Investor Fraud

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Were any of our retirement funds invested with Madoff?
No, MOSERS had no exposure to Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities in our investment funds, which has recently been in the headlines for alleged investor fraud. Print Friendly and PDF

Withholdings from retirement checks

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Are social security withholdings held from the monthly retirement checks I will receive?
No, the only withholdings that may apply to your retirement benefit are federal and state income taxes along with state sponsored medical and life insurance premiums.
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Deferred compensation funds moved to social security?

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Is it true that my deferred compensation I have saved will not be available to me when I retire but will be rolled into my social security? Or if I wish to draw it out when I retire I will be penalized? Thanks.
Regarding the first part of your question, the answer is no. There is no relationship between amounts you have saved through the deferred compensation plan and social security.
Distributions from your deferred compensation plan accounts will be subject to ordinary income tax. There are also circumstances under which distributions from the incentive portion of the program (state match) or from BackDROP amounts rolled over to the deferred compensation plan may be subject to a premature distribution penalty equal to 10% of the amount of the distribution. If you terminate state employment before age 55 and withdraw amounts from the state match or BackDROP rollover portion of the plan before reaching age 59 ½, those amounts may be subject to the 10% penalty. Distributions from the account holding your own contributions to the deferred compensation plan are never subject to a premature distribution penalty.
Since these rules can be complicated, we would encourage you to talk to a representative of the deferred compensation plan at the plan’s Information Line (1-800-392-0925). You may also make an appointment to visit with a Local Deferred Compensation Plan Consultant by calling the same Information Line number and pressing “option 2.” You may also want to talk to a tax advisor or financial planner before making a final decision.
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Is my retirement a 401k

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While I’m working and have money invested in ING through the Deferred Comp, is that investment a 401K?When I retire and want to continue my deferred comp with my backdrop in ING, will that be considered a 401K?
The fact that there is considerable confusion about tax deferred savings arrangements is completely understandable. These plans get their common names from the sections of the Internal Revenue Code under which they are established and if you’ve looked at the Code in any detail you will note that it was not designed for ease of understanding. Initially there were significant differences between the rules applicable to the various plans and, while they have moved closer to each other over the years, some differences remain.
First of all, section 401(k) plans cannot presently be established by governmental employers. Consequently, 401(k) plans are not an issue for State of Missouri employees.
MOSERS is a section 401(a) defined benefit plan.
The State of Missouri Deferred Compensation program consists of two plans.


  • A 457 plan which is where your contributions are deposited.
  • A 401(a) defined contribution plan which is for the state’s incentive payments and rollovers, such as your BackDROP payment.
The tax laws do not permit rolling distributions over from a 401(a) plan (like MOSERS) to a 457 plan (like where your own contributions are held in the deferred compensation program). However, rollovers are allowed between 401(a) plans. Consequently, you may roll your BackDROP distribution from MOSERS over to the 401(a) component of the deferred compensation program.
There is one thing you need to be aware of regarding distributions from a 401(a) defined contribution plan (which, as mentioned, is where your BackDROP amount would be held if you do roll it over to the deferred compensation program). If you terminate employment with the state prior to age 55, amounts withdrawn from the 401 (a) account (including your BackDROP rollover) before age 59 ½ would be subject to a 10% premature distribution tax in addition to ordinary income tax.
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Timing of BackDROP payments

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If you retire on Jan 1st and your last day of work is Dec 31st, which month will you receive your backdrop? I am asking for tax purposes to know if it would be income for Dec or Jan of the next year.
BackDROP payments for someone retiring January 1 will be made on the last working day of January. When the distribution is taxable depends on how you elect to receive the payment. 
  • If you elect the cash option to receive your BackDROP distribution, it is taxable in the year in which you receive the payment. Under the cash option, 20% of the total amount is withheld for federal income tax purposes.
  • If you elect to roll your BackDROP distribution into the state’s deferred compensation plan, a traditional IRA, or eligible employer plan, your payment will not be taxed in the year of the rollover and no income tax will be withheld in connection with the rollover. Distributions from the rollover account will be taxed in the year(s) in which the distributions are received.
Detailed information regarding taxes for your BackDROP distribution may be found in our Special Tax Notice. A copy of this brochure will be mailed to you at retirement with your Retirement Election Form. Print Friendly and PDF

Advance notice required for retirement

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I was informed today that because I did not give the personnel office here at my institution (SCCC) 30 days notice that I would be retiring on 1 Nov 08 that this could cause a delay in receiving my retirement check at the end of the month. Can you tell me if this is a true statement? If it is, what options do I have? By policy, I am required to give a 10-day notice informing them of my intentions and that was submitted.
When you will begin receiving a monthly retirement benefit is determined by the following:
  • The date of retirement listed on your Application for Retirement.
  • The timely completion of MOSERS’ 2-step retirement process.
For a November 1 date of retirement, you must submit your Application for Retirement to MOSERS by September 30 and your Retirement Election Form by October 31.
Since your personnel office representative was not aware of your intent to retire until the end of October, they may have been concerned that you did not meet the Sept. 30 MOSERS application deadline. As long as the application for retirement and the retirement election form are received before the deadlines, you will receive your benefit payment at the end of November.
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Does Cafeteria Plan Affect Monthly Benefit Amount?

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An employee returned from an MCHCP Open Enrollment meeting on 10-9-08. From this meeting, the employee understood that if you plan to retire within the next 3 years, you should drop out of the Missouri State Cafeteria Plan. Because the W-2 (block 1) would show total wages, tips, and other compensation less the premiums or flex amounts, the salary would not be as high for MOSERS to use in calculating retirement benefits. Is this correct?
For purposes of calculating your MOSERS retirement benefit, that is not correct. When we calculate your retirement benefit, we use the average of your highest 36 consecutive months of gross compensation. Gross compensation is your pay before taxes or any other payroll deductions.
Your MOSERS retirement benefit is not affected by the cafeteria plan, but Social Security wages are. For more information on how your Social Security benefit may be affected by the cafeteria plan as you are nearing retirement, please contact ASIFlex, the cafeteria plan administrator, at 800-659-3035 or asi@asiflex.com. Print Friendly and PDF

CARO and Retirement

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If an employee is active with CARO for an on-the-job injury and is pursuing retirement is CARO still liable for treatment and services pertaining to the injury?
 We are not familiar with the workers’ compensation policies and benefits through the Central Accident Reporting Office (CARO). Therefore, CARO provided the following response to your question:
“Yes. CARO is responsible for providing medical care and benefits for a compensable work related injury until the worker is released from care, even into retirement if necessary.” Print Friendly and PDF

Amount of Service Reported to MCHCP at Retirement

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I understand that for every 168 hours of unused sick leave at retirement will be used in calculating the amount of the retirement benefit. My question is: if I have 25 years of State Service with at least 1680 hours of unused sick leave at retirement and I work 2 months past my first eligible retirement date will my credible years of State Service reported to MCHCP be 25 or 26 years?
It will be based on 26 years. Print Friendly and PDF

Deferred Compensation Incentive Plan (State Match)

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The Pensions Plus newsletter for Fall 2008 had an article on page 8 that refers to a ‘State of Missouri Deferred Compensation plan account’, which the state of Missouri matches. What is that, and am I enrolled in it? I wasn’t aware of the state matching anything.
We apologize for the confusion. The state budget provides for funding of fringe benefits, such as the deferred compensation plan incentive (often called the state match), for the executive departments. The colleges, universities, and various boards and commissions budgets are separate from the executive department budget in regard to fringe benefits. These organizations may offer the deferred compensation incentive if the funds are available in their own budgets.
We have made a note to include a disclaimer in future newsletter articles regarding the state incentive. Check with your human resources representative to see what type of savings options are available where you work.
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Vested Member Leaving State Employment

