Friday Top Five June 28 2013

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The Friday Top Five: A collection of the top five news articles, blog posts, or other retirement related information from the past week.

From MarketWatch's Encore Blog: Feds Debut Anti-Fraud Tool For Retirees

From the article: The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau launched a new fraud-prevention tool [the week of June 10, 2013], Money Smart for Older Adults, that’s aimed as much at the caregivers and families of retirement-age people as at the retirees themselves."

From The Washington Post: FiftyPlus: A Guide to Retirement

This retirement guide from the Washington Post includes links on working after retirement, the markets, investing, giving and taxes, among other things. Check it out!

From The Best Life Blog at US News and World Report: Retirement Shortfall May Top $14 Trillion

Americans aren't saving enough for retirement. That, coupled with a decline in Defined Benefit pension plans, is creating a retirement security crisis. In this blog post, Philip Moeller writes about a new report from the The National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) which suggests that "the nation is dangerously unprepared for retirement."

From the post: "NIRS joins a growing list of think tanks that say the nation's retirement outlook has been devastated by the decline of traditional defined-benefit pensions, low private savings and the inadequate availability and employee participation in 401(k) plans and similar defined-contribution programs. The steep recession and slow recovery have further deepened our retirement hole."

From Pension Dialog: Percentage of Pension Spending

From the post: "According to an issue brief by the National Association of State Retirement Administrators, per the U.S. Census, pension costs since 1980 have been reliably stable with 2010, the most recent year figures are available, at 2.8 percent of total state and local spending. Yet, as the brief points out, the rate for some governments, particularly municipalities, pension costs as a percentage of all spending may be even higher." The post goes on to address some of the municipalities with higher percentages of overall spending on pensions, but cautions that "perhaps there is a general disservice in publishing averages as percentage of pension spending, which can be better explained on a case-by-case basis."

From the New York Times: For Retirees, a Million-Dollar Illusion

From the article: “The bottom line is that people at nearly all levels of the income distribution have undersaved,” Professor Wolff [economics professor at NYU] said. “Social Security is going to be a major, and maybe primary, source of income for people, even for some of those close to the top.”

The views expressed by the writers of these pieces are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of MOSERS. Print Friendly and PDF

Life Income with Guaranteed Payments

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For retirement you have 60, 120, and 180 guaranteed payments. If I choose 120 will my benefits stop being paid to me at the end of 120 months?
No. As the MOSERS member, you will receive payments each month for life. The 60, 120 or 180 guaranteed payments refer to what your beneficiary(ies) may receive if you die PRIOR to receiving that number of payments.

For example, if you elected Life Income with 60 Guaranteed Payments and lived for 24 months after retirement, your beneficiary(ies) would receive the 36 remaining payments. If you were to live 200 months beyond your retirement date, you would receive a payment each month for your life but, because payments would have been made in excess of the guarantee period, there would be no remaining payments to be paid to anyone else after your death (except the final payment for the month in which you die).

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Friday Top Five June 21 2013

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The Friday Top Five: A collection of the top five news articles, blog posts, or other retirement related information from the past week.

From HuffPost 50: Willadene Zedan, 85-Year-Old Woman, Graduates From Marian University With A Job Offer

This woman began taking classes when her husband died in 1998. On May 18 of this year, she graduated with a bachelor's degree in theology from Marian University in Wisconsin. Now, she's helping a local doctor make house calls to elderly patients. We think Ms. Zedan is pretty cool. What might you do to reinvent yourself in retirement?

From the Squared Away Blog: Older Patients Tell Doctors, “Charge It!”

From the post: "New research has uncovered one reason for the alarming rise in credit card use among older Americans: medical bills."

From the Chicago Tribune: Retirement: Start Early to Reach Your Retirement Savings Target

Start early. If you didn't start saving when you first started working, start now.

From the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College: The Impact of Interest Rates on the National Retirement Risk Index

The brief’s key findings are:

  • The National Retirement Risk Index shows that changes in interest rates have only a modest effect on retirement preparedness for three reasons:

    • Most households have relatively little financial wealth to annuitize.

    • The effect on annuity income is muted, because the principal portion of the annuity payout is unaffected by interest rates.

    • Changes in the annuity income from a reverse mortgage are partly offset by changes in the amount that can be borrowed.

From Reuters: Illinois Sets July 9 Deadline for Plan to Fix Pensions

From the article: "In the first sign of compromise after weeks of political impasse, Illinois lawmakers in a special session on Wednesday set up a rarely used conference committee in an effort to fix the state's woefully under-funded pension system."

