The 2005 legislative session came to an end on Friday, May 13 at 6 pm.

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While several bills were pending at the day’s close, only one passed that will, if signed, have an effect on certain MOSERS members. Neither SB 466 nor HB 334 passed, ruling out any possible retirement incentive or medical subsidy for MOSERS members this year. SB 375, relating to additional credited service for certain MSEP 2000 members’ military service also did not pass.
HB 119 did pass, allowing members on active duty military leave to retain their life insurance for a period longer than 12 months.
Thank you for taking an interest in MOSERS’ Rumor Central, allowing us to provide you with accurate information regarding legislative proposals and other retirement related issues, thus minimizing the amount of misinformation that would otherwise be circulating.
With the close of the legislative session, it is expected that the volume of questions submitted to Rumor Central will drop off. However, Rumor Central will remain a fixture on MOSERS’ website. The link will be moved from the feature section to our blue navigation bar on the left side of our homepage. While we are always happy to respond to any question you may have, for purposes of Rumor Central we are particularly interested in questions that begin with “I heard” and conclude with “Is that true?”. If you have specific questions regarding your individual benefits, please contact a Benefit Counselor at (573) 632-6100 or (800) 827-1063. It has been our pleasure keeping you as well informed as possible during this busy legislative session! Print Friendly and PDF

Can a person be eligible for a BackDROP as well as an incentive plan prior to retirement? I have heard it's either one or the other? Is that the case?

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Can a person be eligible for a BackDROP as well as an incentive plan prior to retirement? I have heard it's either one or the other? Is that the case?
A member who is eligible for normal retirement, who has also worked at least two years beyond their normal retirement date (making them eligible for the BackDROP), could also be eligible for a proposed incentive. The incentive and the BackDROP are not related, meaning that one is not affected by the other. Therefore, members eligible for both may choose to elect both. Print Friendly and PDF

If the Governor vetoes SB466, can it still be passed into law? What actions do the House & the Senate have to take to overturn the veto?

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If the Governor vetoes SB466, can it still be passed into law? What actions do the House & the Senate have to take to overturn the veto?
As a general rule the answer is that a bill can still become law if vetoed by the Governor but in this particular case it would appear to be academic. If the Governor vetoes a bill, it is sent back to the house in which it originated, along with a list of the Governor's objections. To overturn a veto, both the House and Senate need to vote on the bill again with a two-thirds majority in favor of the bill's passing in each body. If that occurs, the bill becomes law. Since veto session does not begin until September 14, the window period stipulated in the bill would have already closed, thus resulting in there being no incentive period. Print Friendly and PDF

If both the House & Senate approve and pass SB 466 by the close of session, but the Governor doesn't sign it - when does the bill become effective?

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The 2005 legislative session ends Friday, May 13. Any bills passed on the last day are sent to Governor Blunt, who then has until July 14 to sign or veto these bills. Bills that are not signed or vetoed will automatically become law. Any bills containing an emergency clause (as this one does) would take effect on July 15th; otherwise they would take effect on August 28th.
NOTE: A version of SB 466 was added to HB 334 this week. SB 466 is not on the calendar in either house, so it is more likely that HB 334, with the Senate Substitute containing the retirement incentive provisions, is the bill that would be debated by the general assembly. Senate Substitute for House Committee Substitute for HB 334 was sent to the House this week. Yesterday the House asked the Senate to recede from its position or grant a conference. This means the House did not accept the Senate changes as is, and therefore would like to discuss them in a conference committee. As of this morning, the Senate has not yet responded to the House on this matter. Print Friendly and PDF

My 80 and out date is November 1, 2005, but I also have 21 months of military service that I plan on purchasing to add to my service credit for retire

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My 80 and out date is November 1, 2005, but I also have 21 months of military service that I plan on purchasing to add to my service credit for retirement. Am I able to take 4 months of my 21 months of military service to become eligible for the September 1, 2005 retirement date to take advantage of the benefits of SB 466, thus retaining 17 months of additional service credit from my military service or will all 21 months be applied towards my eligibility date? I have been told by a number of staff that in applying your military towards your retirement eligibility date, it is all or nothing, so my question. Thanks for your response.
If you have military service you wish to purchase to add to your MOSERS service, you must purchase all of it, up to four years. There is a four year limit on military purchases. Since you have 21 months (1 year 9 months) of military service, you would be required to purchase all of it, not just the four months you mentioned above. Completing this purchase of all 21 months prior to your intended retirement date would in fact make you eligible for the potential incentive. It is up to you to decide whether the military purchase would be cost effective in return for the potential medical subsidy offered by the incentive on HB 334. For purchase estimates, contact a benefit counselor at (800) 827-1063 or view our service purchase calculator here on our website. Print Friendly and PDF

If it passes, will SB 375 allow credit for military service if the member is currently drawing a military pension?

