RUMOR CENTRAL'S MAIN FOCUS

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RUMOR CENTRAL'S MAIN FOCUS: Retirement, Life Insurance and LTD benefits
When we initiated Rumor Central last year we were not sure what to expect. By almost any measure, your reaction to the availability of such a service has been both rewarding and a little overwhelming. Rewarding in the sense that we sincerely appreciate being recognized as a source of prompt, accurate, and reliable information; and a little overwhelming in the sense that we have been receiving an increasing number of questions that are unrelated to the retirement, life insurance and long-term disability programs we administer. With regard to the latter issue, we do our best to forward such questions to the responsible agencies but we cannot respond on their behalf.
In order to help us be as responsive as possible to your Rumor Central submissions, we would appreciate it if you could restrict your questions and comments to issues that are related to our areas of responsibility. We are fully committed to continuing to provide you with a means of promptly securing factual information about your MOSERS administered retirement, life insurance and long-term disability programs.
We appreciate your continuing interest and understanding.
Contact information that may be helpful to you with the types of inquiries we have been receiving that are not related to MOSERS administered benefits follows:
Deferred Compensation (CitiStreet):
CitiStreet's website
Phone: (800) 392-0925
Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan (MCHCP):
MCHCP's website
Phone: (800) 487-0771
If you do not have MCHCP health coverage, please contact the Human Resources representative for your department for questions regarding your health care coverage.
For pay issues (salary information, overtime policies, etc.), please contact the Human Resources representative for your department.
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Like many other baby boomers, the biggest deterrent to retirement is the need for continued health insurance to get us up to being Medicare eligible.

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Like many other baby boomers, the biggest deterrent to retirement is the need for continued health insurance to get us up to being Medicare eligible.
I heard there has been talk (or a suggestion or a proposal . . .) something whereby State Employees can retire at aged 62 and receive some consideration for retaining their State health care benefits at the same (?) co-pay which we pay as a regular State employee. Any truth to this? What exactly is offered for a person who retires at age 62?
MOSERS does not administer health care benefits, so we asked the Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan (MCHCP) if they are aware of any such legislative proposals. At this point, no such proposals have been discussed with MCHCP.
Health care coverage and premiums for retirees at age 62 varies, depending on the health care plan. Please contact your health care plan directly for that information:
  • MCHCP – (800) 487-0771
  • Dept. of Conservation – (573) 522-4115
  • Dept. of Transportation (MoDOT) medical – (800) 270-1271
  • Mo. State Highway Patrol (MSHP) medical – (573) 751-3313
  • Colleges and universities medical – contact your Human Resources office.
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If I qualify for and elect the BackDROP option at retirement, how much do you take off the top before I get it?

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If I qualify for and elect the BackDROP option at retirement, how much do you take off the top before I get it?
Depending upon how you choose to have your BackDROP payment distributed, up to 20% of the total may be withheld for Federal income taxes. For a detailed description of the BackDROP payment distribution options, including information on federal tax withholding and whether or not an early distribution penalty will apply, please review the BackDROP payment options on this website. Print Friendly and PDF

Does FASB have any implications for MOSERS? Do you have any sense that Missouri or other governmental agencies

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Does FASB have any implications for MOSERS? Do you have any sense that Missouri or other governmental agencies may be moving away from defined benefits plans towards defined contributions plans? If so, are there any rules that would apply to protect older workers? Thank you.
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) establishes standards of financial accounting and reporting for private sector organizations. The FASB standards govern the preparation of financial reports and are officially recognized as authoritative by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) establishes standards of financial accounting and reporting for state and local government entities. MOSERS follows GASB guidelines in preparing the financial statements included in the system’s comprehensive annual financial report.
There is a movement in the private sector to terminate defined benefit plans in favor of defined contribution plans or, in some instances, cash balance plans, as means of cutting benefit costs and shifting the risks associated with maintaining a retirement plan from employers to the employees. As a result of this activity, combined with recent media coverage surrounding the funding problems of a few public sector defined benefit plans, some legislatures are considering plan design changes to their defined benefit structure.
The MOSERS retirement plan remains well funded and, to our knowledge, no consideration is being given to moving away from the state's defined benefit plan. There are provisions in state law that protect benefits that have already been accrued by employees (Section 104.540.1, RSMo); however, the state, as an employer, can modify the existing retirement plan through the legislative process -- such changes could apply only to future service accrued by state employees. Print Friendly and PDF