The views expressed by the writers of these pieces are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of MOSERS. Print Friendly and PDF

HB 129 Retirement Incentive

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Has HB 129 been passed or is a hearing set? Kind of getting late in the year. How will this effect our Backdrop and years of service?
HB 129 was proposed legislation which included a state employee retirement incentive program that provided a payment based on years of service. The legislative session ended on May 17 without HB 129 passing so no changes were made related to BackDROP or how years of service are used in calculating your pension benefit. You can track state legislation through the Missouri House and Senate Joint Bill Tracking website.
You can get an estimate of your retirement benefit through MOSERS’ website or by calling a MOSERS benefit counselor. To get estimates online, log on to your secure Member Homepage, select the Estimates tab and click on Estimate Your Retirement Benefit.

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Friday Top Five June 7 2013

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The Friday Top Five: A collection of the top five news articles, blog posts, or other retirement related information from the past week.

From the Washington Post: Pension Deal Eludes Illinois Lawmakers Once Again; Session Ends Without Fixing $100B Crisis

“The biggest supermajorities in modern history, the biggest issue facing the people of Illinois in a generation and you failed to deliver,” said Sen. Matt Murphy, a Palatine Republican. “... The governor is going to bring Squeezy out again tomorrow because you guys couldn’t figure out how to communicate with a supermajority of the same party on the other side of the building.”

“I’ve tried everything,” said Chicago Democrat and Senate President John Cullerton. “You’re fighting unions and you’re fighting the business community at the same time. And that’s what’s so difficult. I’m trying to thread the needle.”


From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Editorial: Pension Reform as Tragedy in Illinois, as Inevitable in St. Louis

More on the Illinois pension issues:

  • With nothing being done in the legislative session just closed, it will now "take a 60 percent supermajority to pass anything."

  • "Now the shadow of the March 18 gubernatorial primary falls over everything. State Attorney General Lisa Madigan may challenge Mr. Quinn for the Democratic nomination. Did the House speaker want to do a pension deal so his daughter didn’t have to mess with it? Or did he deliberately lowball the unions to sink a deal and weaken Mr. Quinn? And what to make of the ambitions of William M. Daley, son of one legendary Chicago mayor and brother of another, former White House chief of staff to a well-known Illinois politician? Plenty of clout, but the kind of ties to the Chicago business community that worry unions."

Also from the Washington Post: AGING AMERICA: ‘Phased Retirement’ Offers Workers Chance to Test Waters Before Taking Plunge

At Stanley Consultants in Iowa, workers are allowed to phase in their retirements. The HR director says, "phased retirement gives employees a way to maximize their retirement savings and the company a way to retain a highly experienced employee who often has built close ties with clients." Interesting!

From the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College: Social Security’s Financial Outlook: The 2013 Update in Perspective

The brief’s key findings are:

  • The 2013 Trustees Report shows virtually no change from last year:

    • Social Security’s deficit still about 2.7 percent of payroll.

    • Deficit as a percent of GDP still less than 1 percent.

    • Trust fund exhaustion still 2033, after which payroll taxes still cover about three-quarters of promised benefits.

  • While the shortfall is manageable, it should be eliminated soon to:

    • Restore confidence in the program.

    • Avoid larger tax/benefit changes that would result from delay.

    • More fairly distribute the burden across generations.

  • And the disability insurance program needs immediate attention, as its trust fund is expected to be exhausted in 2016.

From MarketWatch's Encore Blog: More Retire With Mortgages, Card Debt

In this blog post, Alicia Munnell of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College discusses surveys that suggest that "people are entering retirement with more debt than ever before and relying on borrowing to cover expenses in retirement."

The views expressed by the writers of these pieces are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of MOSERS. Print Friendly and PDF

Changing Beneficiaries

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Can I change the Beneficiaries on my MOSERS, State ICMA and Life Insurance accounts?
You may update your life insurance beneficiaries at any time. Simply log in to the secure site using your Member ID or social security number and your password and complete a "Designation/Change of Beneficiaries for Life Insurance" form. You may also designate a beneficiary to receive your final payment at any time by completing the "Final Payment of Retirement/Survivor Benefits - Change Beneficiar(ies)" form.

While MOSERS has assumed oversight of the State of Missouri Deferred Compensation Plan, it is administered through ICMA-RC. You can reach a representative by phone at 800-392-0925 or online at

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Accessing Retirement Funds for Healthcare

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Will the IRS have access to our retirement funds for the healthcare?
We aren’t sure what you are referring to. We have seen a few alarmist blog posting (some time ago) suggesting that pension plan funds were going to be confiscated by the federal government to support the Affordable Care Act. However, we found no credible evidence that this is part of the Affordable Care Act. Rest assured that MOSERS remains well funded and your promised benefits remain secure.

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