Retirement & Social Security

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Can I draw my MOSERS retirement check plus draw social security too?
Yes. In fact, the combination of your MOSERS defined benefit retirement plan, social security earnings, and personal savings & investment income form the foundation for a financially secure retirement. Use the State of Missouri Deferred Compensation Plan’s RetiremenTrack program to help you see how these three sources of income add up for your retirement.

You may have heard about the temporary benefit that is available to members who retire under the MSEP 2000 or MSEP 2011. The temporary benefit is available in retirement until a person turns age 62 but the MOSERS base benefit continues for life.  Workers can apply for early social security benefits, with a reduction, at age 62. However, the two are technically unrelated. There are many Rumor Central questions that may provide you with more insight.

We recommend that you get a MOSERS benefit estimate and contact the Social Security Administration at (800)772-1213 or visit for more information and details regarding your particular situation including your personal Social Security Statement.

Friday Top Five: Retirement Related News for 10/17/14

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From CBS MoneyWatch: How much longer might you live? Think Again

Consider this: A 65 year-old woman has a 50/50 chance of living another 20 years to age 85, according to an online calculator maintained by the Society of Actuaries (SOA). Similarly, a 65 year-old man has a 50/50 chance of living another 17 years to age 82.

This information might cause you some confusion if you've read that the average life expectancy in the U.S. is currently 81 for women and 76 for men. But these are life expectancies from birth -- they don't apply to someone who's already reached age 65.

From CNN Money: Seniors lose average of $30,000 to financial scammers

Senior victims of financial abuse report losing big money to scammers, caregivers and even their family members.

According to a recent survey of 2,000 seniors and other adults by Allianz Life Insurance Co., elderly victims reported losing an average of $30,000, while some suffered losses of more than $100,000.

From Forbes: Start Now: A Step By Step, Tough Love Guide To Saving For Retirement In Your 20s

As Stuart Ritter instructed new T. Rowe Price hires on the retirement savings options available to them, a woman in the back of the room at a recent orientation started pounding on the table in front of her. The 53 year-old told her mostly 20-something colleagues that after she graduated from college she figured saving for retirement would be easier once she paid off her student debt. Then she fell in love, so she saved for a wedding. Then for a house, some kids and college for those kids. Easier never came and 30-years after college graduation she doesn’t have any money saved for retirement. Her message: Don’t let this happen to you.

“There will always be competing demands for you money,” says Ritter, vice president of T. Rowe Price Investment Services. “There will always be more things you want to buy than money to buy them with. So the sooner you get past ‘O, but, I don’t have much money’ the better off you’ll be.”

From USA Today: How to find your passion after you retire

Many people want to continue working well beyond the traditional retirement age, and to do that they're finding new creative ways to stay employed in not just one new career, but two, three or more careers.

Take Fred Weinberg of New York City who retired at age 55 after working for almost three decades as a New York State parole officer who tracked down missing parolees.

From The Motley Fool: What the Retirement Calculators Won't Tell You

Saving enough for retirement has become a huge topic for today's baby boomers. There's no shortage of retirement calculators out there to help you determine whether you have what you need to enjoy your golden years.

Given the great divide between what the average boomer has saved for retirement and what he or she needs, it's understandable that many believe tomorrow's retirees are headed for absolute disaster.

October Financial To-Dos

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It’s T-17 days until Halloween, but your mind might be set on something scarier than cackling witches and skeletons – falling behind on your financial plans! Don’t worry, we’re here to help.
For state employees, October is all about looking ahead and making decisions that will affect your 2015 budget. Here’s a list of things that you might want to plan for or review this month:

1. Book your holiday plans

You probably haven’t decorated your house with Christmas trees or lights yet, but October is a great month to start planning for the festivities, especially if you’re planning on taking a plane, train, or bus. Generally, tickets are cheaper on Tuesdays. Here’s 6 more money-saving tips for travel.

2. Revisit your budget

Making decisions for your MO Cafeteria plan or health care plan might impact your budget. Take some time to revisit your monthly budget and find out how close you are to meeting your monthly goals, finding out whether you should cut back, or looking to see where you need to reallocate resources.

3. Revisit your worst-case scenario

Most MOSERS benefit-eligible employees have basic life insurance*, but have you taken some time to look at your Optional Life Insurance? Our fall PensionsPlus article covers the basics.
Additionally, you may want to go over your estate planning documents! These plans can cover anything from your social media accounts to who will handle the benefits for any minor survivors you’ve listed as beneficiaries. You may feel a sense of relief once these tasks are out of the way!

