At retirement seminars and in the mail we receive, we are "assured" that our retirement funds are worth

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At retirement seminars and in the mail we receive, we are "assured" that our retirement funds are worth _______ and there are NO problems with paying current retirees or future retirees. However, on the news last week, CBS to be exact, there was a lead story that showed how many STATES were in trouble and did NOT have the funds for the retirees, and unfortunately MISSOURI was among them.
So, just what IS the real truth?
The real truth is that your retirement system is well funded and your promised benefits are secure. MOSERS annually evaluates the plan's financial condition in order to ensure that resources will be available to pay your benefits. Our funded status as of June 30, 2005, was 85%, which is considered very sound in the industry. Unfortunately, the lead story on the CBS program you mentioned apparently was focused on other retirement systems in the state and was misleading to MOSERS' members (as well as to members of other plans in the state whose funded status is strong). There are 118 public retirement plans in the state of Missouri and we are not sure which plan they were referring to in that report. Rest assured, it was not MOSERS.
As an aside, some states have gotten themselves in trouble by shortchanging their retirement systems in addressing other demands for resources. This has not been the case at MOSERS -- your trustees understand that they have a fiduciary obligation to act in the exclusive interests of the plan participants which includes ensuring that adequate assets are available to meet the plan's financial obligations. Print Friendly and PDF

Does MOSERS website offer a list of state agencies that are members of MCHCP? If not, where might this information be found?

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MOSERS does not have a list of MCHCP’s participating agencies. However, this information can be found on MCHCP’s website at the following link:
http://www.mchcp.org/aboutmchcp/se_agencies.htm. Print Friendly and PDF

Is the accrued sick leave figured into the BackDrop?

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Is the accrued sick leave figured into the BackDrop?
If so, I would be eligible now for the full BackDrop instead of next year.
Accrued sick leave is used when calculating BackDROP benefits, however, it cannot be used toward eligibility for BackDROP. You must physically work two to five years past your normal retirement date to become eligible for the BackDROP. Print Friendly and PDF

If SB 748 passes and we elect to retire, one provision is that we will not be able to

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If SB 748 passes and we elect to retire, one provision is that we will not be able to work for the state for at least three years. Does this rule apply if you retire from DMH and would want to seek part-time employment at a state college or university?
If you elect to retire and receive the medical incentive, you will be prohibited from re-employment with the state for at least three years. This provision applies to full-time and part-time employment at any department. This would include any state college and university under the department of higher education (except the University of Missouri system). Print Friendly and PDF

I will soon be eligible for full retirement under the MSEP plan; however, I will not be eligible for "80 and Out."

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I will soon be eligible for full retirement under the MSEP plan; however, I will not be eligible for "80 and Out." Does this mean, under the proposed changes to SB 748, that I will not be eligible for the insurance incentive?
A Senate Committee Substitute (SCS) was adopted by the committee this week. The SCS for SB 748 did change several provisions of the health care retirement incentive. The substitute provides temporary medical and retirement incentives only for those active employees who will be eligible to retire under the “Rule of 80” during the incentive window, May 1 to August 1. (The May 1 beginning date assumes the bill would pass and be signed by the governor before May 1. If the bill would pass and be signed by the governor after May 1, the window would begin the first of the month following the effective date of the bill.) In addition, as presently proposed, the incentive period would be limited to three years or until becoming eligible for Medicare, whichever occurs first. A summary of SCS for SB748 can be found at http://www.moga.mo.gov.
MOSERS will post updates to retirement bills on our website under Legislation. If you would like to be notified of legislative updates via email, click on the “Member Login” section of our site using your username and password. Then click on “Email Preferences” and select the updates you would like to receive via email. Print Friendly and PDF

If the legislative session ends May 12 and the governor has until July 14th to sign the bill and I plan on retiring June 1,

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If the legislative session ends May 12 and the governor has until July 14th to sign the bill and I plan on retiring June 1, will I still be able to benefit from this bill or do I need to wait until he signs the bill?
The bill would not become law until the Governor signs it. You could apply for retirement before it is signed but you would still have to be actively employed when the governor signs the bill in order to qualify. Print Friendly and PDF

I heard that the proposed SB748 changes the medical coverage from 5 years to 3 years. Is this correct?