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I attended the Seminar in KC and forgot to ask: What happens to your benefits if a vested employee gets fired or terminated from his/her position?
Regardless of the reason, if you leave state employment with five or more years of credited service, you will be vested and eligible for future retirement benefits. In general, your benefits will be based on the laws in effect on the day you leave state employment. Print Friendly and PDF

Using BackDROP to Purchase Military Time

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If you are eligible to retire under the rule 80 and out, can you purchase your 4 years of military time with your backdrop earnings. I currently don’t have the cash on hand to purchase the military time. If I understand correctly, I could use all of my state matched retirement funds (PEBSCO money / Citistreet). I was hoping it would be one big transaction - getting the military time with the backdrop and transferring the remainder of the backdrop into my retirement account.
Your military service time can be purchased with your deferred compensation account funds; however, by law the purchase must be completed before applying for retirement. Since the BackDROP distribution is paid when you receive your first monthly retirement benefit payment, you cannot use the BackDROP to purchase your military service time. Print Friendly and PDF

Effect of Financial Market Turbulence on MOSERS' Benefits

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I have heard the financial meltdown now happening has caused Mosers a lot of losses, how will this affect our retirement?
Many retirees and employees have asked us if the current financial market turbulence will have a negative impact on their MOSERS retirement benefits.
It is important to understand that our retirement program is a “defined benefit” plan. The MOSERS retirement benefits are “defined” by Missouri law and are based on your years of service and final average pay. (Benefits are not based on the earnings of the plan as would be the case if it were a defined contribution plan.). The State of Missouri, as the employer, is obligated by law to make the contributions to MOSERS that are necessary to fund the promised retirement benefits. Regardless of the MOSERS investment returns, your retirement benefits are secured by law.Our Executive Director posted the following feature on our website to address current financial market and investment return concerns of our members.
Executive Director Message – “Your MOSERS Benefits Are Secure Print Friendly and PDF

Retiree Working Multiple Part-Time Positions

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Section 104.380 allows a department to employ a retiree in a position so long as the position the retiree is employed in is a non-benefit eligible position (less than 1040 hours per year). Since the 1040 hour requirement is for the position, could a retiree occupy two non-benefit eligible positions for a single department and work more than 1039 hours per year so long as the retiree does not work more than 1039 hours in any given non-benefit eligible position?
No. In the situation you described, the law requires that the employer combine the service rendered in determining whether or not the retiree has again become an “employee” and thus eligible to receive benefits. For example, if a retiree held two positions in an agency, each requiring 600 hours of service in a year, the retiree would have 1,200 hours of service in the aggregate which, of course, would exceed the 1,040 hour limitation. Print Friendly and PDF

Eligibility for 4% COLA Rate

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Under what circumstances can a person retire and choose to have a guaranteed 4% COLA?
Generally speaking, you will be eligible for the minimum 4% COLA rate if you:
  • Began employment with the state, in a benefit eligible position, prior to August 28, 1997;
  • Elect to retire under the Missouri State Employees’ Plan (not MSEP 2000); and
  • Have not reached your COLA cap (which happens when the sum of your COLAs equals 65% of your initial benefit amount)
Example of Calculating the 65% COLA Cap:
$1,000 (Initial Benefit) x .65 (65%) = $ 650 (COLA Cap)
It takes approximately 12 - 13 years to reach the COLA cap. Once the cap is reached, your annual COLA rate will be equal to 80% of the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). By law, the annual COLA rate cannot exceed 5%.

(As a point of clarification, the term COLA cap is a little misleading because it may give you the impression that your cumulative COLAs cannot exceed 65% of your initial benefit amount. That is a carryover from the days when COLAs truly were limited to 65% of the initial benefit amount – under that arrangement, once you had been retired for something in the range of 12 to 13 years you were no longer eligible for COLAs for the balance of your life. As the result of a law change, the cap now only establishes the period during which you are eligible for the 4% minimum if you meet the other conditions stipulated above.) Print Friendly and PDF

State Income Taxes on Retirement Benefit Payment

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Are State Employee Retirees required to pay state income taxes on their retirement check from the State of Missouri?
If you claim residence in Missouri, your MOSERS benefit is subject to Missouri income tax. MOSERS will withhold Missouri income tax as requested on your Substitute W-4P (Withholding Certificate for Pension Benefit Payments). This withholding authorization can be submitted electronically on our website. Or, if you prefer, you may download the form to complete and mail it to MOSERS.
Public Pension Exemption:In 2007, Governor Blunt signed into law a bill regarding public pension exemption. Married couples with Missouri adjusted gross income less than $100,000 and single individuals with Missouri adjusted gross income less than $85,000, may deduct the greater of $6,000 or a percentage of their public retirement benefits, to the extent the amounts are included in their federal adjusted gross income. The deductible percentage of their public retirement benefits will increase until 2012. A breakdown of the yearly percentages is as follows:
The total public pension exemption is limited to the maximum social security benefit of each spouse. Married couples with Missouri adjusted gross income greater than $100,000 and single individuals with Missouri adjusted gross income greater than $85,000, may qualify for a partial exemption. See the
public pension exemption eligibility chart or complete the public pension calculation located on form MO-A , to determine if you are eligible. Print Friendly and PDF

Unused Sick Leave in BackDROP Calculation

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Where does the sick leave balance fit into the formula when you are electing to have a BackDrop option? Is it included in the retirement amount or the BackDrop amount?
Your unused sick leave balance is used in calculating the dollar amount of your retirement benefit and BackDROP amount. However, it does not change your eligibility date or your BackDROP period. We use your unused sick leave balance as of the day you leave state employment. Print Friendly and PDF

Cost of Medical Insurance

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I have had several employees tell me recently that, as a cost saving measure, the State is no longer going to pay a portion of the insurance cost for active employees OR that they are not going to offer insurance at all OR that the insurance costs will be so high that employees won’t be able to afford insurance. I have been telling them that none of these are true, but I keep hearing the comments.
Medical insurance benefits, for most state employees, are administered by the Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan (MCHCP). We asked them to respond to your question. Their response follows:
"MCHCP will continue to offer comprehensive health insurance coverage for eligible state employees, retirees and their dependents. Plan options for the upcoming open enrollment period will even be expanded to include a high deductible health plan with a health savings account. Although appropriations to the trust fund have been reduced, through the use of MCHCP reserves, the state will continue to pay a very significant portion of these costs. Consequently, the rates to the members will remain very affordable and competitive." Print Friendly and PDF

Will electing BackDROP decrease my monthly benefit?

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Once again, I’ve heard that if an employee accepts Backdrop Money, it will lower their monthly retirement amount. Is this true?
P.S. I’ve also heard that the only way it could possibly lower it, is that, Moser’s calculation, using your three highest earning years, stops when Backdrop begins.
 Yes – that is true. When you elect the BackDROP option, you are basically saying you want your retirement benefit to be computed as if you had retired at an earlier date (the BackDROP date). On the BackDROP date, you would have had less service credit than you actually have when you retire, and your final average salary would probably have been lower than if computed at the time of your actual retirement. Your monthly benefit will be equal to what you would have been receiving if you had retired on the BackDROP date (which would include any cost of living adjustments added since that date) and be based on the option you elect when you actually retire.
In exchange for taking the lower monthly benefit, you will, at retirement, receive a lump sum payment equal to 90% of the total monthly benefits you would have received between your BackDROP date and the date you actually retire (the BackDROP period).
More information on the BackDROP is available on our website.
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Is BackDROP changing or ending?