4. Re-evaluate your retirement plan

Although you may not be prepping for your golden years yet, you may want to take a peek at your savings strategy. Are you taking full advantage of your deferred compensation plan? Have you considered consolidating your retirement savings into one account?
Maybe you just want to dream about the future and get a benefit estimate. Log in to the secure Member Homepage, click Estimates and then Estimate Your Retirement Benefit.

*MOSERS’ life insurance is not available to employees of the Department of Conservation or state regional colleges/universities (except State Technical College of Missouri & Lincoln University), because those employers provide their own life insurance benefits.


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The post from April 27, 2005 describes an increase in the monthly benefit for years worked after age 65. Do these increases “count against” the 65% ‘Cap’ on the minimum 4% increases for those workers hired prior to August 28, 1997?
Note: the post referenced is here.

Yes, all COLAs accrued count towards the 65% cap for eligible members of the MSEP.

Lifetime Retirement Benefit

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Is the retirement benefit for a lifetime? Had heard that you would only receive the benefit for 20 years.
Yes--once you meet retirement eligibility, your MOSERS retirement is a lifetime benefit based on your final average pay and credited service. MOSERS is a defined benefit plan, which provides a set benefit for life once you meet the age and service requirements for retirement. If you aren’t sure what retirement eligibility is for your plan, see the Which Plan Am I In? section of our website. More information can be found in our retirement handbooks.

Friday Top Five: Retirement Related News for 10/10

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From The Modesto Bee: Missouri benefits expanded to same-sex spouses

Missouri's main health care and retirement plans are expanding benefits to same-sex spouses following a court ruling requiring the state to recognize gay marriages performed elsewhere.

The decisions about state benefits come as Republican legislative leaders on Thursday continued to criticize Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster for not aggressively defending the state's constitutional prohibition of gay marriage.

Jackson County Circuit Court Judge J. Dale Youngs ruled last Friday that Missouri must recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other states or countries — the first ruling to put a dent in the state's constitutional ban. Koster announced Monday that he won't appeal, stating that "Missouri's future will be one of inclusion, not exclusion."

From Plansponsor: Report Warns Against Moving N.J. Public Workers to DC Plan

A new report claims closing New Jersey’s defined benefit retirement plan for public employees and offering a defined contribution plan instead would be costly and would not solve the underfunding problem.

In “How to Dig an Even Deeper Pension Hole,” published by the New Jersey Policy Perspective, Stephen Herzenberg, executive director of the Keystone Research Center, says phasing out the state’s traditional pension plans and replacing them with 401(k)-type accounts would burden taxpayers with transition costs currently estimated at $42 billion and fail to reduce the state’s unfunded pension liability. In addition, moving employees from defined benefit (DB) to defined contribution (DC) plans has failed in three states that have tried it and was rejected by 13 other states after research concluded that the change would hurt taxpayers and pension recipients, the report observes.

From MarketWatch: What a strong dollar means for retirees

The U.S. dollar has been getting stronger relative to other currencies recently. The dollar has risen steadily for over 11 weeks and that’s the longest winning streak for the dollar since our currency became free-floating in 1973.

From Time Money: Why I Want a Real Retirement, And You Should Too

Looking forward to retirement seems irrational these days. Rising life expectancies and the increasing funding problems for Social Security and private pension plans have led to the recommendation that we defer retirement past the traditional age of 65—perhaps into our 70s and beyond. It’s getting to the point where many in my generation have started to assume that they might never retire at all.

It’s true that delaying retirement into your 70s will likely improve your financial situation. Yet in an age when work has come to permeate most of our waking hours, it seems even more important to delineate at least a decade when you’re still healthy enough to both reap the benefits of that hard work and devote your time to other pursuits. And yet the concept of a real retirement has come to symbolize financial irresponsibility or laziness or both.

From CBS Money Watch: Why so many workers retire earlier than planned

Half or more of all U.S. workers retire earlier than they had planned. The Retirement Confidence Survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) reports that nearly one out of two -- 49 percent -- of retirees left the workforce earlier than they had planned. That finding is consistent with a recent report from Merrill Lynch/Age Wave that reports more than half -- three out of five -- retirees say they retired earlier than they had expected.

The reasons for these earlier retirements reflect the range of events and circumstances that people experience in their later years. The EBRI survey reports both positive and negative reasons for people retiring earlier than planned. On the positive side, 26 percent said they were able to afford an earlier retirement, and 19 percent just wanted to do something else.

Buy-Out Option

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Is there a buy out option on my Missouri State Pension?
We answered a similar Rumor Central question back in August, which you can view here: