Friday Top Five: Retirement Related News for 11/21

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In a paper published by the Callan Investment Institute, Callan Associates Chairman and CEO Ron Peyton and Senior Vice President and Consultant in the Capital Markets Research group Karen Harris say DB plans are proven to be extremely cost effective and reliable in delivering basic retirement income security—when the rules of DB finance are followed.
More than half (52 percent) of people approaching retirement (age 55-64) say they wish they had started saving for the future sooner, according to results from a new TIAA-CREF survey. Many say they wish they had made smarter financial decisions earlier in their career, including saving more of their paycheck (47 percent) and investing their savings more aggressively (34 percent).

From Illinois Policy Institute:  Illinois’ Pension Debt Balloons to $111 Billion

Pension debt in the Land of Lincoln is a big problem. So big, in fact, that it would take three years of a complete government shutdown, during which the entire general fund went toward pensions, just to break even. No funding for schools, no money for public safety and nothing for health care and human services.

Illinois’ unfunded pension liability grew to more than $111 billion this year, according to official estimates. That’s a $48 billion increase just since 2009.
Public employees and retirees in California absorbed a potentially devastating court ruling a little more than a month ago: Pension benefits can be legally slashed if their employers go bankrupt.
The cities in a position to cut pensions, however, have shown no interest in doing so.
Chianti Lomax had an epiphany: Her salary and savings weren't enough to buy a home or start a family. MONEY paired her with a financial expert for help with a plan.
But turning 30 last December, Lomax had an epi­phany: Her career and her 401(k) weren’t enough to achieve her long-term goals: raising a family and buying a house in the rural South.

Garnishment of Retirement Benefits

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Can MOSERS retirement benefits be garnished?
Your benefits from MOSERS are not subject to execution, garnishment, attachment, writ of sequestration, or any other process or claim, except with regard to the collection of child support or maintenance, payment made to a former spouse pursuant to a division of benefits order, or an IRS levy.

Friday Top Five: Retirement Related News for 11/14

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From National Mortgage Professional: New Survey Proclaims Missouri as a Retiree Paradise

Where is the best place for Americans to retire? According to a new report issued by Livability.com, the 65-plus crowd would do well to plant their roots in Springfield, Mo.

How did Missouri’s third largest city become a new potential Mecca for retirees? According to Livability.com editor Matt Carmichael, the traditional concept of spending twilight years in sun-drenched resort areas is no longer prevalent with aging Baby Boomers.

From The New York Times: Finding, and Battling, Hidden Costs of 401(k) Plans

Like millions of retirees who assumed their companies had taken care of them, Ronald Tussey never thought that his retirement plan might be flawed. He trusted his company so much he kept his money in his 401(k) long after he left.

Having worked as an engineer for 37 years, ultimately at ABB Inc., where he retired 11 years ago, Mr. Tussey said he never paid much attention to the fees in his retirement plan and “assumed the company was looking out for my best interests.”

From Time Money: The 3 Best Ways to Boost Your Spending Power In Retirement

Location, location, location
You’ve heard the old saw that the three most important things in real estate are location, location, location. Well, that truism can apply to retirement too. Depending on where you retire, you may be able to dramatically boost the spending power of your Social Security check and your retirement nest egg, not to mention improve the quality of your post-career life.

Relocating in retirement isn’t the right strategy for everyone. If you like and can afford your house, have a solid network of family and friends to socialize with, and you enjoy your neighborhood and all it has to offer, you may not want to consider a change.

From BenefitsPro: On retirement, sponsors and employees disagree, a lot

It isn’t because they don’t care, or aren’t trying, but plan sponsors could be doing more to help workers save for retirement and often don’t see eye-to-eye with their employees on just how best to do that. 

That’s according to “Assumptions, Assessments and Actions: Plan Sponsor Views of Participant Support and Advisor Partnership,” a national survey of plan sponsors conducted by American Century Investment Services of Kanas City, Missouri. 

From Motley Fool: 3 Ways to Overcome Retirement Worry

According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, or EBRI, 24% of people are not at all confident about having enough money for retirement, and 37% describe themselves as only "somewhat confident."

That's a worrying majority of people who aren't feeling very confident about their golden years. Luckily, the EBRI dug into the data and found some of our biggest sore points about retiring. Here are three seemingly small but critical ways to gain more confidence about your retirement. 