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I have heard that the Backdrop program will be changing. The change will be changing the maximum of 5 years to 3 years. Is there any truth to this and if so can you give me the details.
Is the "BackDROP" program coming to an end, in September? Or any time in the near future?
There is no truth to either of these rumors. Changes to the BackDROP provision would require legislation. We are not aware of any interest having been expressed by any legislators or the administration in altering the BackDROP provisions in any way. Print Friendly and PDF

What is the history of the COLA in MSEP 2000 and when does it take effect?

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I have been thinking of retiring sometime in the next few years. I would like to know what has been the cola for the 2000 plan for the last two years.
The next question is when does the new COLA take effect. In July? January? or when?
The annual cost-of-living allowance (COLA) rate applied during a calendar year is based on 80% of the percentage increase in the average consumer price index for the previous year. For example, the COLA rate for benefit adjustments made during calendar year 2008 was determined by comparing the average Consumer Price Index (CPI) for 2007 with the average CPI for 2006, determining what the percentage increase was from 2006 to 2007, and then taking 80% of that amount.
In general, COLAs are payable on the anniversary of your retirement date. However, if you are eligible for and elect the BackDROP at retirement, your COLA will be payable on the anniversary of your BackDROP date.


COLA Rates for MSEP 2000

COLA Year / MSEP 2000 COLA Rate
2008------------2.278%
2007------------2.581%
2006------------2.710%

2005------------2.130%
2004------------1.823%
2003------------1.265%
2002------------2.277%
2001------------2.689%
2000------------1.767%
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Is the Missouri State Patrol trying to get into Department of Corrections' retirement fund?

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I've been hearing for several months that the Mo State Patrol is trying to get into our (Corrections) retirement fund to fund their retirement. Is this true or not? If they get this done will their benefits decrease to match ours, 80 and out, retirement figured at our lower level.
This is not true. A change of this nature would require legislation and we are not aware of any interest in this type of venture.
Retirement benefits for Missouri State Patrol employees are administered by the MoDOT and Patrol Employees’ Retirement System (MPERS). Retirement benefits for the Department of Corrections are administered by MOSERS. By law, these retirement systems are two separate entities with separate funding. Print Friendly and PDF

Any plans for another health care incentive?

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Is there any plan to have the State of Mo continue to pay a portion of the employee and dependents health insurance cost if the employee is age 62 until he reaches age 65 and becomes eligible for Medicare? I understand the state did this 5 years ago but that benefit expires this year.
Five years ago legislation passed that allowed eligible employees who retired within a specific timeframe to retire and retain their health insurance coverage at the same rate as active employees for the lesser of five years or until reaching age 65. No subsequent legislation has been filed to extend this benefit beyond the maximum five-year period for those who took advantage of the provision in 2003 and may still be younger than age 65. The 2008 legislative session ended in May and the 2009 session will not start until January.
The state does routinely pay for a portion of the cost of the total health insurance premium for retirees who have no break in health insurance coverage between termination of employment and retirement. The portion paid by the state is based upon the years of service the retiree has accrued and the appropriations made available for that purpose. The Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan (MCHCP) administers the medical, dental, and vision coverage for eligible state employees. Any questions regarding legislation affecting medical benefits should be directed to MCHCP at (800) 487-0771. Print Friendly and PDF

Sick Leave at Retirement

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Do you need to have a certain number of sick hours in order to retire if you have met the requirements for retirement under the 80 and out rule? Please advise - thanks.
No. There is no requirement regarding sick leave hours. As long as the sum of your age and creditable service equals 80 or more, you are eligible for retirement under 80 and out. However, for every 168 hours of unused sick leave you have at retirement you will receive an additional month of service credit that will be used in computing the amount of your benefit. It should be noted that service credit from unused sick leave cannot be used in determining your eligibility for benefits. Print Friendly and PDF

Explanation of "excess retirement benefit"

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Please explain and give an example of “excess retirement benefit.” I read the notice of the board approval but did not understand.
Under Internal Revenue Code section 415, pension plans such as MOSERS must limit the amount of retirement benefits that can be paid to an individual. The annual limit for 2008 is $185,000 (with significant reductions for retirement before age 62).
Even though it is highly unlikely that a MOSERS retiree would exceed the limit (even with the pre-age 62 reductions), we felt it prudent to establish a means of paying benefits that might otherwise not be allowed under this IRS rule.
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How to request a benefit estimate

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How would I find out how much I would get monthly when I retire?
You may prepare a personalized benefit estimate using our website.

  • Go to www.mosers.org
  • Click on Member Login. (If you do not have a password, follow the instructions to Request a Password on our website.)
  • Click on Select a Date Estimate (under Personal Information).
    Follow the instructions to prepare a benefit estimate.
Or, contact a MOSERS benefit counselor and request a benefit estimate. Print Friendly and PDF

Amount of retirement benefit per pay period

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I have just been offered a job with the state of Missouri and am trying to figure out how much retirement benefit I get each pay period. I'm sure it's a percent of my paycheck, but I don't see that percent listed anywhere. What is the percent per pay period for retirement?
MOSERS is a defined benefit plan and your retirement benefit is funded solely by employer contributions. In order to qualify for a retirement benefit from MOSERS, you must have at least five years of credited service. Your retirement benefit is calculated using a formula that is set by law. The base benefit formula for general state employees hired after June 30, 2000 is:
Credited Service x .017 x Final Average Pay (3 year average)
Detailed information regarding retirement benefits may be found in our General Employees’ Retirement Handbook. Print Friendly and PDF

Taxes on BackDROP rollover to Deferred Comp

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There is a rumor going around that if you have already received your Backdrop and even if you have rolled it over to your deferred comp account, that the IRS is going to consider this taxable income and you will have to go ahead and pay taxes for your backdrop even though you have not withdrawn this money. If this is true, then when you do take your money out at 59 1/2, will it be taxed again?
Under present tax law, BackDROP distributions that are rolled over to a deferred compensation account will not be subject to taxation until such time as amounts are distributed from the deferred compensation account. Based on conversations with individuals who are knowledgeable regarding legislative activity in Washington DC, we have no reason to believe any changes in the law regarding such rollovers are under consideration.
For information regarding taxes when you withdraw funds from the Deferred Compensation Plan, please contact the Plan Information Line at (800) 392-0925 or the Jefferson City office at (573) 893-1053. Print Friendly and PDF

If a retiree gets fired after being reemployed by the state

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I was told by another employee that a person had retired, then was re-employed with a state agency, but got fired. Is it true they lost any state retirement benefits? I find it hard to believe, but I didn't know enough to argue the point.
If a retiree returns to work in a benefit eligible position (a position normally requiring at least 1040 hours of work per year), the retiree will not be eligible to receive any retirement benefits while reemployed. However, the retiree’s retirement benefits will resume once the retiree’s reemployment ends (even under an involuntary termination). The retiree also would receive an additional retirement benefit based on service while reemployed if the retiree was reemployed for at least one year prior to ending employment (again, it does not matter if the termination was involuntary).
For more information about reemployment after retirement, see http://www.mosers.org/retired/reemployment.asp. Print Friendly and PDF

Increase in Deferred Comp Incentive

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Is it true the legislature passed a bill funding a $10 increase in the state match for deferred comp, that is the state will now match $35.00 per month instead of $25.00?
An appropriation bill has been passed to allow for an increase in the state’s contribution to the deferred compensation incentive plan. If this bill is signed into law, CitiStreet will work with the State of Missouri to implement this change as soon as administratively possible. The legislation submitted to the Governor for his consideration envisions the current $25 per month ($12.50 semi-monthly) match being changed in accordance with the following schedule:
Semi-Monthly Payroll (SAM II)
Employee.............Employer
Contribution........Match
$12.50 - $14.99.....$12.50
$15.00 - $17.49.....$15.00
$17.50 or more......$17.50
Monthly Payroll (non-SAM II)
Employee.............Employer
Contribution........Match
$25.00 - $29.99.....$25.00
$30.00 - $34.99.....$30.00
$35.00 or more......$35.00

More information will be provided to all participants regarding implementation of this proposal if it is approved by the Governor. Print Friendly and PDF

Does BackDROP go away after 35 years of service?