Now that Congress has passed legislation designed to address the financial viability of pension systems, what is the impact of that legislation on MO

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Now that Congress has passed legislation designed to address the financial viability of pension systems, what is the impact of that legislation on MOSERS?
The pension bill signed last week by President Bush primarily affects plans administered by the private sector so there is no direct affect on MOSERS. The new pension law tightens rules governing how companies fund their pension plans. As it relates to defined contribution plans, it will allow for automatic enrollment in a company-sponsored 401(k) plan, and will make it easier for sponsors to offer investment advice to plan participants. It also makes permanent the "saver's credit" which had been set to expire at the end of the year which gives qualifying taxpayers a credit for contributions made to a retirement savings plan. Print Friendly and PDF

I heard that there is 70 and out retirement. Is this true?

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I heard that there is 70 and out retirement. Is this true?
No. The current “Rule of 80” retirement provision, sometimes called “80 & Out,” allows vested members (who are at least 48 years old) to retire when their age and years of service equals 80. The “Rule of 80” provision has not been changed to a “Rule of 70.” Print Friendly and PDF

I have heard a rumor that the "80 and Out" rule for retirement is going to be done away with.

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I have heard a rumor that the "80 and Out" rule for retirement is going to be done away with. Is this true, and if so, at what age or years of service would a person retire from the state?
MOSERS is unaware of any plans to eliminate the “Rule of 80” retirement provision. Such a change would require action by the state legislature. The 2006 legislative session concluded in May, and legislation for the 2007 session cannot be pre-filed until December of 2006.
This rumor circulates several times every year. If any change were to occur to the current “Rule of 80” provision, MOSERS would notify members who would be affected by the change. Once the legislature convenes in January, you can track legislation at the Missouri General Assembly's website.
You can also sign up for Legislative Updates from MOSERS. To do so you will need to log into our secure website. (You will need to request a password, if you have not already received one.) Once you log in you can click on Email Options (under the Update Personal Info section) and select various items you would like to receive by email, including Legislative Updates. Print Friendly and PDF

How many hours of sick leave do you consider to equal one month of service?

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How many hours of sick leave do you consider to equal one month of service?
168 hours of unused sick leave equals 1 month of creditable service for use in computing the amount of your MOSERS benefits. (Please note that this service may not be used in establishing your eligibility for benefits.) Print Friendly and PDF

If you work until you have "82 and six months" and you elect to receive a two year BackDROP, are your benefits

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If you work until you have "82 and six months" and you elect to receive a two year BackDROP, are your benefits calculated using the date when you had "80 and six months," or is it calculated to when you had your "80?" In writing this, I think I have answered my own question and that benefits would be calculated for "80 and six months" or whatever month until you reach another year when you then have the option of electing an additional year's BackDROP. Right?
Assuming you would become first eligible under the “Rule of 80” as implied in your question, you would not actually be eligible for the BackDROP with a combination of service and age that equals 82 and six months. To qualify for BackDROP you must work at least two years past normal retirement. If normal retirement is under the “Rule of 80” and you work two more years you would have a total of 84—because you worked two years and aged two years.
Once you meet the 2 year requirement, you may elect BackDROP in full year increments (1, 2, 3, etc) or the maximum, which could be a number of years and months (not necessarily a full number of years, such as 2 years 6 months). For a detailed explanation of the BackDROP date and all BackDROP provisions please visit the BackDROP page on this website. Print Friendly and PDF