Which Plan Am I In - Reemployment

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My niece worked two years for the State at a benefits covered position prior to 2011. After a few years absence, she has recently been reemployed with the same agency. Will the new 2011 pension rules apply (with regard to vesting and personal contributions), or will she be eligible for the old MSEP 2000 plan?
If your niece worked for the state as described in a MOSERS (or MPERS) benefit-eligible position prior to January 1, 2011, she would most likely be in the MSEP 2000.  The date on which she was first hired in a benefit-eligible position determines her plan membership.  For more information about plan eligibility, see the  Which Plan am I in? section of our website. MOSERS members can check their plan membership by logging into their secure Member Hompage, clicking on Estimates, then Estimate Your Retirement Benefit or by looking at their Annual Benefit Statement available via Online Documents. Also, MOSERS benefit counselors are available by phone at (800) 827-1063, by online chat, and by walk-in visits to our Jefferson City office Monday-Friday 7:30—4:30 if she would like more information about her specific situation.

How to Withold Out-of-state Taxes

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I am retiring March 1, 2015 and I will be moving to Indiana. I realize I do not have to pay State taxes in Missouri on my benefits. However, I have been told that Indiana's tax on my retirement benefits will be 4.44%, what, if anything do I need to do about that. And is there anything I need to do before my actual retirement date March 1 2015?
For your retirement benefit payment, MOSERS will not withhold taxes for any state other than Missouri. We recommend you contact the appropriate state and local tax authorities to determine the taxability of your MOSERS benefit.

We would suggest that you specify your tax withholding preferences by completing a Substitute W4-P (Tax Withholding for MOSERS Benefit Payments) form when you retire, which you can do by logging into your secure Member Homepage on MOSERS’ website.

Retirement Date for Terminated Vested Employees

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I am a vested employee. If I leave state employment before my retirement date, at what age will I be able to start drawing my retirement?
Your retirement eligibility depends on which plan you belong to. Please see the Which Plan Am I In? section of our website if you aren’t sure which plan you are in, then you can find the specific age and service requirements in the appropriate member handbook or on the summary of benefits comparison brochure. As a terminated-vested member, your benefit payment options and eligibility for benefits will be based on the laws in effect on the date you leave state employment.

MOSERS sends letters to terminated-vested members letting them know when they will be eligible to receive benefits, but you don’t have to wait to hear from us. If you are not sure of your eligibility, a MOSERS benefit counselor can help - give us a call! Or, log in to your secure Member Homepage on our website. Be sure to keep your contact information up to date so MOSERS can continue to communicate with you. Once a year, we provide a newsletter for terminated-vested members called VestedInterest, which we can either mail or email to you. 

Friday Top Five: Retirement Related News for 11/7/14

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From Time Money: Retirement Withdrawal Strategies That Can Pay Off Big

To figure out the right pace for your retirement withdrawals—and to avoid ending up in higher tax brackets—start planning before you stop working.

Having your own tax-deferred retirement account is a bit like having one of those self-titrating morphine buttons that hospitals use: Press it whenever you need quick relief.

From The Motley Fool: Retirement Planning: Half of You Answered "No" to This Critical Question

Bring up retirement planning and one of the first things a lot of people will think of is Social Security. And while this important social safety net plays a major role in retirement, a recent Pew study shows that the majority of people of all ages -- and more than 86% of young people -- believe that Social Security will pay either reduced or even no benefits when they retire.

In light of this, you'd think an increasing number of people would be saving for retirement, but it looks like that's not the case. A recent Bureau of Labor Statistics study reported that only 48% of people who worked in the private sector participated in an employee retirement plan. Let that sink in for a minute. Of the approximately 117 million private-sector workers in the U.S., potentially up to 61 million don't participate in a retirement plan through their work. 

From Next Avenue: Do Women and Men Differ As Retirement Savers?

Gender financial stereotypes abound. Women are risk adverse — to their detriment! Overconfident men trade more — to their detriment! Really?

We’ve tracked retirement savings behavior of more than 3 million Vanguard plan participants since 2000 and have seen a few consistent trends. (In our infographic, The Gendernomics of Retirement Saving, we highlight some of the gender differences observed in our data.)

From Deseret News: 5 ways to be retirement rich

It’s not all that surprising that, according to Gallup, Americans' No. 1 financial worry is whether or not they’ll be able to afford retirement.

But that doesn’t mean we should all just accept financial instability. Here’s a roundup of recent advice from experts to help you grow — or establish — your retirement reserves.

From BenefitsPro: Can better communication help employees save more?

When Diana Awed talks about retirement, she speaks of the “national challenge” ahead and its “implications for generations to come.”

She doesn’t dwell on the consequences, however, avoiding specifics around expectations that many middle-class and lower-income Americans will no doubt end up relying on family, friends and social services to survive after they either can no longer work or, in their old age, simply can’t find employment.