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I heard that the proposed SB748 changes the medical coverage from 5 years to 3 years. Is this correct?
Yes, the Senate Committee Substitute (SCS) for SB 748 changes the health care retirement incentive provision from five years to three years. As presently proposed, it would only apply to members who will be eligible to retire under the “Rule of 80” during the incentive window (May 1 to August 1). Those who qualify would be able to keep their medical insurance at the active member rate for three years or until becoming eligible for Medicare, whichever happens first. Print Friendly and PDF

Correction: A Senate Committee Substitute for SB 748 was filed on January 24, 2006 in the Senate

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Correction:
A Senate Committee Substitute for SB 748 was filed on January 24, 2006 in the Senate Pensions, Veterans' Affairs and General Laws Committee. This substitute changes the incentive window to May 1, 2006 through August 1, 2006. Note this correction when reading our answer to the question below.

With the emergency clause - when does that mean they will have to have the bill signed?

An emergency clause provides that a bill will become law the day that it is signed by the Governor. The Governor has a certain period of time to review a bill and determine whether to approve or veto it.

An example of a bill with an emergency clause is SB 748. The emergency clause in SB 748, as currently drafted, includes an eligibility "window” of May 15 to August 15, 2006. Therefore, if the bill is passed by the General Assembly and the Governor signs it before May 1, eligible members could retire under the incentive during the months of May, June, July and August of 2006. If he were to sign it into law between May 1 and May 31, eligible members could retire under the incentive in June, July, and August. If he were to sign the bill between June 1 and June 30, eligible members could retire under the incentive in July and August. If he were to sign the bill between July 1 and July 31, eligible members could only retire under the incentive in August 2006. Print Friendly and PDF

When the 80% of CPI is applied to a retiree's benefits in the MSEP 2000 plan, is the

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When the 80% of CPI is applied to a retiree's benefits in the MSEP 2000 plan, is the increase figured using the base benefit only or the total benefit amount including the temporary benefit that is received until age 62?
When retiring under the MSEP 2000 with a temporary benefit, members will receive an annual COLA of 80% of the CPI on both their base and temporary benefits.
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Hello, I enjoy your Rumor Central, it is done in a very professional way. My question is: I can retire under 80 and out

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Hello, I enjoy your Rumor Central, it is done in a very professional way. My question is: I can retire under 80 and out in 6 years at age 51. If I keep working past that point and my salary should increase greatly for the following 3 years, will my retirement be based on the highest 3 years prior to reaching 80 and out or will it be based on my highest 3 year salary in my entire work period with the state? Thank you.
Your retirement benefit is based on your highest 36 consecutive months of pay over your entire work history covered under MOSERS. The only exception to this would occur under the BackDROP. If a person becomes eligible for and elects the BackDROP upon retirement, their highest 36 months would be determined from their work history preceding their BackDROP date. Print Friendly and PDF

How long are benefits paid? Is there a maximum number of years?

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How long are benefits paid? Is there a maximum number of years?
MOSERS retirement benefits are payable to retired members for the duration of their lifetime. Monthly benefit payments will stop upon the retiree’s death unless a continuing benefit is payable under an optional form of payment elected at time of retirement. For more information on optional forms of payment, please view our Payment Options Elected at Retirement brochure. Print Friendly and PDF

A revision to HB1305 states:

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A revision to HB1305 states:
2. (2) the contribution for unfunded accrued liabilities currently payable by the plan, which cost is expressed as a percent of active employee payroll and shall be over a period not to exceed [forty] thirty years.
What does this mean?
The State amortizes (pays off) any unfunded liabilities in a manner similar to paying off a home mortgage. In our case, the payment is computed as part of the contribution rate due from the State. Under this legislation, the amortization period could not be longer than 30 years. (The law presently allows the payoff period to be as long as 40 years). This change is required as the result of a change in the accounting and financial reporting standards of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). However, it will not have any impact on MOSERS since the amortization period presently being used is 30 years. Print Friendly and PDF

What kind of an impact would the potential 4% state raise have on my retirement benefit if I plan to retire soon?