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I have gotten so many different stories about the backdrop I thought I would just ask. April 1, 2010 I will have all 5 yrs of my backdrop in. At that date I will have 33 yrs and 11 months in. I have been told that once I reach 35 yrs of service the lump sum on the backdrop goes away. If this is the case can I work beyond the 5 yrs backdrop until I have 34 yrs 11 months and then retire and still receive the back drop? Also I will only be 58 yrs old, so will I have to pay the 10% penalty if I am not 59 1/2? I plan on talking to a MOSERS rep soon and get all my questions answered. Until then thanks for your time.
Once you qualify for the BackDROP, you will be eligible to elect it as an option when you retire, regardless of how long you continue in service. If you reach at least age 55 (50 for a qualified public safety employee) in the year your service terminates, you will not be subject to the 10% premature distribution tax. Print Friendly and PDF

Did House Bill 1669 pass?

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Since the legislative session ends 16 May, I would like to know if anyone has heard of HB 1669 chances of passing this year or are the politicians merely trying to garner some votes by introducing Bills that sound good but have no chance of passing—as usual?
The 2008 legislative session ended May 16. House Bill 1669 did not pass. Print Friendly and PDF

Effect of raise or promotion after BackDROP date

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I have heard that any promotional raise or demotion, after the date I elect to start my backdrop will not affect either my backdrop nor my retirement pay, no matter how large the promotion or demotion. Is that true?
If you are eligible for the BackDROP and elect it at retirement, both the lump sum and continuing monthly benefit amounts will be calculated using your credited service and final average pay as of your BackDROP date. Consequently, any raise or demotion after your chosen BackDROP date would not affect the amount of your BackDROP distribution or your monthly retirement benefit.
The BackDROP option provides a way for you to receive a lump sum payment at retirement in addition to your ongoing monthly benefit. If you select this payment option, the monthly benefit payable on your actual retirement date is based on the benefit you would have been receiving had you left employment and retired on an earlier date, which is why a salary increase after that date does not affect your benefit. In addition, you will receive a lump sum payment equal to 90% of the life income annuity amount you would have received during the BackDROP period.
Whatever BackDROP date you choose, it must meet both of the following requirements. It must be:
  • On or after the date you were first eligible for normal (unreduced) retirement benefits.
  • Within the five-year period immediately prior to your actual retirement date.
Before you make a final decision regarding the BackDROP you may find it helpful to use the calculator on our website to review all of your payment options. You may also want to attend a Pre-Retirement seminar or contact a benefit counselor to ensure that you understand how the BackDROP works. Print Friendly and PDF

Possibility of receiving BackDROP payment without retiring

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Can one get a one or two-year backdrop and still continue working another year or two until retirement as long as that individual is qualified?
No, you cannot receive a BackDROP lump sum amount and continue working. The BackDROP is an option available to eligible members at retirement. You cannot elect the BackDROP until you actually retire. During the retirement process, you will receive a Retirement Election Form. On this form, you will make your BackDROP election (assuming you are eligible) and your benefit payment option election. Print Friendly and PDF

Annual leave when attending MOSERS' seminars

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Are you required to take annual leave to attend the preretirement seminar and money matters workshop?
This is a question for your human resources (HR) representative. Each agency has their own policy regarding leave to attend seminars and workshops. Print Friendly and PDF

Death before retirement

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Suppose an active employee of the State of Missouri has reached his early or regular retirement date - but has not retired; if this employee should die before he retires, will his surviving spouse get any part of his retirement - other than the life insurance?
Will the surviving spouse get any backdrop earned by the employee if he dies before he retires?
Morbid questions I know, but it came up in a discussion and I didn't know the answer. Thank you for your efforts.
If you pass away before retiring, your spouse would not be eligible for the BackDROP distribution. However, your spouse may be eligible to receive a lifetime survivor benefit.
Survivor benefits are payable to the eligible spouse or children of a vested general state employee who dies prior to retirement. Although survivor benefit payments begin the first of the month following the member’s date of death, they are not automatic. Each eligible benefit recipient must submit an
Application for Survivor Benefits with the required documentation. Once MOSERS receives and processes the application, the monthly benefits would begin.
To be eligible, your surviving spouse must be married to you on your date of death. The surviving spouse benefit (payable for the remainder of your spouse’s life) would be calculated as if you had retired the date of death and elected the Joint & 100% Survivor Option. (No adjustments are made in the calculation to recognize the fact that you may not have reached eligibility for normal retirement at the time of your death.)

If there is no eligible spouse (or the spouse’s benefit is no longer payable due to the death of the spouse), a total of 80% of your monthly base benefit will be paid to your natural or legally adopted child(ren) under the age of 21. If there is more than one eligible child, the benefit will be divided equally among them. The survivor benefit for each child will stop when they become age 21 with their portion then divided among any remaining eligible children. (If a child is totally disabled, the benefit does not stop at age 21 but rather is payable for the life of the child.) Print Friendly and PDF

Protecting solvency of the state pension

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With the current state of affairs in the Global economy, what types of safety guards do you have in place to protect the solvency of the State Pension. If we actually go into another depression, will the funds be there for the future state workers to draw upon. Would our pensions ever be reduced to keep it solvent?
We know this is a matter of concern to many of our members. In March Rick Dahl, the System’s Chief Investment Officer (CIO), addressed it in a message posted on our web site. What he said then continues to be valid. Please click on the following link to read his statement on the matter:
Message from CIO Print Friendly and PDF

MOSERS' view on House Bill 1669

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What is MOSERS view on House Bill 1669 giving certain veterans who have been state employees for a specified period of time two years of free creditable service in the Missouri State Employees Retirement System. Thank You.
The MOSERS Board of Trustees has adopted a governance policy with respect to legislation. This policy was developed to ensure that board members and staff act as fiduciaries first, and speak with one voice when taking official positions on legislation. The policy also reduces the potential for conflicts of interest by serving as the framework through which all legislative proposals are evaluated.
In most instances, MOSERS staff members serve as technical advisors. We review all proposed legislation affecting MOSERS programs, providing technical comments and fiscal (cost) information to members of the General Assembly who sponsor legislation, and the appropriate legislative oversight agencies. In accordance with the policy, staff will also offer alternatives and provide an unbiased analysis, including the pros and cons of proposals, when appropriate.
Exceptions to this neutral/technical approach allow the board and/or staff to support legislation that corrects potential legal problems or structural deficiencies or that adds protections to the trust. Legislation may be opposed if it threatens the trust or deprives members of vested benefits without an equivalent compensating benefit.
While many members may be supportive of HB 1669, it does not fall into the category of legislation on which we would take a position. It is highly likely that there are also members who are opposed to it, given that it would increase the state’s cost of benefits but only apply to a select group. The policy challenge for the General Assembly is in allocating limited expendable resources among employees and programs – they generally tend to be more receptive to benefits that apply to the masses rather than a select group – the same is true of members of the System. Print Friendly and PDF

Cost of purchasing military or public service time

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Why is it so expensive to purchase time (military or public) and what are the benefits for doing so?
Your total credited service (active and prior) is one of the factors used in the formula to calculate the amount of your retirement benefit. In other words, the more credited service you have, the higher your monthly benefit amount. Purchasing military or prior public service will increase your service with MOSERS, and in most cases, allow you to retire at an earlier date.
The process for determining how much is due in connection with a service credit purchase is established by state law. The statutory provision requires that we first determine what the contribution would have been for the number of years being purchased based on your salary and the contribution rate in effect when you were first hired.
The second step is to add simple interest to that amount for the period ranging from your date of hire to the date you make the purchase. It is often to your advantage, in terms of cost, to purchase service sooner rather than later to avoid additional interest costs.
The service purchase cost is generally significantly less than the System’s liability for that service. Any shortfall between what you pay for that service and the actual liability is factored into the state’s contribution rate. The MOSERS board certifies the actuarially determined rate required to fund your promised benefits in October each year and that rate is paid to MOSERS through state appropriations during the next fiscal year. In summary, while what it costs you to purchase military or other public service credit may seem high, it is generally heavily subsidized by additional state contributions.