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If it passes, will SB 375 allow credit for military service if the member is currently drawing a military pension?
Yes, members who are currently drawing a military pension would be eligible for the free credit if SB 375, assuming that they met all other eligibility criteria. Only members who were first employed in a MOSERS covered position on or after July 1, 2000 would be eligible. Print Friendly and PDF

If the new early retirement incentive plan passes will MOSERS send a letter to all potential employees that will qualify to explain the terms of this

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If the new early retirement incentive plan passes will MOSERS send a letter to all potential employees that will qualify to explain the terms of this new option?
In the event that any legislation affecting MOSERS members passes, MOSERS will inform those affected in writing, explaining their options and the time frame within which they must act. Print Friendly and PDF

I am a state worker with DYS and eligible to retire now. There may be an opportunity to teach at a state university part time.

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I am a state worker with DYS and eligible to retire now. There may be an opportunity to teach at a state university part time. If I retire under the proposed legislation, would the re-employment clause eliminate me from accepting a part-time teacher position?
If you elect to take the medical incentive, you would be precluded from working for any department, including a state university, during the three years following your election to take the incentive. Print Friendly and PDF

HB 334 Update – Health care retirement incentive providing a five-year medical incentive and allowing unused sick leave to be included in determining

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HB 334 Update – Health care retirement incentive providing a five-year medical incentive and allowing unused sick leave to be included in determining eligibility for normal retirement added to “clean-up” legislation.
The Senate Substitute for House Committee Substitute for House Bill 334 (SS for HCS for HB 334) was third read and passed by the Senate on May 10, 2005. The Senate Substitute contains provisions relating to a temporary health care retirement incentive (that was originally addressed in the SCS for SB 466).
HB 334 was introduced as “clean-up” legislation for the retirement system, which means it contains minor administrative modifications to and clarifications of the retirement plans that MOSERS administers (including the Missouri State Employees’ Plan, the Missouri State Employees’ Plan 2000, the Administrative Law Judges and Legal Advisors’ Plan, and the Judicial Plan). These administrative changes are general in nature and carry no fiscal impact to the system.
The SS for HCS for HB 334, however, contains provisions that would, if enacted, allow eligible employees to retire under a temporary health care retirement incentive and further provides that unused sick leave may be used for establishing retirement eligibility. As proposed, the legislation would allow employees who are otherwise eligible to retire (including those who become eligible by virtue of sick leave credits) and who do retire on or after the effective date of the act but no later than September 1, 2005, to continue medical coverage for the member and eligible dependents at the active employee rate for a maximum of five years or until becoming eligible for Medicare, whichever occurs first, at which time the rate reverts to the applicable retiree rate in place at that time.
The legislation would further limit the number of employees departments may hire to replace those employees who retired during the window to no more than 25% of the positions vacated. Exceptions to the 25% restriction could be made for critical or seasonal positions or any positions impacting federal fund matches. The 25% restriction would not apply to Truman University, Lincoln University, or the educational institutions described in Chapter 174, RSMo. Lastly, the proposal would prohibit employees who retire under the incentive from any reemployment with any department for a period of three years.
As it relates to the temporary health care retirement incentive, the boards that govern Truman University, Lincoln University, the colleges and universities, and the commissions that govern MoDOT and the highway patrol and the Department of Conservation could elect to offer the same medical retirement incentive to eligible employees.
Since these provisions would have a financial impact for the state, MOSERS has submitted a fiscal note for review. MOSERS will continue to monitor action related to this proposal and post updated information as it becomes available. Print Friendly and PDF

I am currently eligible to retire either under MSEP or MSEP 2000. I have qualified for the BackDROP with MSEP but not MSEP 2000.

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I am currently eligible to retire either under MSEP or MSEP 2000. I have qualified for the BackDROP with MSEP but not MSEP 2000. I have service time which I could purchase. If I did, I would then qualify for BackDROP under MSEP 2000. Would purchasing my military time so I could take advantage of the additional benefits under MSEP 2000 have an adverse affect on the benefit of SB466 should it pass?
If you purchased additional public or military service to add to your MOSERS benefit, your purchased service would count as credited service toward your BackDROP. This purchase would not have adverse affects on the potential incentive provided by SB 466. If you submit your application for retirement within the normal time parameters (May 31 for a July 1 retirement date, June 30 for an August 1 retirement date, or July 31 for a September 1 retirement date) and completed your purchase before your retirement date, you would qualify for the incentive (provided that SB 466 does pass and become law). For more information on purchasing service credit, see our Acquiring Service Credit brochure, or contact a benefit counselor for purchase estimates at (800) 827-1063. Print Friendly and PDF

If this bill is passed and I retire during the window period will I have the option of (1) taking the incentive or (2) retiring without taking the inc

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If this bill is passed and I retire during the window period will I have the option of (1) taking the incentive or (2) retiring without taking the incentive and being able to work up to 1000 hours per year?
Yes. Members eligible to retire during the potential incentive window will have the option of electing or declining the incentive. If members decline the incentive, the employment limitation would not apply, meaning those members could return to work for the state after retirement in a part-time position (a position normally requiring less than 1000 hours). We consulted with MCHCP, the medical insurance provider for most state employees, for their input. They agree with our interpretation of the bill as presently drafted. If the legislation passes, members eligible for the incentive will receive instructions from MCHCP as to how to apply for the medical subsidy.

