Retiree Health Care Premiums

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Is it true that if I have 30 years of service with the state of Missouri when I retired I would only need to pay half of my health insurance coverage?
The state’s contribution toward retiree health care premiums is based on years of service. The state’s contribution (also referred to as a subsidy) is 2.5% for each FULL year of service. The maximum subsidy is 65% (up to 26 years). It is based on the PPO 600 Plan.

Keep in mind that retiree health care premiums are higher than those of active state employees. For example, if your retiree health care premium is $800 and you received the maximum subsidy (65%), your portion of your premium would be $280 (35%). Specific questions regarding health care benefits should be directed to your health care provider, which, for most state employees, is Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan (MCHCP).

BackDROP Going Away?

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This morning I was told by a state employee that the backdrop benefit would be going away in January. If true, does this apply to new hires and state employees who are already vested will not be effected? 
We are not aware of any proposals to change or stop the BackDROP for members (general state employees) of the MSEP or MSEP 2000. However, members of MSEP 2011 (those first employed in a MOSERS benefit-eligible position on or after January 1, 2011) are not eligible for the BackDROP.
Any change to the BackDROP would require a change in the law, and the 2016 legislative session ends on May 13th.  As always, we will keep our members up to date through our website, newsletters and social media if there is any news on retirement-related legislation.

Four-Day Work Week?

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A few years back I had asked about a bill relating to a four day 10 hour work week. Where is this now and is it still active?
There was proposed legislation (Senate Bill 316) during the 2011 legislative session to create a four day work week for state employees. It did not pass at that time, so it would have to be reintroduced. We are not aware of any such proposed legislation in the 2016 legislative session, which ends on May 13th. To track pension related proposals, you may be interested in accessing the Legislative Status Report maintained by the Joint Committee on Public Employee Retirement (JCPER) at http://www.jcper.org/legsheet.pdf which is updated daily.

Rule of 80 ("80 & Out")

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Is the 80 and out plan still available to employees, that when their age and years service total 80 they can retire, or has that been raised or changed? And does it apply if you had been an employee, left state employment and then go back into it?
Yes , the Rule of 80 is available to eligible general state employees in MSEP and MSEP 2000. The age and service requirement for existing employees hired prior to 01/01/2011 remain the same at age 48 or older and their age and years of service must equal at least 80. It was changed to Rule of 90 for members of MSEP 2011 only and affects only those hired for the first time on or after 01/01/2011.

A vested member of MSEP or MSEP 2000 who leaves state employment prior to retirement but then returns may still reach retirement eligibility through 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.

Notice to Employer When Retiring

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Is there a set amount of notice that we need to give our employer when we decide to retire ?
The short answer is:  Customary practice is to notify your employer of your intent to resign at least two weeks prior to your last day of active employment. Contact the human resources staff at your agency for additional information or for answers to specific questions.

This is a question we often get at MOSERS (and understandably so), but the reality is that your resignation (termination of employment) is a process that is between you and your employer. Your retirement is a process between you and MOSERS. Often the two processes overlap, but not always. We contacted staff at OA Personnel to verify the above, which they did, and they also supplied the additional information under the heading, Resigning from State Employment, below. But first, we thought it might also be helpful for you to know a bit about the retirement process with MOSERS.

Retiring With MOSERS
Keep in mind that the retirement process is longer than two weeks. There are specific due dates for submitting both the Retirement Application and Retirement Election form. It will be at least two months between the time you submit your Retirement Application and when you get your first retirement payment, so please plan your resignation (and income) accordingly.

For example, if you are eligible and wish to  have May 1, 2016 as your retirement date, you must:

  • Submit your Retirement Application to MOSERS no later than March 31, 2016. (We encourage you to log in at www.mosers.org to your Member Homepage and apply online.).
  • Terminate your employment (stop working for the state in a benefit-eligible position) and submit your Retirement Election Form to MOSERS no later than April 30, 2016. 
  • With a  retirement date of  May 1, 2016, you will receive your first retirement benefit payment on May 31, 2016.

  Learn more about the two-step retirement process for general state employees in the Retirement Guide which is on our website. You may contact a MOSERS benefit counselors at your convenience to discuss your particular circumstances. You can call or stop by our office at any time during our regular working hours, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Resigning from State Employment (Information provided by OA Personnel)

For employees of Merit agencies and UCP Non-Merit agencies, sufficient notice may allow an employee to be re-employed by a Merit agency without having to pull a certificate and have the employee rank in the top 15 or top 15% of available applicants.  The particular appointing authority has the ability to choose to re-employ an employee that has left in good standing. The standard for “in good standing” is at least 15 days.  The “in good standing” status isn’t generally that important to retiring employees because they don’t anticipate coming back to state service in a Merit (or benefit-eligible) position.

Employers generally appreciate as much notice as they can get, particularly in the case of retirements. When organizations are required to try to replace experienced and knowledgeable staff, it helps to have lead time to try to prepare.

Is MOSERS Going Away?

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I have heard of a possibility that MOSERS retirement system will be discontinued. Is this a rumor or a fact? A friend of mine is paying some organization $15.00 a month to see that doesn't happen. 
That is just a rumor. You may have heard about the proposed cuts to retirement benefits from the “Central States Pension Fund” in the news. Central States Pension Fund is a private, Taft-Hartley (union) pension fund that is completely unrelated to MOSERS. They administer benefits for various Teamsters unions. At this time, Central States has made no reductions and, if so, they would be separate and distinct from your benefits payable from MOSERS.

Your MOSERS benefits are secure. MOSERS is a public defined benefit pension plan for most Missouri state employees. The benefits provided to retired state employees are obligations of the State of Missouri. Before any change can be made to these retirement benefits, the Missouri General Assembly must pass a bill and have that bill signed by the Governor.  Typically, as was the case in 2010 with the passage of the MSEP 2011,  plan changes made by the General Assembly affect new hires as of a certain date.  For example, the MSEP 2011 affects state employees hired for the first time on or after January 1, 2011. To track pension related proposals, you may be interested in accessing the Legislative Status Report maintained by the Joint Committee on Public Employee Retirement (JCPER) at http://www.jcper.org/legsheet.pdf which is updated daily. We will keep our members informed of any legislation that will impact their retirement, life insurance or long-term disability benefits.

We appreciate the opportunity to respond to this rumor.  Thank you for your question.

BackDROP Estimate Decrease

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Is it true that is you work past your normal retirement (80 & out) that your pension amount decreases? I noticed a decrease since last year.
If you are referring to your retirement benefit estimates including a BackDROP estimate that has decreased, we have addressed this question in an article on our website:
https://www.mosers.org/MOSERS-News-Archive/2016/Why-is-My-BackDROP-Estimate-Lower.aspx.

Generally, the longer you work, the higher your benefit and BackDROP. However, there are cases where working longer could decrease your BackDROP lump sum. The reason for the decrease could be due to a number of factors, among them, a lower COLA rate the year you retire as opposed to the previous year, or less or no temporary benefit calculated into the distribution if you are over 62 and are electing the MSEP 2000.