Before you decide to purchase additional service credit, we recommend you contact a qualified financial advisor to determine how the purchase will affect your overall financial plan. The purchase of prior service credit must be completed before applying for retirement. Print Friendly and PDF

Military time counting toward retirement

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I hear that some of our military time will count towards retirement. Is that true?
There are provisions that allow you to purchase or receive automatic credit for your eligible active duty military service. This additional service credit will be used in determining your eligibility for retirement and calculating the amount of your benefit.
Purchase Provision:You may purchase up to four years of active duty military service credit performed prior to your last becoming a member of MOSERS. This includes active duty military training. Along with your
Application to Purchase Active Duty Military Service, MOSERS will need a copy of your DD214 or NGB 23 discharge form that verifies the following:
  • Your service was active duty.
  • Your service was in an eligible branch of the U.S. Armed Forces or reserve components (Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Army National Guard, or Air National Guard).
  • Your dates of service.
  • You were honorably discharged.
Automatic Credit Provision:If you are called to or volunteer for active military duty, you may be eligible to receive credit for your military service at no cost.
To be eligible for automatic military service credit, you must:
  • Have been employed by the state immediately prior to entering the armed forces.
  • Return to state employment within the timeframe specified by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).
  • Provide a copy of your military DD214 or NGB 23 honorable discharge form or other pertinent documentation to your employer upon reemployment.
  • Meet any other requirements under USERRA.
Detailed information regarding active duty military service may be found in our Acquiring Service Credit brochure. If you wish to obtain credit for your active duty military service, the acquisition must be completed prior to applying for retirement.
Proposed Legislation:
It may interest you to know that a bill was introduced during the 2008 legislative session. As presently drafted, the proposed House Bill 1669 would allow eligible members (including members who have already purchased up to four years of retirement credit based on past military service) to receive an additional two years of creditable service free of charge, subject to the provisions in the bill. Refunds would not be given to members who have already purchased service. The service provision will not be available unless the bill is passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by the Governor. You can track this legislation at the Missouri General Assembly’s website. Print Friendly and PDF

Existence of BackDROP after 2010

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There is a rumor circulating that Backdrop will no longer exist after 2010. Is this true or not. I know several are planning to retire in 2012 or later and are counting on their backdrop.
This is not true. Elimination of the BackDROP provision would require a legislative change. The law regarding the BackDROP does not have an end date. We are not aware of any interest having been expressed by legislators or the administration in removing or changing the BackDROP option as it currently exists. Print Friendly and PDF

Is there any proposed legislation in this current legislative session (FY'09) that would affect State Employees (MOSERS) that have already retired?

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Is there any proposed legislation in this current legislative session (FY'09) that would affect State Employees (MOSERS) that have already retired?
House Bill 1545 has been introduced which, if enacted, would increase the formula for calculating future cost-of-living adjustments for eligible retirees, survivors and beneficiaries from 80% to 100% of the Consumer Price Index (CPI). If the legislation does become law as it is currently written, it would become effective August 28, 2008 and would apply to COLAs paid on or after September 1, 2008.
You can track legislation at the Missouri General Assembly’s website. Should a bill pass, our practice is to contact those affected by the legislation (by mail) as soon as possible. Print Friendly and PDF

My retirement date is 08 01 08. I work for revenue so I have to do 15 mins on my last day. My last day for my 15 mins will be 07 31 08 or 08 01 08?

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My retirement date is 08 01 08. I work for revenue so I have to do 15 mins on my last day. My last day for my 15 mins will be 07 31 08 or 08 01 08? How far in advance do I have to let Mosers know & also my personal office at revenue?
The application process for retirement consists of two steps. Submitting your Application for Retirement is Step 1. If you leave state employment on July 31, 2008 and retire August 1, 2008, your application must be received at MOSERS no later than June 30, 2008. We recommend that you apply for retirement 45-90 days prior to your date of retirement. For your convenience, you may apply for retirement online or request a Retirement Packet.
Once MOSERS receives your Application for Retirement, we will prepare and send you a personalized Retirement Election Form, which is Step 2. If you plan to retire August 1, 2008, your election form must be received at MOSERS no later than July 31, 2008.

Please contact your personnel office to determine when they wish to receive notice of your retirement. Print Friendly and PDF

Is MOSERS a public or private pension plan?

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Is MOSERS a public or private pension plan?

MOSERS is a single-employer, public employee retirement plan administered in accordance with Chapter 104 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri.
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There was a newspaper article from Washington Co. that says that the House of Representatives has proposed an across-the-board pay increase for state

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There was a newspaper article from Washington Co. that says that the House of Representatives has proposed an across-the-board pay increase for state employees of $1056 for 2008. Can you tell me if this is accurate and the Bill # so it may be tracked? Also, there is a rumor that merit raises may be awarded again. Is this true and can you tell me when this will go into effect?
MOSERS does not play a role in decisions regarding state pay raises so we have limited information on this issue. Pay plan recommendations are initiated in the Governor’s budget message presented to the legislature in connection with the State of the State address in mid-January each year. This year the Governor proposed a 3% pay increase for state employees. During the legislative session (January – May), the legislature considers all appropriations bills, including those pertaining to salary.
It is our understanding that the House changed the Governor’s pay plan recommendation to a $1,056 annual increase. The bills now move on to the State Senate for consideration. After both houses agree on the appropriations bills, the Governor must then sign or veto them. We are not aware of any appropriations proposals for merit pay increases.

You can track legislation at the Missouri General Assembly’s website. This year, appropriations bills for the departments and elected officials are contained in HB2002 through HB2012 and the pay plan amount is included in the personal service category in each department’s bill. However, the pay plan is not an isolated line item, so you will find total personal service for the departments in those bills but not the details of the pay plan. Print Friendly and PDF

The latest rumor is the state will cut retirement from 75% to 62%. Is this true?

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The latest rumor is the state will cut retirement from 75% to 62%. Is this true?
We’re not sure we understand the question since retirement benefits are not determined as a set percentage. Your retirement benefit is calculated using a formula that is set by law. The formula consists of three components: 1) your credited service, 2) your final average pay (the average pay earned during your highest 36 consecutive months of state service), and 3) a multiplier. With that said, we are not aware of any legislation that has been filed to change this formula. Print Friendly and PDF

I have heard that a bill is currently making its way through the legislature that will allow for two years of military time to be added to years of se

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I have heard that a bill is currently making its way through the legislature that will allow for two years of military time to be added to years of service without charge. If this passes how will this effect one who has already purchased 4 years. Is the limit on purchasing military time still 4 years?
As presently drafted, the proposed House Bill 1669 would allow eligible members (including members who have already purchased up to four years of retirement credit based on past military service) to receive an additional two years of creditable service free of charge, subject to the provisions in the bill. Refunds would not be given to members who have already purchased service.
There has been no change regarding the maximum amount of military service you may purchase. If you elect to purchase your active duty military service, you must purchase all that your served (total months and days) up to a maximum of four years. Print Friendly and PDF

Do you have to pay federal taxes on a BackDROP distribution before you roll it into an IRA?

