Preventing Identity Theft

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I was just notified by my doctor's office that their system was breached by a hacker and that my personal information may have been stolen.
How can I make sure the hackers don't try to get my pension check?
To protect our members’ personal information, MOSERS follows best practices and industry guidelines regarding the handling of and access to member data and we routinely participate in security audits to ensure we keep up with technology. That being said, identity theft and data breaches are a real threat so we encourage our members to be vigilant and active in taking steps to protect themselves, too.

You should routinely change your password if you log in to your Member Homepage on the MOSERS website. From www.mosers.org, simply click on the blue Member Login button, then follow the instructions. Also, we recommend that you routinely change your password on any other sites that require one. As part of our security protocol, we send an email to you (at the email address we have on file for you) anytime your account is accessed. If you receive such an email and have not just logged on to your Member Homepage, please notify us immediately.

Alternatively, you may call us, ask to speak with a benefit counselor, and request that your MOSERS online account be locked.  This will prevent you and anyone else from accessing your information online. If you call MOSERS, the benefit counselor will ask questions to verify your identity. 
Here are some additional security tips from an article on our website: 


We hope you find this information helpful.

Pre-Tax Premium Options for Retirees

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If I retire January 1, 2017 my health insurance will be paid out of my Dec. check for the month of January. Can I run my health insurance through the Cafeteria Plan and pay it out of my AL (annual leave payout) for 11 months in 2017, Feb. thru Dec?
(For most state employees, health insurance is administered by Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan [MCHCP] or their employer if they work for Conservation or a state college or university. While we don’t administer health insurance, we hear this question a lot. It is a good question and the answer provides valuable information for retirees. We sent it to MCHCP and are posting their response to ensure we are passing along the most accurate information to readers.)

From MCHCP:

If you are retiring January 1, the answer is yes, because the annual leave payout in this scenario will be distributed on January 31, therefore you will use 2017 funds to pay 2017 premiums using the pre-tax premium option of the cafeteria plan.

Please note:  If your retirement date is December 1, you will not be able to use the pre-tax premium option to prepay the next year’s premiums due to federal guidelines governing the cafeteria plan.

Remember, MOSERS does not administer health insurance - Please contact MCHCP at 800-487-0771,  or contact your health insurance provider, for questions specific to your individual situation.

MSEP 2011 Members & Rule of 80

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Why can't we go back to 80 and out? It is not fair to us just because we did not get hired earlier in our careers. We are getting shorted in every way.
It appears you are referring to the differences in eligibility for normal retirement:

MOSERS Normal Retirement Eligibility for General State Employees by Plan
-Normal Retirement Eligibility is the age and service required to receive an unreduced retirement benefit
MSEP
You are a member if employed in a MOSERS benefit-eligible position prior to 7/1/2000 and vested in MSEP.
MSEP 2000
You are a member if employed in a MOSERS benefit-eligible position prior to July 1, 2000, but left employment before becoming vested and returned to work in a benefit-eligible position any time after July 1, 2000, or first employed in a MOSERS benefit-eligible position on or after July 1, 2000 but prior to January 1, 2011.
MSEP 2011
You are a member if first employed in a MOSERS benefit-eligible position on or after 1/1/2011.
  •     Age 65 with 5 years of service, or
  •  Age 60 with 15 years of service, or
  • “Rule of 80” - at least age 48 with age and service equaling 80 or more
  • Age 62 with 5 years of service, or
  • “Rule of 80” - at least age 48 with age and service equaling  80 or more
Terminated-vested members not eligible for “Rule of 80”
  •     Age 67 with 10 years of service, or
  •     “Rule of 90” - at least age 55 with age and service equaling 90 or more
Terminated-vested members not eligible for “Rule of 90”

In 2010, following the Great Recession, the Missouri Legislature was faced with tough decisions about the state budget. Ultimately, they made changes to retirement benefits for new state employees. (Significant Reforms to State Retirement Systems were made in various other states around the same time and often to a greater degree). The changes made here help to significantly reduce costs to the state while also allowing our state to continue to provide a defined benefit (DB) retirement plan for current and future state employees. In a MOSERS DB plan, once you meet the requirements and retire, you have the security of knowing that you will receive at least that amount every month for life – you won’t outlive your benefit. A DB plan can also help provide financial security for your eligible spouse if you die first. DB plans are now almost unheard of in the private sector and they help our state recruit and retain qualified employees to provide vital state services, which is important to all Missouri residents.

MOSERS administers retirement benefits but we do not have the authority to change plan provisions. Any changes would require passage of legislation by the Missouri General Assembly.

Health Insurance Premiums at Retirement

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When I retire I will have 24 years in, what will I pay for my health insurance? I understand there is a 2.5% discount per each year served. and do I pick up all the premium at retirement?
Please contact MCHCP to get specific answers to your questions about medical, dental, and vision insurance as they relate to your individual circumstances.

The Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System (MOSERS) administers retirement, long-term disability and life insurance benefits for our members. Health insurance is provided through MCHCP (for most state employees) so we cannot answer health insurance related questions but we can help you find more information. The MCHCP website says:

The retiree premium is based on years of service with the state at retirement. The state contribution is calculated by using the number of full years of service (as reported by MOSERS or another retirement system) multiplied by 2.5 percent. The contribution for non-Medicare retirees is based on the PPO 600 Plan premium with the tobacco-free incentive and wellness premium. The contribution for Medicare retirees is based on the PPO 600 Plan total premium. The maximum state contribution cannot exceed 65 percent.

For more information, you can log in to the website and use the premium calculator or contact them at www.mchcp.org or 800-487-0771.

Staff from MCHCP, as well as from Social Security and MO Deferred Comp, present a session at MOSERS’ PreRetirement seminars. If you are within five years of retirement eligibility, we encourage you sign up for a seminar.

Penalty for Early Withdrawal from Deferred Comp?

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When I retire I will be 56 yrs old, will I be penalized for withdrawing money from my deferred comp fund?
Many retirement savings accounts, will impose a 10% penalty on top of federal tax withholdings for any distributions made prior to age 59 ½; however a 457 plan, like MO Deferred Comp, isn’t one of them*.  In fact, one of the biggest benefits of saving with the deferred compensation plan is penalty-free access to your money before age 59 ½ as long as you are separated from state service.

Remember, you do not have to withdrawal your money from the deferred compensation plan after you retire or leave state employment.  Keeping your money with MO Deferred Comp is a smart way to maintain access to all of the great features you enjoyed while you were working. Actually, 60% of state retirees still have an account after five years of retirement and are still enjoying the plan’s low cost, custom investment options. Once retired, the deferred compensation plan provides a variety of manual and automatic payment options to help you access your hard-earned savings.

If you have additional questions, please visit the MO Deferred Comp’s website or call 800-392-0925 to speak with a participant service representative.

*A 10% penalty will apply to distributions from any employer contributions and earnings in a 401(a) account or rollover dollars (such as BackDROP) from other qualified accounts.

State Retiree "Fees"?

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 It was rumored by an employee of DESE that a 9% fee was being charged to state retirees for services provided by MOSERS. If this is true, what services are being charged?
No, this is not true. We are not sure where the figure of 9% came from but tried to imagine how this rumor may have started. Here are a few possibilities:

Member Contributions: Members of the MSEP 2011 and the Judicial Plan 2011 (who first began working in a benefit-eligible position on or after 1/1/2011) are required by a law passed in 2010 to contribute, by payroll deduction, 4% of gross pay toward their retirement benefit. This contribution is not a fee—it is made on a pre-tax basis and members will receive no less than the amount contributed, either in future retirement benefits or through a refund of contributions plus interest. The individual member account is the member-financed portion of the retirement benefit eventually received. In fact, the majority of employees who do retire will receive substantially more in retirement benefits than the amounts they contributed. See the example of the value of your retirement benefit in our New Employee Orientation brochure. There are three sources of income for the MOSERS pension fund; (1) the 4% contributions from those first hired on or after 1/1/2011, (2) the employer’s contributions (currently, 16.97% of covered payroll), and (3) MOSERS’ investment income.

Deferred Compensation Administrative Fee: Whether it’s an account like the deferred comp plan offered to state employees or an outside IRA, it costs money to grow your savings in a retirement saving account. Retirement savings accounts charge account administrative fees in addition to investment management fees for each fund option. MO Deferred Comp prides itself on competitively-low costs and being transparent about any fees passed on to savers. In the MO Deferred Comp Plan, the “Per Participant Administrative Fee” is $15 per year plus 0.09% of assets (or 9 basis points). The 0.09% is included in each fund’s expense ratio. The average expense ratio of a Missouri Target date fund is 0.22% (0.09% administrative and 0.13% investment management).  The MO Deferred Comp Plan fees are among the lowest out-of-pocket participant fees (administrative and investment management) compared to a universe of peer retirement savings plans according to CEM Benchmarking, Inc. Learn more about low costs and other advantages on the MO Deferred Comp website

We hope this helps address your concerns. 

Effects of "Brexit" on Retirement Benefits?

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With Britain's withdrawal from the EU, how is that going to effect our backdrop and retirement. Will be retiring soon and this development has me very concerned.
 Britain’s withdrawal from the EU will not affect your BackDROP amount or monthly retirement benefit.  Furthermore, your MOSERS pension benefit will not be impaired by any short-term market event because it is based on a formula set by law:  Final Average Pay x Credited Service x Multiplier = Monthly Base Benefit.  (Learn more about MOSERS PreRetirement Seminars, the formula, and the retirement process here.)

MOSERS is a pre-funded plan, which means your employer (as an agency of the State of Missouri) makes ongoing financial contributions which are combined with investment earnings and, as of 2011, contributions from new state employees, to pay all current and future benefits. The state makes contributions to your benefit throughout your career. Those contributions have been, and will continue to be, invested in a long-term investing plan that does not react to short-term political events.

To reiterate, your benefit is secure. Money comes into the MOSERS fund in two ways:
1) Contributions - from employers and from employees in the MSEP 2011 or the Judicial Plan 2011, and 2) Investment earnings. MOSERS’ investment earnings on the amounts that have been contributed have significantly increased the assets available to pay your retirement benefit.