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What kind of an impact would the potential 4% state raise have on my retirement benefit if I plan to retire soon?
If you plan to retire in the very near future, the 4% increase will not have much of an impact on your retirement benefit. Since your benefit is calculated based on your highest 36 months of salary, you would have to work for three full years to acquire the full impact of this raise. If the raise goes into effect July 1, 2006 and you plan to retire in September, only two months of your increased salary would be reflected in your calculation.
Similarly, if you plan to retire September 1 with a two year BackDROP, MOSERS would calculate your benefit (including the Highest 36 months of salary) up to September 1 of 2004. The 4% raise received in July 2006 would not be considered. Print Friendly and PDF

When will the decision on SB 748 be made?

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When will the decision on SB 748 be made? I believe I heard that this is a "short" session for the legislature - ending sometime in April. Regardless, assuming normal business practice, when might we know the fate of this bill (or any substitute versions)?
We no longer have “short” and “long” legislative sessions. Following a vote of the people in November 1988 the General Assembly began meeting annually from early January through the middle of May. The 2006 legislative session convened January 4 and will end on May 12 at 6:00 p.m. It is impossible to predict how long it will take for a bill to be passed, but it is possible that the final status of SB 748 may not be known until the session ends May 12. If this bill is passed during the last week of the session, the Governor has until July 14 to sign the bill. If the bill would pass prior to the last week of session, the Governor would have 15 days to sign or veto the bill.
For more information on the legislative process you may want to review How a Bill Becomes Law at www.senate.mo.gov/bill-law.htm.
SB 748, was introduced in January, and was heard by the Senate Pensions, Veterans’ Affairs and General Laws Committee on January 17th. MOSERS will keep members up to date on any action taken on this bill. For timely information, sign up for MOSERS legislative updates, which will reach you by email. Login to your personal information on our website using your username and password, then click on “Email Preferences.” Select Legislative Updates and any other email updates you’d like to receive, then click on submit. You may also go directly to the General Assembly’s website at www.moga.mo.gov and click on Joint Bill Tracking. Print Friendly and PDF

Rumor Central has received several questions describing individual situations

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Rumor Central has received several questions describing individual situations regarding eligibility for the potential medical incentive offered by SB 748. Several pertain to part-time employment. To ensure the accuracy of our answers for individual situations, these types of questions will be forwarded to a benefit counselor who will contact you individually.
To reach a benefit counselor, call (800) 827-1063 or email at mosers@mosers.org. Print Friendly and PDF

Once a person reaches BackDROP eligibility, will the COLA be 4% for each of those BackDROP years

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Once a person reaches BackDROP eligibility, will the COLA be 4% for each of those BackDROP years or will it depend if, at the end of employment, the retiree takes the BackDROP in MSEP or MSEP 2000?
The COLA rate you will receive for your BackDROP period will depend on the plan you choose at retirement. If you choose to retire in the MSEP, and began work in a MOSERS covered position before 8/28/97, you will receive a 4% COLA for your BackDROP period. If you elect to retire in the MSEP and were hired after 8/28/97 or elect the MSEP 2000, you will receive a COLA of 80% of the Consumer Price Index for your BackDROP period.
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I have heard there are other bills which have been introduced this session - one would reduce the "80" rule

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I have heard there are other bills which have been introduced this session - one would reduce the "80" rule to "79" and another would let you use sick leave to meet the "80" rule. Do these bills exist and are there any other than Senate Bill 748?
No bills have been filed to change the current age and service requirements of the Rule of 80. There has been a Senate Committee Substitute (SCS) for SB 748 filed which includes a provision that would allow active members to use sick leave to become eligible for the Rule of 80. If the SCS for SB 748 passes and is signed into law, members would be able to use their sick leave credit to become eligible to retire under the Rule of 80 on or after the effective date of the law but no later than August 1, 2006. Print Friendly and PDF

We are allowed to go to the PreRetirement planning seminars without having to take leave. Does that apply to the MoneyMatters seminar also?