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Do you have to pay federal taxes on a BackDROP distribution before you roll it into an IRA?
If you elect the direct rollover option to receive your BackDROP distribution, your payment will not be taxed in the year of the rollover and no income tax will be withheld. By electing the direct rollover option, the distribution is paid directly from MOSERS to a traditional IRA or an eligible employer plan that will accept rollovers.
The taxable portion of your payment will be taxed when you take it out of the traditional IRA or eligible employer plan. For a detailed explanation of the payment methods and tax consequences, please review our Special Tax Notice brochure, which is available on our website or by contacting MOSERS. Print Friendly and PDF

How does the new change in the law affect how our retirement is taxed by the State of Missouri?

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How does the new change in the law affect how our retirement is taxed by the State of Missouri?If a retiree elects BackDROP, how is BackDROP shown on the 1099 you issue?Does the tax exemption apply to Deferred Compensation distributions?
Missouri Tax Changes:
One of the 2007 changes for Missouri income tax filers is the
public pension exemption. Married couples with Missouri adjusted gross income less than $100,000 and single individuals with Missouri adjusted gross income less than $85,000, may deduct the greater of $6,000 or 20% of their public retirement benefits, to the extent the amounts are included in their federal adjusted gross income. The deductible percentage of their public retirement benefits will increase each year until 2012 when it will become 100%. The total public pension exemption is limited to the maximum social security benefit of each spouse. Those that exceed the Missouri adjusted income limits may qualify for a partial exemption.
Information regarding the public pension exemption may be found on the
Missouri Department of Revenue’s website, by contacting one of their tax assistance centers, or by contacting a tax professional.
BackDROP and 1099-R:How the BackDROP amount appears on your 1099-R depends on how you elect to receive the BackDROP distribution from MOSERS. If you elect to roll your BackDROP distribution over to a traditional IRA or eligible employer plan, you will receive two separate 1099-Rs – one for the BackDROP amount and one for your monthly retirement benefit.
If you elect the cash option to receive your distribution, the BackDROP amount will be included on the same 1099-R as your monthly retirement benefit as long as you have reached age 59 1/2 in the year you receive the distribution. If you receive the distribution in a year before you reach age 59 1/2, you will receive a separate 1099-R with a distribution code of 1 which indicates an early distribution subject to the 10% additional federal income tax or a distribution code of 2 which indicates an exception to the 10% additional federal tax for those who are at least age 55 in the year they terminate employment and receive their distribution (age 50 for those that are qualified public safety employees). Whether you elect to receive the cash distribution in one lump sum or three installments, your 1099-R will reflect the taxable amount you receive during that tax year. The taxable portion of your payment will be taxed in the year of distribution unless you roll it over. Under certain circumstances, you may be able to use special tax rules that could reduce the tax you owe. For a detailed explanation of the payment methods and tax consequences, please review our
Special Tax Notice brochure, which is available on our website or by contacting MOSERS.
Deferred Compensation:

Any questions regarding the withdrawal of funds and issuance of 1099s from the State of Missouri Deferred Compensation Plan should be directed to CitiStreet at (800) 392-0925 or (573) 893-1053. Print Friendly and PDF

There has been a rumor floating around at my work place that there is a bill going to be introduced surrounding 70 and out instead of 80 and out. Any

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There has been a rumor floating around at my work place that there is a bill going to be introduced surrounding 70 and out instead of 80 and out. Any truth to this rumor? Thanks in advance for any information on this subject.
We are not aware of any legislative initiatives that would change the Rule of 80 to a different requirement, such as “70 & Out.” Under the Rule of 80, which is sometimes referred to as “80 & Out,” you are eligible for normal retirement when the sum of your age and years of service equals 80 or more (if you are at least age 48). Any revision to the Rule of 80 would require a change in the law.
Rumors of this nature seem to circulate every year. If any changes were to occur to the current Rule of 80 provision, MOSERS would notify members who would be affected by the change. You can track legislation at the Missouri General Assembly’s website. Print Friendly and PDF

I am not sure how LTD works. Could you explain, please?

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I am not sure how LTD works. Could you explain, please?
MOSERS’ Long-Term Disability (LTD) Plan protects your earning ability by providing partial income replacement in the event you become disabled if you meet the eligibility requirements for the benefit. This helps bridge the gap from your date of disability to your recovery or retirement, whichever occurs first.
Basically, if you are disabled and have completed the 90 day benefit waiting period, your monthly disability benefit will equal 60% of: (1) your monthly salary on your last full day of active work, or (2) the average monthly salary for your highest consecutive 36 months of employment (whichever amount is greater). Once approved, the LTD benefit begins on the last day of the month: (1) at the end of the 90-day benefit waiting period, or (2) when your sick leave has been exhausted (whichever is later).
In replacing the percentage of lost wages, the insurance company takes into account certain other sources of income you may be eligible to receive, such as social security, as a result of your disability. These other sources of income are called “deductible income,” because they are deducted from your LTD benefit.
The goal of the LTD plan is to provide partial income replacement during your disability until, ideally, you can return to work. The insurance contract defines disability in two ways – “Own Occupation Disability,” and “Any Occupation Disability.” During the benefit waiting period and the 24 months following that period, you must be unable to perform the duties of your own occupation due to your disability. After the benefit waiting period and the 24 months following that period, you may continue to receive disability benefits only if you are unable to perform the material duties of any occupation. The insurance company may help you find other employment opportunities if it is determined that you can perform the duties of another occupation.

This was a very brief overview of the LTD plan. However, the plan has specific provisions that might affect your benefits. For more information regarding the LTD plan or your particular situation, please refer to MOSERS’ Long-Term Disability Handbook or contact a benefit counselor. Print Friendly and PDF

If we have to log in – then how is this confidential? You have our name and where we work!

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If we have to log in – then how is this confidential? You have our name and where we work!
For security reasons, we require members to log in anytime they wish to access their personal information. This ensures that unauthorized persons cannot view or make changes to your information. Internally, access to login information is extremely restricted. In addition, there are extensive security measures in place to ensure that those individuals can't access the information unchecked.
MOSERS has a confidentiality of records policy that is strictly enforced by staff. You may review the policy in Section 1-3 of our Board Rules. Print Friendly and PDF

I am changing my beneficiaries on my life insurance to my husband, daughter and son equally. Before I submit it, there is a statement that says if on

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I am changing my beneficiaries on my life insurance to my husband, daughter and son equally. Before I submit it, there is a statement that says if one of the beneficiaries dies the same day or 15 days after you, he will be considered to have died before you. Does that mean that if my husband and I were both killed on the same day, that my son and daughter would split the total life insurance equally.
Yes, that is correct. If you are updating your beneficiary designations online, the electronic form provides a convenient “equally divide” box for such a designation. By checking the box, the proceeds will be divided equally among the surviving beneficiaries listed.
If you are submitting a paper Designation of Life Insurance Beneficiaries form, please refer to the examples in the booklet that accompany the form. Print Friendly and PDF

I am approaching 3 years until my retirement date. When should I plan to attend a meeting concerning my retirement? Do paid overtime hours count towar

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I am approaching 3 years until my retirement date. When should I plan to attend a meeting concerning my retirement? Do paid overtime hours count towards the high 36 months?
We recommend our PreRetirement Planning seminar for members who are within 5 years of retirement. The 2008 brochure and schedule were recently mailed to all members who are within 5 years of normal retirement eligibility.
This full-day seminar is loaded with valuable information that will help you through the retirement process. Representatives from MOSERS, the Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan, Social Security, and CitiStreet will make presentations and answer your questions.

