Unused Sick Leave & Credited Service

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What happens to your sick time earned when you retire and have between 5 and 10 years of service completed?
Your MOSERS pension benefit is calculated using the formula:

Final Average Pay x Credited Service x Multiplier = Monthly Base Benefit. 

As part of this calculation, we will add one month of additional service for each block of 168 hours of unused sick leave you have at retirement. For example, if you have 2,500 hours of unused sick leave, you will receive an additional 14 months of credited service (2500/168=14.88) when your retirement benefit is calculated. Your unused sick leave is used in calculating the amount of your retirement benefit, but cannot be used to determine eligibility for retirement or BackDROP. Any amount of sick leave that remains above the calculated additional service credit is forfeited.

There are some specific situations in which unused sick leave doesn’t count:
•        MSEP 2011 members: If you leave state employment after January 1, 2018 and prior to being eligible for early or normal retirement, you will get no service credit for unused sick leave.
•       MSEP retirees: If you leave state employment prior to being eligible for early or normal retirement, you will get no service credit for your unused sick leave.
•       Legislators, statewide elected officials, and judges: You do not accrue sick leave.

Please note: Employees of colleges and universities should discuss maximum accrual levels and procedures with their HR office.

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Public Pension?

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Is mosers a public or private pension?
MOSERS is a public defined benefit (DB) pension plan so the benefit you receive through MOSERS is considered a public pension. As long as you reside in Missouri, your retirement benefits are subject to Missouri state income tax and federal tax. You may also be interested in information we have posted about the Missouri state tax Public Pension Exemption. Print Friendly and PDF

Sick Leave & Retirement

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There's a rumor going around that employees can no longer use their sick leave toward their retirement. I haven't heard of any changes, but I wanted to make sure since I handle retirement at our facility and have been asked. Thank you!
Often, people misunderstand how unused sick leave affects their MOSERS pension benefit. Unused sick leave does NOT count towards service for retirement ELIGIBILITY. It never has. In other words, it will not make you eligible for retirement sooner than you would have been without it. You must meet both the age and service requirements  –  not counting unused sick leave – to be eligible to retire.

As part of your retirement benefit calculation, we will add one month of additional service for each block of 168 hours of unused sick leave you have at retirement. This will increase the AMOUNT of your benefit payment every month in retirement. Unused sick leave cannot count toward eligibility for retirement or as part of your BackDROP period. That is, the months of unused sick leave will not make you eligible for retirement (or BackDROP) sooner, but will increase the amount of your payment once you have retired.

There are some specific situations in which unused sick leave doesn’t count:
•        MSEP 2011 members: If you leave state employment after January 1, 2018 and prior to being eligible for early or normal retirement, you will get no service credit for unused sick leave.
•       MSEP retirees: If you leave state employment prior to being eligible for early or normal retirement, you will get no service credit for your unused sick leave.
•       Legislators, statewide elected officials, and judges: You do not accrue sick leave.


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Employer Contribution Rate

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I see the contribution rate has gone up to 21.77%. You're back at the trough again. I suppose it makes your job easier when all you have to do is simply charge institutions like MSSU more. It's an unfunded mandate that puts significant financial stress on all Missouri universities.
Where can I find the contribution rates for previous years? Is it a constant upward trend with no end in sight?
Here is a link to a fact sheet on the employer contribution rates on our website. It shows the employer contribution rates from FY14 through FY20. 

After considerable deliberation, the MOSERS Board of Trustees voted to lower the assumed rate of return (ARR) on investments from 7.50% to 7.25% and intends to further reduce the ARR to 6.95% for the June 30, 2020 actuarial valuation. 

Funding for the system comes from 1) investment returns, 2) employer contributions, and 3) employee contributions (from those first employed in a benefit-eligible position on or after 1/1/2011). 

Changing the assumption about the amount of funding that will come from investments (the ARR) automatically causes employer contributions to increase and our funded status to decrease in the short term, but will work to ensure MOSERS’ sustainability over the long term.

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2019 COLA Announcement

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Will there be raise for retirees for 2019? When will it be decided and how much?
Yes, if you are referring to the annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs), assuming there is an increase in Consumer Price Index. We will calculate the 2019 COLA in January 2019. The rate calculation is based on 80% of the percentage increase in the average Consumer Price Index from one year to the next. The maximum increase is 5% (minimum 0%). We will get the data we need to make the calculation in mid-January 2019.

As a retired general state employee, you will receive a COLA each year on the anniversary of your retirement date, unless one of these exceptions applies to you:

• Retirees who converted from MSEP to MSEP 2000 during the conversion window in 2000 have COLAs payable each year in July.
• Retirees who elected a BackDROP will have COLAs payable each year on the anniversary of their BackDROP date.
• MSEP 2011 members hired after January 1, 2018 who leave state employment prior to retirement eligibility, will receive their first COLA on the second anniversary of their retirement.

Watch our website in January for more information. Learn more on the COLA page and in the upcoming issue of RetireeNews coming in December.

We will send you a notice, either in the mail or in your MOSERS Document Express online mailbox, during the month when you get your COLA.

Note: If you are a legislator or statewide elected official who retired under MSEP 2000 or MSEP 2011, you do not automatically get COLAs. Your benefit will be adjusted only if there is an increase in pay for active members of the general assembly or statewide elected officials, respectively.

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State Employee Pay Raise?

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I heard that the pay increase for 2019 for state employees will not be given to state employees on their check, put is being used for their insurance premiums. If that is true does not seem fair as some employees do not carry state insurance... so do they get a raise ?....
We administer retirement, life insurance, and long-term disability benefits but are not involved in employee pay or medical insurance decisions so we do not know the answer to your question. Your agency’s human resources staff may be able to provide you with more information.

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BackDROP & Reemployment With the State

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If I retire with Backdrop, how long do I have to wait if I want to start back working in a state-paid position?
If you retire and return to work in a benefit-eligible* position, your monthly retirement payment will stop as soon as we are notified that you are re-employed. Once you have worked for at least 12 continuous months in your new benefit-eligible position, you will begin accruing a separate retirement benefit.

Once you re-retire, your previous benefit will restart and your new benefit (based on your new service and salary) will be calculated and your benefit payments (old benefit plus new benefit) will resume. You are not allowed to elect BackDROP after you have first retired. In other words, you will not be eligible for BackDROP if you return to state employment after having already retired from the state.

If you retire and return to work in any position not covered by MOSERS or MPERS (including work for the state in a non-benefit-eligible position), you may continue receiving your MOSERS pension benefits and earn as much as you wish. Such employment will have no effect on your MOSERS benefit.

*A benefit-eligible position is one that normally require at least 1,040 hours of work per year, is permanent in nature, and is covered by MOSERS or the MoDOT and Patrol Employees’ Retirement System (MPERS). Your employer, not MOSERS, determines if you are working in a benefit-eligible position.


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