After I retire from the state of Missouri under MOSERS will I be able to substitute teach in the Kansas City School District? What about the Charter

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After I retire from the state of Missouri under MOSERS will I be able to substitute teach in the Kansas City School District? What about the Charter Schools in the Kansas City area?
Yes, you may work for any employer other than the state and receive a retirement benefit from MOSERS at the same time. Since the Kansas City School District is not a state agency and has its own separate retirement system, your MOSERS retirement benefit would not be affected. For more information on how reemployment affects your benefit payment, please see our General Employees' Retirement Handbook, page 27. Print Friendly and PDF

Having read the newsletter, questions are on my mind. I was delighted to learn about Rumor Central and hope you will be able to explain more to me ab

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Having read the newsletter, questions are on my mind. I was delighted to learn about Rumor Central and hope you will be able to explain more to me about my benefits.
1) RE Survivor Options - Have I read the newsletter correctly? In order for my spouse to receive benefits after my death, then I must choose 60, 120 or 180 months? In other words, I would not receive benefits until my death if it were to exceed this period of time?
2) If I were to take a job outside of Missouri State Government before retirement, then would I still be eligible for benefits from the state when I do retire? I understand that the actual benefit is determined by my years of service. (I am already vested.)
Thanks for your time, and, for clarifying these confusing issues!
1) To answer your first question regarding survivor options, you have several options to choose from other than the guaranteed payments in order to provide your spouse with a survivor benefit. You cited our article entitled “Guaranteed Payment Options” from the Summer 2006 PensionsPlus. In the article we talk about the Guaranteed Payment Options, regarding which many members are not familiar. These options are most often used by members who are not married, but who wish to provide a survivor benefit for a person or organization upon their own death.
Most married members wanting a survivor benefit for their spouse choose one of the Joint & Survivor Benefit Options, the Joint & 50% or the Joint & 100% Survivor Options, which provide a lifetime benefit of 50% or 100% of a member’s benefit to their spouse, respectively. For more information, see the survivor options section of your General Employees' Retirement Handbook.
Regardless of the survivor option you select at retirement, be assured that you will receive your monthly retirement benefit each month for your entire lifetime. However, the Joint & Survivor options and the Guaranteed Payments options do result in a cost to the member. Your retirement benefit will be reduced in order to provide these survivor benefits after your death. For more information on this, view page 24 of the General Employees' Retirement Handbook, or contact a benefit counselor at (800) 827-1063.
2) As for your second question, vesting is the only requirement for MOSERS benefits. As long as you are vested, you may terminate employment with the State of Missouri in a MOSERS covered position, obtain a job elsewhere, and still be eligible for MOSERS retirement benefits once you reach the appropriate age and service eligibility requirements. The actual retirement benefit is based on the years of service and the salary earned during those years.

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When will the 'select a date' estimates be adjusted to reflect the 4% raise employees just received? The

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When will the 'select a date' estimates be adjusted to reflect the 4% raise employees just received? The increased pay will increase the FAP used in the calculation for retirement.
MOSERS loaded the July 2006 SAMII payrolls on 8/10/06, so any increases effective in July 2006 will now be reflected in our "Select a Date Estimates" under your personal information on our website. Print Friendly and PDF

Is there any legislation pending to help pay costs of LTC insurance for retired MO state employees? Thank you.

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Is there any legislation pending to help pay costs of LTC insurance for retired MO state employees? Thank you.
The 2006 legislative session concluded in May, and bills for the 2007 session cannot be pre-filed until December of 2006. No long term care insurance legislation (for active or retired state employees) was filed in the last session.
Since many of the benefit programs for employees are administered by the Office of Administration, we asked the OA Division of Accounting if they knew of recent activity in this area. There has been no legislative activity regarding this benefit in the past few years. One obstacle has been difficulty in finding thorough coverage at a reasonable price, particularly for retired members. Print Friendly and PDF