Regarding your specific question about overtime, compensation consists of all salary and wages payable out of any state, federal, trust, or other funds to an employee for personal services performed for a department (provided retirement contributions were received by us). This excludes any nonrecurring single sum payments or amounts paid after the employee’s termination of employment. Overtime pay will be considered when calculating your highest 36 consecutive months of pay. Print Friendly and PDF

I understand that there is legislation that raises the COLA calculation from 80% of CPI to 100% of CPI. If this should pass, when is it effective? I

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I understand that there is legislation that raises the COLA calculation from 80% of CPI to 100% of CPI. If this should pass, when is it effective? If you have already retired, do you get the 100% CPI COLA?
House Bill 1545 has been introduced which, if enacted, would increase the formula for calculating future cost-of-living adjustments for eligible retirees, survivors and beneficiaries from 80% to 100% of the Consumer Price Index (CPI). If the legislation does become law as it is currently written, it would become effective August 28, 2008 and would apply to COLAs paid on or after September 1, 2008. Print Friendly and PDF

I noticed that HB1669 introduced by Representative Jones would give 2 years credit for various types of military service. Although it is not yet sche

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I noticed that HB1669 introduced by Representative Jones would give 2 years credit for various types of military service. Although it is not yet scheduled on the calendar, I would like to know how this would impact those of us who have already purchased our credible military service? Thank you very much for your attention to this matter.
As presently drafted, the proposal would allow eligible members (including members who have already purchased up to four years of retirement credit based on past military service) to receive two years of creditable service free of charge subject to the provisions in this bill. Refunds would not be given to members who have already purchased service. Print Friendly and PDF

Will my accrued sick leave count towards my years of service and backdrop?

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Will my accrued sick leave count towards my years of service and backdrop?
For every 168 hours of unused sick leave you have at retirement you will receive a month of creditable service. Sick leave credit does not count in determining your eligibility for retirement or the BackDROP. However, once you are otherwise eligible for retirement, your sick leave credit would be considered in computing the amount of your retirement benefit and, if you are otherwise eligible for the BackDROP, it would also be used in determining the amount of your BackDROP payment. Print Friendly and PDF

I plan to elect the cash option for receiving my BackDROP distribution. Is it true that the 20% withholding is a fee that is actually split between MO

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I plan to elect the cash option for receiving my BackDROP distribution. Is it true that the 20% withholding is a fee that is actually split between MOSERS and CitiStreet?
No, this is not true. Any portion of your BackDROP distribution that you elect to have paid directly to you will be subject to 20% withholding for federal income tax. Amounts withheld are sent to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Applicable state taxes may also apply. Print Friendly and PDF

I heard that if you elect a BackDROP rollover to your Deferred Compensation Account, there was a large fee assessed by CitiStreet. Is that true?

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I heard that if you elect a BackDROP rollover to your Deferred Compensation Account, there was a large fee assessed by CitiStreet. Is that true?
No. There are no fees other than the administrative fee of $3.00 per month that participating members are all currently charged. Print Friendly and PDF

The following is an excerpt from January 27, 2008 CBS 60 Minutes "House of Cards" segment. As you can see, 60 Minutes did not reveal which state's re

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The following is an excerpt from January 27, 2008 CBS 60 Minutes "House of Cards" segment. As you can see, 60 Minutes did not reveal which state's retirement funds were involved. Is Missouri's state pension fund invested in these high-yield mortgage backed securities? Also, where can I locate information regarding the solidity of Missouri's fund?

EXCERPTS FROM 60 MINUTES JAN 27, 2008
"That’s the fascinating part of this whole debacle we’re in. Mortgages are sold in mortgage backed securities, so they’re pooled. I’ve seen everything from some of the largest financial institutions in the country, and you see 'Deutsche Bank' in a series and a series of numbers and letters to a mortgage pool," he says.
 
EXCERPTS FROM 60 MINUTES JAN 27, 2008 
"That’s the fascinating part of this whole debacle we’re in. Mortgages are sold in mortgage backed securities, so they’re pooled. I’ve seen everything from some of the largest financial institutions in the country, and you see 'Deutsche Bank' in a series and a series of numbers and letters to a mortgage pool," he says. 
The pools are part and parcel of those high-yield mortgage backed securities everyone gobbled up a few years ago, and are now stuck in the windpipe of the world's financial system. No one wants to buy them, so no one can sell them. 
"Bonds marked triple-A are now quoted at 50 cents to the dollar, 40 cents on the dollar. Some of them, much less," Grant says. 
"How much on the dollar, do ya think?" Kroft asks. 
"Some of them are worth nothing on the dollar. Nothing on the dollar. This is the worst thing that has happened to Wall Street in a long time," Grant says. 
Asked how many of these securities are out there, Grant says, "A trillion with a T-plus." 
Asked who bought them and owns them, Grant says, "You know, state pension funds, the hedge funds bought them. Foreign central banks own some of these things, if you please. So the ownership is very widely dispersed, which accounts for the general anxiety, and the persistence of anxiety." 
It’s that anxiety that spooked the world’s stock markets last week, that and the knowledge that things are likely to get worse, at least for a while.”


When financial issues of this type are in the news, we generally try to feature factual information on the home page of our website. For example, on December 18, MOSERS’ Chief Investment Officer (CIO) addressed the sub-prime mortgage issue. The problem is not from any exposure we have to sub-prime debt but, as an investor, we cannot be completely insulated from the overall impact of this event on the financial markets in general. It is important for you to know that your retirement system remains well funded and that promised benefits are secure. Our CIO sums it up by saying, “the big picture story is that MOSERS’ investments are very well diversified and, as a result, the portfolio is positioned to withstand turbulent market environments like the one being encountered as a result of the sub-prime mortgage debacle.”

To help put this in perspective, for calendar year 2007 the MOSERS portfolio generated a return of 13.2% which compares very favorably to an investment in the S&P 500 which generated a return of 3.5% over the same period of time.

Information regarding MOSERS’ investments is readily available on our website and in our Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. An abbreviated version of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report called the Summary Annual Report is mailed to members in their winter Pensions Plus or Retiree News newsletter each year – the Summary Annual Report also includes information regarding MOSERS’ investments. Print Friendly and PDF

If passed, HB1669 requires that certain veterans who have been state employees for a specified period of time and who meet certain eligibility require

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If passed, HB1669 requires that certain veterans who have been state employees for a specified period of time and who meet certain eligibility requirements are given two years of creditable service in MOSERS….
MY QUESTION: Given a veteran was qualified for the credit, would MOSERS refund the purchase, up to two years to the veterans who have purchased their military time?I know normally MOSERS does not comment on proposed legislation, but as there is still time to influence legislation, amendments etc., so I would hope you would make an exception this time, as would be nice to know what MOSERS interpretation of HB1669 would be.

As presently drafted, the proposal would allow eligible members who have already purchased up to four years of military service to also receive two additional years of creditable service free of charge. Therefore, refunds would not be given to members who have already purchased service.
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How many years after you meet 5 years of your BackDROP can you stay before it’s terminated?

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How many years after you meet 5 years of your BackDROP can you stay before it’s terminated?
Under current law, the BackDROP provision does not terminate under any circumstances. However, the BackDROP period is limited to five years. For example, if you work 8 years beyond the date when you were first eligible for normal retirement, your BackDROP period could start five years before you actually retire. Print Friendly and PDF

Is it true that Missouri state taxes will no longer be withheld from retirement benefit payments? If so, when will this be effective?