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We are allowed to go to the PreRetirement planning seminars without having to take leave. Does that apply to the MoneyMatters seminar also?
Each department determines their leave requirements for attending MOSERS seminars. Contact your human resources representative for your department to determine the guidelines that your particular office uses for PreRetirement Planning seminars and Money Matters workshops. Please also remember that while the PreRetirement Planning seminars are an entire day, Money Matters is a morning workshop lasting only four hours. Print Friendly and PDF

Do you have more information on the age levels for this retirement benefit concerning retirees who are 65 or older

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Do you have more information on the age levels for this retirement benefit concerning retirees who are 65 or older and spouses of that age who are eligible for Medicare during the eligibility period? Nothing has been mentioned about this on your website.
As currently drafted the provisions of the Senate Committee Substitute (SCS) for SB 748 that would allow qualifying retirees to continue health insurance as if they were an active employee would end after three years or when the member becomes eligible for Medicare (age 65), whichever comes first. (The most current version of the bill stipulates that a qualifying retiree would be someone who retires during the incentive window period under the rule of 80.) Print Friendly and PDF

If I work 1 1/2 years beyond my 65th birthday, and elect the MSEP retirement plan,

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If I work 1 1/2 years beyond my 65th birthday, and elect the MSEP retirement plan, how does the provision for increasing the monthly retirement benefit by the annual COLA rate (assume 4%) beyond age 65 affect my retirement benefits? Is the number of years beyond age 65 calculated based on full years only? How is this increase in benefits then used in calculating the 65% COLA cap?
You will accrue a COLA (4% for the MSEP) for each year that you work beyond age 65. That includes partial years. If you worked until age 66 ½, you would accrue a 4% COLA for the whole year, and 2% for the partial year (4% x 6/12 months). These accrued COLAs would count against the 65% COLA cap.
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I have a question about what the COLA for 2006 will be since I retired under the MSEP 2000 plan.

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I have a question about what the COLA for 2006 will be since I retired under the MSEP 2000 plan. I know it is based on 80% of the change in the Consumer Price Index. When will you know what the Cost-of-Living Allowance will be for 2006?
The annual COLA rate is calculated in January of each year. Our benefit auditor makes the final calculations once he receives the CPI data for December 2005 near the middle of January. Once the calculations have been made, we will post the rate for 2006. You will also receive notice of your COLA increase during the month it becomes effective.
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Can I purchase prior public service that I am currently receiving a pension for?

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Can I purchase prior public service that I am currently receiving a pension for?
No, you may not purchase service credit for which you are already receiving a pension benefit for use toward your MOSERS benefit. Print Friendly and PDF

May I buy a portion of my military time as I go along prior to retirement (a year here and there)?

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May I buy a portion of my military time as I go along prior to retirement (a year here and there)?
You may elect to purchase up to four years of active military service. However, if you began your employment with MOSERS after 7/1/2000, you must first become vested (work at least five years in a benefit eligible position). Then you may purchase all your military service. You must purchase all that you served (total months and days) up to a maximum of four years. This must be done in one transaction; therefore you may not elect to buy a year here and there but you may elect to finance it, making payments through payroll deductions over a period of two years. For an Application to Purchase Military Service, please see our website, or contact a benefit counselor at (800) 827-1063. Print Friendly and PDF

When can we expect to get our 1099s in the mail?

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When can we expect to get our 1099s in the mail?
MOSERS is currently in the process of printing 1099-Rs for 2005. All retirees should receive their 1099 by the end of January. Print Friendly and PDF

Can a person have a part of their retirement benefit direct deposited into an account at

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Can a person have a part of their retirement benefit direct deposited into an account at the State of Missouri/University of MO Credit Union and the remainder of the benefit deposited into another account at another bank such as Central Trust?
No. MOSERS retirement benefits can only be directly deposited into one account. Print Friendly and PDF

If my beneficiaries live longer than I do after retirement, will my beneficiaries still get my $15,000 of state life insurance?

