Someone in my office just stated that they didn’t think a person retiring from the state can receive MOSERS retirements benefits and their social sec

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Someone in my office just stated that they didn’t think a person retiring from the state can receive MOSERS retirements benefits and their social security retirement benefits. I don’t believe this is correct. Can you answer this?
You are correct. MOSERS’ retirees may receive retirement benefits simultaneously from both MOSERS and Social Security. In fact, in developing the MOSERS benefit provisions it was understood that the total retirement income package available from the state was to consist of the MOSERS benefit plus social security. For example, under the MSEP 2000 provisions, members who retire under Rule of 80 receive a benefit for life plus a temporary benefit payable to age 62 – that temporary benefit is intended to provide a financial bridge from the time the member retires until reaching eligibility for social security retirement benefits. Thus, beginning at age 62, when the temporary benefit drops off, the total retirement income from state employment is made up of the MOSERS life benefit plus social security. Print Friendly and PDF

I have prior state service and I once looked into how much it would cost to purchase.

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I have prior state service and I once looked into how much it would cost to purchase. If I did so, I see it could be done online. I do not remember what it would cost me but it is my understanding that it could be paid for with deferred comp. Is that correct? I believe it was at least 2 yrs of service. I now have the 80 and out and I’m working on the BackDROP.
If you had previous benefit eligible state service that is not reflected in your records please contact us. You are automatically entitled to credit for that service. If the state service you mentioned was in some other state you may not purchase that service. However, if you are referring to other eligible “public” service in Missouri, you are correct. Purchases of such prior public service may be made before applying for retirement and it may be paid for by a transfer of funds to MOSERS from your deferred compensation account.
At this point in time, purchasing service may not be completed online. We do, however, provide an online service purchase calculator that may assist you in determining an estimate of the cost of purchasing credit for other public service in Missouri. If you are looking for exact costs, please contact a benefit counselor at (800) 827-1063. They will provide you with written details including costs and forms necessary for completing the purchase. If you are vested in another public employee retirement plan in Missouri please check with us to see if you qualify for a transfer of that service to MOSERS.
For detailed information on payment methods and additional information on service credit transfers, please see our Acquiring Service Credit for Prior Public Employment brochure. Print Friendly and PDF

Can your BackDROP amount be placed in your pre-tax CitiStreet account?

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Can your BackDROP amount be placed in your pre-tax CitiStreet account?
Yes, MOSERS’ BackDROP lump sum payments may be rolled over into your deferred compensation (CitiStreet) account. It will not be taxed at the time of the roll over but rather will be taxable income to you as it is withdrawn from that account. Print Friendly and PDF

In the Governor's State of The State address he said he would propose legislation for "tax-free pensions"..

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In the Governor's State of The State address he said he would propose legislation for "tax-free pensions"...to allow retirees to keep all of their retirement benefit and not have to pay taxes for some.
Can you tell me anything about this? Is this a possibility? It would be a wonderful thing!
During this legislative session, the Joint Committee on Public Employee Retirement (jcper.org) tracking sheet lists 27 bills that address various types of pension tax deductions. Of these 27 bills, a House Committee Substitute for HB 444, 217, 225, 239, 243, 297, 402 & 172 was passed by the house and heard in the senate Ways and Means committee on March 12th.

It is our understanding that this legislation would exclude Social Security benefits from state taxable income and would also exclude from state taxable income retirement benefits received from a retirement system in lieu of Social Security, regardless of the income level. If passed, this provision would be effective for tax years beginning January 1, 2007. (Note that most MOSERS’ retirees receive social security in addition to the MOSERS retirement benefit. The substitute also authorizes an exclusion from state income of capital gains or taxable interest of $6,000 or less from any individual retirement plan.

For more information, please refer to "Bill Summaries for HB444" that can be accessed through the general assembly's joint bill tracking at www.moga.state.mo.us. Print Friendly and PDF

I am eligible to retire with a BackDROP in a year or so. I noticed in the retirement handbook that you need the spouse’s information

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I am eligible to retire with a BackDROP in a year or so. I noticed in the retirement handbook that you need the spouse’s information such as SSN, proof of age etc. Do you still need this info if she is gainfully employed and makes considerably more than myself and has her own retirement plan? Would my benefits still be reduced?
MOSERS asks for the spousal information you mentioned above in order to provide the most accurate benefit estimates at retirement that are intended to help you make informed decisions at that time. A member who is married at the time of retirement must elect a retirement annuity that will provide a survivor benefit to the spouse unless the spouse consents to a different form of payment for the member. Your spouse’s employment and retirement situation are not relevant for purposes of determining the amount of and your eligibility for MOSERS retirement benefits. Print Friendly and PDF

Are you eligible for COLA if you are vested but retire early?

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Are you eligible for COLA if you are vested but retire early?
Yes. All retired members of MOSERS are eligible to receive an annual cost of living adjustment (COLA).
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My normal retirement date was 3-1-07. I plan to continue working several more years. When do I actually make an election regarding my retirement bene

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My normal retirement date was 3-1-07. I plan to continue working several more years. When do I actually make an election regarding my retirement benefits?
When you decide to retire, you must fill out your retirement paperwork 30-90 days prior to your retirement date. Once we receive and process your paperwork, you will receive an Election Form, which allows you to elect your options regarding your retirement benefit. Your election form is due back to MOSERS no later than the day before your retirement date. The retirement date is always the first day of the month and the first benefit payment will be made the end of that month. Print Friendly and PDF

Why can't my wife receive my Social Security if I die because she was a school teacher covered by Missouri teacher's pension system?

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Why can't my wife receive my Social Security if I die because she was a school teacher covered by Missouri teacher's pension system?
State teacher retirement system members in 13 states, including Missouri, do not participate in Social Security. However, Public School Retirement System (PSRS) members may still be eligible for Social Security benefits, either because they have had other Social Security-covered employment or because they are eligible for Social Security benefits through their spouse. Two Social Security laws can cause a reduction of those Social Security benefits - the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO).
The GPO affects spouses and widows or widowers of Social Security pensioners who qualify for spousal Social Security benefits. Social Security spouses' benefits are intended for women and men who are financially dependent on their spouses who have Social Security-covered employment. Retirees receiving a PSRS benefit are not considered financially dependent on their spouses, therefore, spousal Social Security benefits are offset (reduced) through this provision. In most cases, the reduction is equal to two-thirds of the PSRS benefit and can cause the complete elimination of the spousal Social Security Benefit. (For further information, please see the following information on the GPO, which is posted on PSRS' website.
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA),
"The law has always required that a person’s benefit as a spouse, widow, or widower be offset dollar for dollar by the amount of his or her own retirement benefit.” If a teacher’s work “had instead been subject to Social Security taxes, any Social Security benefit payable as a spouse, widow or widower would have been reduced by the person’s own Social Security retirement benefit. In enacting the Government Pension Offset provision, Congress intended to ensure that when determining the amount of spousal benefit, government employees who do not pay Social Security taxes would be treated in a similar manner to those who…do pay Social Security taxes.”
You can find a more detailed explanation and an example on the SSA's website:
http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10007.html.
Please note that these two offset provisions apply only to members receiving retirement benefits from PSRS or another similar governmental retirement system that is not covered by Social Security.
If you have additional questions please contact your local Social Security Administration office. Print Friendly and PDF