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I have purchased my military time to go toward retirement. If for some reason my position is lost

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I have purchased my military time to go toward retirement. If for some reason my position is lost because the military base closes due to the base realignment (BRAC) would I be reimbursed for the money spent buying my military time?
Current law does not give MOSERS authority to allow members to withdraw previously purchased service and receive a refund. Several members have asked whether they can receive refunds of previously purchased military service credit in order to utilize the provisions of SB375. If your question is in regard to the proposed provisions of SB 375, please note that as a member of the MSEP, you are not eligible to receive credit for your military time through SB 375. As the bill is currently written, only those who are members of the MSEP 2000 (those who started in a MOSERS covered position after July 1, 2000) are eligible for the potential military credit after working in such positions at least ten years.
If you are a vested MOSERS member, your purchased military service will add to your state service when calculating your monthly benefit amount which you will receive upon retirement. If your employment with the state ends in the future, you would stop accumulating any additional service credit. However, that which you have already accumulated (including your purchased military service) will determine your retirement benefit. Your purchased service will add to your MOSERS retirement regardless of the outcome of your current job situation. Print Friendly and PDF

Are there any plans to propose credit transfer from MU like SB 375 transfers military credit without cost?

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Are there any plans to propose credit transfer from MU like SB 375 transfers military credit without cost?
MOSERS is not aware of any newly proposed legislation dealing with service credit transfers from the University of Missouri to MOSERS. There is already a statute in the MSEP 2000 under which an employee can transfer service credit from the University of Missouri to MOSERS. The statute, 104.1090 RSMo, allows employees who have at least 10 years of service under the MSEP 2000 to transfer service from another retirement system if the other system (in this case, University of Missouri) agrees to transfer to MOSERS an amount equal to the employee’s pension benefit obligation under a defined benefit plan (or the employee's account balance under a defined contribution plan). The University of Missouri has agreed to allow such transfers (please contact us for further details about your eligibility under that agreement if you are interested in transferring University of Missouri service). MSEP members electing the MSEP 2000 at retirement are also eligible for a transfer of service under these provisions. Print Friendly and PDF

If the current version of the incentive bill is signed by the Governor, and I choose to retire effective Sept. 1, 2005 (last day worked would be Augus

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If the current version of the incentive bill is signed by the Governor, and I choose to retire effective Sept. 1, 2005 (last day worked would be August 31, 2005) then I would be eligible for the retirement incentive? Is this correct?
If you are eligible for normal (unreduced) retirement on September 1, 2005, then, yes, you would be eligible for the medical incentive offered by the potential passing of SB 466.
Normal retirement eligibility requirements for those members who are not eligible for Medicare are listed below. (Please note that the medical premium subsidy in SB 466 stops at the earlier of three years from retirement or when members are eligible for Medicare, which currently is at age 65. Because of that limitation in the bill, the normal retirement eligibility provisions applicable to those age 65 or older are not listed below.)
MSEP:
  • Age 60 with 15 years of service
  • "Rule of 80"
MSEP 2000:
  • Age 62 or older with at least 5 years of service
  • "Rule of 80"
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Is there any chance after floor hearings on this bill it could be changed again by the Senate or House to reinstate the rule of 78?

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Is there any chance after floor hearings on this bill it could be changed again by the Senate or House to reinstate the rule of 78? Or is the bill unchangeable at this point and must be debated and voted on as is?
Technically speaking, it is possible for SB 466 to be changed again, either in the Senate or later by the House. However, the session ends May 13, so time is very limited. Realistically speaking, it is doubtful that the "Rule of 78" will be put back in as an incentive. In its original form, SB 466 was opposed by some legislators based on its financial implications. In order to attract more proponents for the bill, Senator Vogel agreed to remove some of the provisions which would have been the more costly for the state. As you know, one of the removed provisions was the temporary "Rule of 78." Now that the bill has moved forward, it seems unlikely that the "Rule of 78" will be reinstated, as it would increase the cost of the incentive. Print Friendly and PDF

I will have two years backdrop on Sept. 1, 2005, if I go ahead and retire on Sept. 1, will I be able to keep my BackDROP?

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I will have two years backdrop on Sept. 1, 2005, if I go ahead and retire on Sept. 1, will I be able to keep my BackDROP?
If you are eligible to retire on September 1 with a two year BackDROP, and are interested in taking advantage of the potential incentive offered by SB 466, you would be able to take advantage of both. The incentive would not have any effect on the BackDROP you earned by working two years beyond your normal retirement date. Print Friendly and PDF