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Is it true that Missouri state taxes will no longer be withheld from retirement benefit payments? If so, when will this be effective?
Missouri State income taxes are only withheld from your MOSERS benefits if you request that we do so.
However, you might be thinking about the new public pension exemption that was passed during the 2007 legislative session. A list of the
2007 tax year changes is provided on the Missouri Department of Revenue’s website.
The following text was taken directly from the Department of Revenue’s website:

New Public Pension Exemption
Married couples with Missouri adjusted gross income less than $100,000 and single individuals with Missouri adjusted gross income less than $85,000, may deduct the greater of $6,000 or 20% of their public retirement benefits, to the extent the amounts are included in their federal adjusted gross income. The deductible percentage of their public retirement benefits will increase until 2012. A breakdown of the yearly percentage is as follows:

The total public pension exemption is limited to the maximum social security benefit of each spouse.
Married couples with Missouri adjusted gross income greater than $100,000 and single individuals with Missouri adjusted gross income greater than $85,000, may qualify for a partial exemption. The website links to a public pension exemption eligibility chart to determine if you are eligible.
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In a 12/27/07 posting regarding backdrop and COLA, I am hoping for some additional clarification. If I take a planned 2-year Backdrop benefit, I under

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In a 12/27/07 posting regarding backdrop and COLA, I am hoping for some additional clarification. If I take a planned 2-year Backdrop benefit, I understand it will reduce my calculated monthly benefit by those 2 years taken. When a Benefit Estimate is calculated, does the monthly benefit include a COLA adjustment for those 2 years or is that calculated in the cash settlement of the Backdrop? For example: If a person has 20 years credible service and is eligible to take 2 years backdrop, will the COLA be calculated based on 20 years or 18?
If you retire and elect a 2-year BackDROP, your retirement benefit will be calculated using your service and final average pay as of your BackDROP date. In your example, your benefit will be calculated using 18 years of service.
You will earn a cost-of-living allowance (COLA) each year on the anniversary of your BackDROP date. The lump sum BackDROP payment will be computed considering the annual COLAs you would have received had you retired on the BackDROP date. Simply stated, the BackDROP payment and your ongoing monthly benefit payments will reflect an annual COLA for the 2 years. (Keep in mind that the BackDROP payment is equal to 90% of the benefits you would have received between your BackDROP date and your actual retirement date if you had retired on your BackDROP date.)
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Since I am retiring March1 this year, will the COLA be figured into my back drop payment and why is my backdrop amount smaller after Jan 1 than it was

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Since I am retiring March1 this year, will the COLA be figured into my back drop payment and why is my backdrop amount smaller after Jan 1 than it was on Dec. 31.
Yes, the BackDROP payment will include any COLAs earned during the BackDROP period you elect at retirement.

One reason your BackDROP amount on January 1 is less than the BackDROP amount on December 31 might be the COLAs. Each January, the COLA rate for that year is determined based on 80% of the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). When a member requests an estimate using a future date, the system calculates the benefit based on the current COLA amount. For calendar year 2007, the COLA rate was 2.581%. Therefore, the December 31 estimate would have used a COLA rate of 2.581% for 2007 and 2008.Once the COLA for the new year is determined (mid-January), the system is updated and the new COLA rate is used in benefit estimates. The COLA rate for 2008 is 2.278%. In other words, the January 1 estimate would have used a COLA rate of 2.581% for 2007 and 2.278% for 2008. Since the COLA rate for 2008 is slightly lower than the COLA rate for 2007, your January 1 estimate is less than your December 31 estimate. Having said that, there could also be other factors impacting the BackDROP such as work beyond age 62 if you were eligible for Rule of 80 (and the temporary benefit) before age 62. If you will contact a benefit counselor at MOSERS, we will be able to analyze your situation in detail and give you a complete answer. Print Friendly and PDF

I was told that the state of MO will pay members insurance after they retire if they have at least 20 years of service with the state of MO if legisla

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I was told that the state of MO will pay members insurance after they retire if they have at least 20 years of service with the state of MO if legislation passes? If so, when will that be approved? Will this be put forth for the voters registered in MO to vote on? Any information you can provide me about this subject would very much be appreciated.
We are not aware of any proposed legislation such as you described. You can track legislation at the Missouri General Assembly’s website. Through the General Assembly’s website, the Joint Committee on Public Employee Retirement provides a handy 2008 Retirement Legislation Status Report to help you track retirement related legislation.
The state presently provides a subsidy for health care coverage for eligible retirees and the amount of the subsidy is predicated on the length of service the retiree had with the state. The Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan (MCHCP) administers the medical, dental, and vision coverage for eligible state employees. Specific questions regarding legislation affecting medical benefits should be directed to MCHCP at (800) 487-0771. Print Friendly and PDF

Why is the Deferred Compensation website still so user-unfriendly? The login is confusing and doesn't deliver one to one's account information immedia

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Why is the Deferred Compensation website still so user-unfriendly? The login is confusing and doesn't deliver one to one's account information immediately. This needs substantial improvements since it has been in this state since CitiStreet became the administrator. I have heard numerous complaints about the site, but it doesn't seem to be registering with anyone who has the will or interest to make it user friendly.
CitiStreet recently updated their website in hopes of making it more user-friendly. From their home page, you can take a brief tour of the site to become more familiar with it. In addition to several functionality changes, CitiStreet added a site map and a search option to help participants find items of interest.
CitiStreet offers six free informational seminars. One of the seminars focuses on Website Navigation to help participants develop a comfort level when using the website. The
seminar schedule can be found on their website under What’s New.
Effective September 1, 2007, oversight of the deferred compensation program was transferred from the Deferred Compensation Commission to the MOSERS Board of Trustees. We are currently working with CitiStreet to identify potential areas of improvement to the deferred compensation plan. One of the areas we are examining is their website. Your feedback is very helpful in this endeavor. Print Friendly and PDF

Is there a mandatory retirement age for State Employees? If so, what is the age?

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Is there a mandatory retirement age for State Employees? If so, what is the age?
No, there is not a mandatory retirement age for general state employees.
However, members of the Judicial Plan (administered by MOSERS) are required by law to retire on or before their 70th birthday. If they fail to retire by age 70, they will forfeit all rights to a retirement benefit, annual compensation, or salary.

The other state employees subject to a mandatory retirement age are uniformed members of the highway patrol. Their retirement plan is administered by the MoDOT and Patrol Employees Retirement System (MPERS) and their mandatory retirement age is 60. Print Friendly and PDF

When I attempted to purchase my two years of Army time, I was allowed to purchase 1 year, 11 months and 19 days. With monthly credited service for unu

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When I attempted to purchase my two years of Army time, I was allowed to purchase 1 year, 11 months and 19 days. With monthly credited service for unused sick leave at 21 days per credited month, will additional days after the incremented 21 be added to the 19 bought to give a month or did I waste the cost of buying the 19 days?
By law, anyone purchasing active-duty military service must purchase all that they served (total years, months, and days), up to a maximum of 4 years.
When calculating your retirement benefit, we will combine your actual service (years, months, and days) with your purchased service (years, months and days) to arrive at what we call vesting service. Your unused sick leave will be reviewed separately to determine how much additional credit you will receive with one month of service added for each 168 hours of unused sick leave (with no credit for fractional months). Print Friendly and PDF

Is there any lobbying effort by MOSERS or any other group to convince the legislators to increase the deferred compensation? It was legally increased

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Is there any lobbying effort by MOSERS or any other group to convince the legislators to increase the deferred compensation? It was legally increased to a possibility of $75 match, but not funded. Any hope? This would be an excellent tax-free raise, as we have not really had a true raise since Gov. Carnahan was in office. COLA increases are just that...cost of living, which should be automatic. Missouri state employees are actually far behind COLA, as we did go 3 years with no COLA. I wish the legislators would at least catch us up.
There has not been a lobbying effort that we are aware of at this time. As you noted, the Deferred Compensation Plan law (Section 105.927 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri) does allow the state to contribute an amount not to exceed $75 per month to all qualified employees. Since 1994 (with funding beginning in 1995) the amount of the state incentive has been $25 per month. To increase the state incentive, the expenditure must be appropriated by the General Assembly. In recent years, the top compensation related priorities have been funding the pay plan and funding the state subsidy for employee and retiree medical coverage.
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