BackDROP

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I've heard that backdrop may be going away. If so, how will this affect those already in the process of earning backdrop?
BackDROP is not going away for current state employees or anyone who is currently in the process of working toward their BackDROP. What is likely being referred to is the legislation that was passed impacting retirement benefits during the special session of the legislature that was held this past summer. In addition to several other changes made to retirement benefits only for those hired on or after January 1, 2011, this legislation also eliminated the BackDROP going forward, for those new employees. You can read more about this legislation on our website.
Again, this legislation does not impact current employees.
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2011 COLA

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Will there be a cost of living increase this year?
 According to Missouri state law, each January MOSERS must compare the average Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the calendar year just completed (in this case 2010) to the average CPI from the prior year (2009) to determine the percentage change between the two years. The MOSERS COLA rate for any year is based on 80% of the percentage increase in the average CPI from one year to the next.

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Effect of Fewer State Workers on the Contributions to the Retirement Fund

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What will be the effect of significantly fewer state workers (due to downsizing of state government) and associated contributions to the retirement fund and more retirees due to the downsizing trend? 
The system receives contributions to fund the retirement plan through an annually established contribution rate that is multiplied by the state’s monthly payroll.  While the contribution rate remains constant for the year, the monthly payroll fluctuates due to employee turnover, salary adjustments, and layoffs that may occur.  
To arrive at the contribution rate, the board’s actuary uses economic assumptions regarding the investment return rate, pay increases, the expected changes in active member payroll, and post retirement cost-of-living adjustments.  In addition, the actuary uses non-economic assumptions which include projected mortality, probabilities of age and service retirement, and probabilities of withdrawal from service including disability and death before retirement. Each year the rate is adjusted by the actuary to reflect differences between actual and assumed experience and presented to the board for certification to the state in establishing the contribution rate for the following fiscal year.
A reduction in payroll, over a prolonged period of time, can gradually increase the state’s contribution rate. However, a declining payroll may result in a reduction in the dollars contributed despite a rate increase. The recent changes to the plan for employees hired for the first time on or after January 1, 2011, are expected to reduce the state’s annually required contribution over time without negatively impacting the system’s ability to pay all benefits when they are due.  The primary changes for new hires include increasing the normal retirement age and requiring member contributions of 4% of pay (which was the employee contribution rate from the system’s inception in 1957 until 1972).

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