Rumors of another retirement incentive

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Is Department of Conservation under MOSERS? Is so, how can they offer an early retirement to them and not to all state employees?
Department of Conservation employees are covered by MOSERS for retirement benefits. Since a 1936 Missouri constitutional amendment, Conservation has been governed by a Governor appointed Commission that has authority over department operations.
The program that the department is offering is not an early retirement benefit but is what they are calling a Voluntary Payroll Reduction Program (VPRP). The individuals that qualify for the VPRP will only be those who are already eligible to retire under MOSERS criteria. For those eligible who agree to retire by a specific date, the department will increase the amount that would otherwise be paid toward their retiree medical insurance premiums for a period of time.
Department of Conservation employees and retirees are not covered by the Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan but rather are covered by a health care program established by the Conservation Commission.
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Retirement in the news

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I read an article on CNN that said Missouri was one of the states losing money in investments in the retirement system. What does this mean to us as state employees?
Bloomberg News, CNN and Yahoo News recently published an article
(
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=ahb6gcv6yWcs)
that mentioned MOSERS.
The overall point of the article is that the current financial market downturn is causing some pension plans to look at their benefit structures and consider changes for newly hired employees. Before that could happen in Missouri, legislative changes would have to be introduced and approved by the General Assembly and the Governor. No such legislation has been introduced related to MOSERS.
MOSERS is only mentioned in the article regarding one investment made in 2006. The specific investment amounted to three tenths of one percent 0.3% of our total fund at the time and losses resulting from that invest have had no impact on the security of your MOSERS benefit. MOSERS has intentionally built a broadly diversified investment portfolio as a tool to weather through market volatility like we are experiencing currently. As compared to our benchmark (an index of financial market performance), MOSERS’ portfolio has done well. At the end of the fiscal year 08, our annual positive return of 1.6% outperformed our market benchmark by 2.8%, resulting in an extra $224 million above what would have been earned had the decision been made to invest the entire portfolio in our benchmark (index funds).
Outperforming the market benchmark during these times of extreme market downturn doesn’t mean that our absolute return is always positive. What it does reflect is that our investment professionals are skilled at building a portfolio with a good mix of risk/return to generate long-term results that continue to place MOSERS investment performance in the top 5% of all large public pension funds and outperform passively managed index funds.
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Investor Fraud (update)

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Update
Early this week, we were notified by one of our external investment managers that they had made an investment in one of the feeder funds that had invested with Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities. MOSERS exposure to Madoff securities amounts to less than one tenth of one percent (.06%) of our total fund, and any losses resulting from the investment will in no way impact the security of your MOSERS benefit. As stewards of the fund, MOSERS takes this alleged fraud very seriously and we will aggressively pursue all reasonable means to recover trust fund assets.


Monday, December 22, 2008 
Investor Fraud

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

Pension qualifications for Missouri Pension Exemption

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Am I correct to assume that benefits paid by MOSERS are considered to be from "public sources," for the purpose of the Missouri Pension Exemption, but that disbursements paid by Missouri Deferred Compensation are considered "private sources?"
You are correct. The benefits paid by MOSERS are considered to be from a “public pension” and qualify for consideration under the Missouri Pension Exemption (state income tax exemption). The State of Missouri Deferred Compensation plan on the other hand is “your money” (ie private in a sense) and not considered to be from a “public pension.” Consequently, deferred compensation plan distributions do not qualify for consideration under the Missouri Pension Exemption.
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Rumors of another retirement incentive

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It has been reported by some Conservation employees that there is a retirement incentive for them. The proposal is: any employee within 15 months of retirement date may go ahead and retire with the state paying 80% of the insurance cost for 7 years. Is there any truth to this? If so, will this be offered to any other state employees?
The Department of Conservation has informed us of their plan for a Voluntary Payroll Reduction Program (VPRP) for eligible employees. It is our understanding that eligible employees include those that qualify for retirement (early or normal) between March 1, 2009, and June 30, 2010. If these individuals retire during that time, the department will pay for 80% of their retiree medical premium for a period of seven years. Conservation provided similar incentives in FY99, FY02, and FY03.
The legislative session convened on Jan. 7 and no legislation has been filed for any type of retirement incentive for other state employees. If that were to occur, MOSERS would post information regarding the particular provisions and status of any such legislation.
If you have specific questions about the Conservation plan, you should contact their human resource office directly.
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