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If my beneficiaries live longer than I do after retirement, will my beneficiaries still get my $15,000 of state life insurance? Do you lose the $15,000 when you retire from the state?
Your basic life insurance amount is reduced to $5,000 at retirement. If you have optional life insurance as an active employee and elect to retain it at retirement (up to a maximum of $60,000), your beneficiaries would receive your basic $5,000 along with your elected optional life amount upon your death.
Note: Some departments, such as Conservation and state colleges/universities do not have life insurance through MOSERS. The above question and response would not apply to them. Print Friendly and PDF

Please note that all responses to SB748

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Please note that all responses to SB748 are based on the current, official legislation that is on file. Amendments and substitutes may be in process throughout the legislative session. In order to ensure accuracy, we will respond to questions based on the current, official version of the bill. Print Friendly and PDF

Since the following six questions pertain to provisions of the health care plan,

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Since the following six questions pertain to provisions of the health care plan, we asked officials at the Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan (MCHCP) to respond to these questions. If you are covered by another health care plan, please contact representatives of your plan for further information.
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Should SB 748 pass and if you currently do not have your spouse on your insurance but at retirement you add your spouse would the premium be at an act

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Should SB 748 pass and if you currently do not have your spouse on your insurance but at retirement you add your spouse would the premium be at an active employee rate?
If your spouse qualifies to be added to your coverage at your retirement (currently has other insurance coverage and has had it for 6 months), the premium would be based on the active rates. Print Friendly and PDF

I will be eligible to retire 04-01-05. I do have questions regarding my husband's insurance cost. He is disabled and has Part A Medicare only.

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I will be eligible to retire 04-01-05. I do have questions regarding my husband's insurance cost. He is disabled and has Part A Medicare only. He receives his prescriptions through VA. If I retire, will he be required to carry Part B? Also how will the new Medicare drug program play into this? Would he also be required to carry Part D? If SB 748 passes, I would like to retire, however, I'm not sure if it would be that beneficial to me if we have to pick up additional Medicare premiums. If he does have to carry the Medicare parts B and D, will that have any effect on my "frozen" MCHCP premium?
When you retire, if your spouse has Medicare, it is the primary payor; therefore, your spouse must take Medicare Part B along with Part A. Since the prescription program through MCHCP is equal to or better than the benefits of Medicare Part D, it is not necessary for your spouse to take Medicare Part D. While you continue to qualify for active rates under the incentive plan, your spouse having Medicare Part B coverage will not affect your MCHCP premium. Print Friendly and PDF

I was planning to retire March 1 or April 1, 2006. I will be 65 in Oct., 2008; my husband will not turn 65 until June, 2011.

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I was planning to retire March 1 or April 1, 2006. I will be 65 in Oct., 2008; my husband will not turn 65 until June, 2011. He is carried on my health insurance with MCHCP. If I delay retiring until June 1 and SB 748 Passes House, Senate and Gov. Blunt approves, would the incentive stop when I turned 65 and receive Medicare, or would it continue for my husband until he is eligible for Medicare? Thank you.
If you retire under the incentive plan as proposed currently, your premium would change to the normal retirement rates the month in which you turn 65. Your rate will be at the Retiree with Medicare/spouse without Medicare rate. The incentive stops when the member turns 65. Print Friendly and PDF

My husband is planning to retire sometime this spring or early summer (2006) and currently has health insurance through his employer.

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My husband is planning to retire sometime this spring or early summer (2006) and currently has health insurance through his employer. I plan to add him to my insurance when he retires. If he is not on my insurance and Senate Bill No 748 passes, will he be eligible to be added to my insurance if I retire on August 1, 2006?
If you have not added your husband prior to your retirement, you must add him at the time you retire or he will lose his eligibility for coverage through MCHCP.
Determining whether or not you are able to add a spouse to your insurance at retirement is somewhat complex and subject to provisions of federal and state laws. Please contact an MCHCP benefit specialist for specific information about adding coverage for your spouse. Print Friendly and PDF

If you have health care coverage under Missouri Consolidated at the time you elect to retire, are you required to retain coverage during retirement?

