. The two are linked. Over the past 30 years, investment earnings have accounted for approximately two-thirds of MOSERS’ revenues. Each year, the Missouri General Assembly appropriates an employer contribution to MOSERS typically at the level of annual employer contribution rate certified by the MOSERS’ Board of Trustees.  For more information, see our Key Facts regarding funding of MOSERS.

During 2016, the MOSERS Board of Trustees reviewed the plan’s experience study conducted for the five-year period ending June 30, 2015. Recommendations associated with this experience study were offered for the Board’s review. After careful consideration, the Board voted to:
    • Reduce the plan’s investment rate of return assumption from 8.0% to 7.65%, and
    • Strengthen the mortality tables associated with potential increased membership longevity.
These modifications were made to more closely align the fund with future capital market expectations as well as potential longer lifespans of members. Once incorporated, these modifications contributed to an increase in employer contribution requirements for FY18. The employer contribution rate increased from 16.97% to 19.45% of payroll. This change results in an approximate dollar increase in MOSERS’ appropriation request of $47 million as compared to the FY17 appropriation. As a percent of the total state budget, MOSERS’ appropriation represents approximately 1.4% of that total budget which has been consistent for more than a decade.

Retiree COLAs for 2017?

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Will we receive a raise in 2017?

We believe you are referring to the cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) for eligible retired members and their surviving beneficiaries. By law, every year, we calculate a COLA for retired general state employees. We will post the COLA for 2017 on our website by the end of January. We cannot determine the rate yet because the calculation is based on 80% of the percentage increase in the average Consumer Price Index (CPI) from one year to the next with a maximum increase of 5% (minimum 0%). The 2017 rate will be based on the comparison of the CPI from 2015 to 2016, for which the information is not yet available for November and December 2016. COLAs are payable on the anniversary of your retirement date (for most retirees*).

We encourage you to visit the COLA page in the Retiree section of our website, which has additional helpful information on how COLAs are calculated and a brief video explanation.

*Exceptions:
  1. Retirees who converted from MSEP to MSEP 2000 during the conversion window in 2000 have COLAs payable in July.
  2. Retirees who elected a BackDROP have COLAs payable on the anniversary of their BackDROP date.

MSEP 2011 Vesting Period

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The MOSERS vesting period is being considered to be reduced from 10 years back to 5 years after the election.
We assume you are referring to the vesting period for MSEP 2011 members (those first-employed in a MOSERS benefit-eligible position on or after 01/01/2011), which is 10 years.   MOSERS administers retirement benefits but we do not have the authority to change plan provisions. However, this was a recommendation from the recent compensation study.  Nevertheless, before any change can be made to retirement benefits, the Missouri General Assembly must pass a bill and have that bill signed by the Governor.  The 2017 legislative session begins on January 4, 2017 and ends on May 12, 2017. We will continue to keep our members informed of any pension-related legislation during that time.

When to retire?

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Is it better to retire after the first of the year for tax purposes or would it make much of a difference to retire in November? Someone told me it's better to go after the first of the year.
There are many different factors to consider when deciding when to retire with taxes being just one of them. MOSERS can provide you with different benefit estimates so you can compare your options but, ultimately, the decision about the “best” time will depend on your individual circumstances.

As it pertains to taxes, if you are eligible for BackDROP and elect it at retirement, you will be taxed on the lump-sum cash payment for the year you receive it if you don’t roll it over to a tax-deferred, qualified retirement account. The later in the year it is, the more taxable income you may have (from your employment plus BackDROP plus any other sources). Having a large spike in income in one year could result in you paying a higher percentage in taxes that year.

See our Special Tax Notice Brochure for information. In particular, if you are younger than age 59½ and don’t roll over your BackDROP distribution, you may also have to pay a 10% additional income tax on early distributions. If you elect a rollover (into the MO Deferred Comp Plan, for example) and defer the taxes, the time of year of your retirement doesn’t matter for tax purposes.

We encourage you to consult with a professional tax adviser before making your retirement decisions.
You may also be interested in a related topic on potentially utilizing the cafeteria plan to save taxes on medical insurance premiums during the remainder of the year in which you retire.

You may also be interested in a related topic on potentially utilizing the cafeteria plan to save taxes on medical insurance premiums during the remainder of the year in which you retire. 

Retiree COLAs?

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When will retirees receive their COLAs?
COLAs are payable on the anniversary of your retirement date (for most retirees). The exceptions are:

  1. Retirees who converted from MSEP to MSEP 2000 during the conversion window in 2000 will have COLAs payable in July.
  2. Retirees who elected a BackDROP will have COLAs payable on the anniversary of the BackDROP date.

You can read more in the article we posted on our website when we announced the COLA rate in January:
https://www.mosers.org/MOSERS-News-Archive/2016/2016-COLA-Rate-Determined.aspx