BackDROP and the Ongoing Monthly Benefit

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Just want to make sure of something because of one of the Pension Plus articles and the way it was written. (Yes, someone actually reads them!)  
When I do retire I will received the BackDrop money (regardless of what I choose to do with it and those options) AND my monthly retire retirement benefit (regardless of which option I choose). Correct? In other words, the BackDrop is an additional payment to my regular monthly income. Correct? Thanks for the clarification.
Thank you for reading our newsletter. We appreciate it! 
To answer your question, yes, if you elect to take a BackDROP amount, you will still receive an ongoing monthly benefit. If you elect the BackDROP, 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, referred to as the BackDROP date. 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. See our website to read more about BackDROP.
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Unemployment Compensation for Retirees

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Can a person retiring from state service receive unemployment compensation? I have heard this several times and it sounds like a rumor/fairytale. Are there groups of retiring people that can receive that type of benefit?
The basic requirements for qualifying for unemployment benefits can be reviewed hereWe did contact the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, though, and someone from their Division of Employment Security sent us this response:
When a person leaves a state agency and files an unemployment claim, the Division of Employment Security claims department gathers information needed to process the unemployment claim.  This generates a notice to the appropriate state agency that the person filed an unemployment claim, and allows the agency to raise any issues they so choose.
Some issues may be whether the person quit for reasons that are not attributable to the work or the employer when they chose to retire.  Also, the person is asked if they will receive a pension and whether they are able and available for full time work.  These are just some of the questions and possible issues that will likely arise.
If any of the above apply, both the employer and person filing the unemployment claim are given the opportunity to provide information.  These issues are then determined and each party has the right to appeal.
Basically, we look whether the person is unemployed through no fault of their own, whether any pension they receive would affect their unemployment claim (deductible pensions are reportable and deductible from benefits)  and whether the person is available to return to the workforce on a full-time basis.

We hope this information is helpful. However, we highly encourage anyone in this situation to contact the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations toll-free at 800.320.2519 or by visiting www.labor.mo.gov for confirmation.
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2011 Retirement Incentive Rumor

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I heard that they may let 2012 employees retire in 2011 with full benefits (80 and out). Is this true? Thank you.
 MOSERS does not initiate any kind of retirement incentive. In order for an incentive to be offered for all MOSERS members, a member of the general assembly would have to file a bill authorizing some sort of incentive. We have no way of knowing what, if any, retirement incentive will be offered during the 2011 legislative session. We will monitor the session and inform our members of any legislation signed into law that impacts them. MOSERS has no control over retirement incentives. Only members of the legislature can introduce such legislation, and then it would have to make its way through the legislative process.
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State Pensions for Employees Hired After 2010

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Is it true that the state of Missouri will no longer provide a pension for their employees after this year if you are hired by the state [and] the employee must pay into their own retirement?
No, that is not true. The state of Missouri will provide a pension benefit for all eligible retirees, no matter when they are hired. During the 2010 special session of the Missouri Legislature, a bill was passed that made changes to the current laws on retirement. We've written extensively about these changes on our website, including an FAQ and a feature article on the subject. These changes impact only those employees who are hired for the first time in a benefit eligible position on or after January 1, 2011. While new employees will have to contribute 4% of their pay to the retirement system, that in no way means that the state will not provide them with a pension when they retire. On the contrary! All state of Missouri retirees who retired from a MOSERS covered position, no matter when they are hired, are members of a defined benefit retirement system, which means that when they retire, they are guaranteed a retirement benefit for the remainder of their lives.
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Follow Up to December 9, 2010 Post About Maximum BackDROP Period

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I could be wrong, but I think that the question/answer recently posted on rumor central  may have been referring to the amount of backdrop if you work, say, seven years past your normal eligibility date. Does the maximum five-year backdrop go back to the original date, or does it go back to five years from the date actually chosen for retirement?
Our apologies if there was any confusion over the December 9, 2010 Rumor Central post regarding BackDROP. We hope this question/answer clarifies the issue. To be eligible for the BackDROP, you must work in a MOSERS covered position for at least two years beyond your normal retirement eligibility date. You can work more than five years past your normal retirement eligibility date and still be eligible for the BackDROP, but you can only take a maximum of five years. Whatever BackDROP date you choose, it must meet both of the following criteria:
  • 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
So, yes, if a person worked seven years past their normal retirement eligibility date, the maximum period they could choose would be a five year BackDROP, but it would be the five years immediately prior to their actual retirement date.

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Missouri State University Retirement Incentive

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I just saw the article on KY3 News that Missouri State University would be offering a voluntary retirement incentive in 2011 for those employees under the MOSERS plan. Will that benefit be offered to other State agencies who are covered under the MOSERS plan as well? Thank you.
While the incentive being offered at Missouri State University is being referred to as a "voluntary retirement incentive" to faculty and staff of that institution, it doesn't impact their MOSERS benefits. What they are offering is an incentive to their faculty and staff in the form of cash (25% of base salary with a minimum payment of $10,000 and a maximum payment of $25,000) or university paid health insurance for the employee only until age 65. The university has a separate budget for this and their employees are not covered by the Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan (MCHCP). 
In order for an incentive to be offered for all MOSERS members, a member of the general assembly would have to file a bill authorizing some sort of incentive. We have no way of knowing what, if any, retirement incentive will be offered during the 2011 legislative session. We will monitor the session and inform our members of any legislation signed into law that impacts them. MOSERS has no control over retirement incentives. Only members of the legislature can introduce such legislation, and then it would have to make its way through the legislative process.
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Direct Deposit of Payroll Checks

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Is there any truth to the rumor that there will be a tax placed on direct deposit of payroll checks?
We have heard of no such rumor, nor has the Office of Administration's Division of Accounting. According to OA/Accounting, there are some banking institutions that may charge a fee based upon the number of transactions into an account, but they've not heard of a tax proposal. As always we will monitor the upcoming legislative session and keep members informed of any legislation that impacts them or MOSERS.
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80 & Out

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I was trying to locate information regarding 80 and out. Thank you for your time.
Here is a link to a video on our website. It also includes a video transcript in case you cannot, or do not wish to, watch the video. It includes information on all aspects of retirement eligibility, including the 80 & out provision.

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Un-used Sick Leave and Retirement

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Will unused sick leave time still be converted into time toward retirement (i.e., 168 hours of sick leave equals one month toward retirement benefit)?
Yes, for every 168 hours of Sick Leave you have accrued but not used, you will receive one more month of service to increase your benefit amount. Sick Leave does not affect your eligibility to retire.

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Maximum Period Allowed for BackDROP

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Some confusion over back drop amount when employee retires. Some people think it is capped after 5 yrs. Others believe it would increase if employee stays more than 5 yrs or longer. What is correct situation?
 The maximum BackDROP period a member may select is 5 years. If a member works beyond 5 years past his or her normal retirement eligibility date, still the maximum period that may be selected is 5 years. You can read about all of the BackDROP provisions on our website.
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2011 Retirement Incentives

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Is it true that early retirement may be offered with health insurance premiums paid for an unknown period of time in the near future?
MOSERS is not aware of any proposed retirement incentives. The 2011 legislative session begins January 5, 2011. Staff at MOSERS administers the program we have responsibility for according to state law, and we closely monitor all legislation that impacts MOSERS or MOSERS' members. We can provide information to legislators and show the impact on employees and the trust fund, but ultimately, decisions about making changes to the retirement plan rest with the legislature and the Governor's office. As always, we will keep our members informed of any changes that become law.
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