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If you have health care coverage under Missouri Consolidated at the time you elect to retire, are you required to retain coverage during retirement?
If you have coverage with MCHCP when you retire, you have the choice of continuing coverage or not. If you do not continue your coverage at retirement, you will not be eligible to enroll at a later date. Print Friendly and PDF

Updated response - I have reached normal retirement with the state and I am just holding on to get 2 years of my BackDROP.

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Updated Response:
I have reached normal retirement with the state and I am just holding on to get 2 years of my BackDROP. My question is when I retire from the state and do not choose to take the health insurance options at the time of my retirement can my wife who also works for the state add me to her insurance plan? I have been told yes and no. Thanks for your time in answering my question.
If both you and your spouse are state employees covered by MCHCP, at the time you retire you can transfer your coverage under her Social Security number. You must maintain continuous coverage under MCHCP. If at a later date it is more financially advantageous for you and your spouse to be covered under your Social Security number or separately, you can also make that change. If your husband works for Conservation or another state agency not having MCHCP coverage, you could not come back to our plan when your spouse retires. Print Friendly and PDF

Can sick leave accumulation be substituted for number of months needed to retire? I will be eligible for 80 and out in 2007.

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Can sick leave accumulation be substituted for number of months needed to retire? I will be eligible for 80 and out in 2007. If so, what is the ratio and could it be used to qualify for the window of May 2006 to Aug. 2006, if the retirement bill is passed into law?
Sick leave does not count as a determining factor for retirement eligibility. You must be eligible to retire without consideration of your accumulated sick leave. Once you become eligible for normal retirement, your sick leave will be used in your retirement benefit calculation as additional creditable service, which may increase your benefit.
As SB 748 is currently drafted, sick leave will NOT be used to qualify for the potential incentive. If this changes in future versions of the bill, we will update the response to this question at that time. Print Friendly and PDF

When checking the retirement benefits estimates, the BackDROP amounts were

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When checking the retirement benefits estimates, the BackDROP amounts were considerably less on the MSEP plan than the MSEP 2000; what's the difference? Especially when the retirement benefits themselves are also less on the MSEP than the MSEP 2000 plan.
The benefits under the MSEP 2000 are calculated using a different multiplier than in the MSEP. At the time of your retirement your base benefit is calculated using the following formula:
MSEP 2000:
Final Average pay x Years and full months of credited service x Multiplier (.017)
MSEP:
Final Average pay x Years and full months of credited service x Multiplier (.016)
If you retire under the “Rule of 80,” there is also a temporary benefit under the MSEP 2000 that adds almost one third to your benefit above the MSEP. That would certainly account for the difference between not only the monthly benefit amounts, but also the BackDROP.
While the multiplier is higher in the MSEP 2000, you may want to evaluate other provisions of the MSEP plan prior to making a final decision. For example, in the MSEP your retirement benefit will not be reduced to provide a 50% survivor benefit for your spouse. Your eligible spouse will receive 50% of the benefit amount you are receiving at the time of your death without a reduction in your base benefit. In the MSEP2000 your retirement benefit will be reduced if you decide to provide a survivor benefit for your spouse.
Also under MSEP there is a minimum annual COLA of 4% until such time as the benefit you are receiving equals 165% of your initial benefit amount, at which time the annual COLAs will be equal to 80% of the increase in the Consumer Price Index, with no minimum. Under MSEP 2000 the annual COLA , from the outset, is equal to 80% of the increase in the Consumer Price Index, with no minimum. Under either plan, annual COLA increases cannot exceed 5%.
Please contact a benefit counselor at (800) 827-1063 for more specific information about the options available to you. Print Friendly and PDF

If you complete all applications for retirement 2 months prior to finding out whether this bill (SB 748)

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If you complete all applications for retirement 2 months prior to finding out whether this bill (SB 748) will be signed by the Governor, and if it in fact does not pass, can you withdraw your Retirement Application?
You may rescind your application for retirement up until the day before your scheduled retirement date by submitting a written letter to MOSERS indicating that you have changed your mind. There are no penalties for rescinding an application. Print Friendly and PDF