Changes to BackDROP?

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I have been told there will be major changes to BACKDROP in the near future. I have 2 1/2 years of backdrop completed, and have planned on completing 5 years.
What, if any, changes are proposed and how will it effect me at this number of years?
The BackDROP is not changing. Any changes to BackDROP, or any retirement provision, must go through the legislative process and be signed into law by the Governor. We have posted a legislative summary of retirement-related bills that passed this session and are awaiting action by the Governor.

BackDROP is an option available at retirement to general state employees in the MSEP and the MSEP 2000 only. If you work at least two years beyond your eligibility for normal retirement, this option provides a way for you to receive a one-time lump-sum payment at retirement in addition to your ongoing monthly benefit. BackDROP is not available to employees hired for the first time in a MOSERS benefit-eligible position on or after January 1, 2011.

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Pension Underfunding

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In light of Illinois' issue with their underfunded pension, how much is Missouri's pension underfunded?
As of June 30, 2016 (the close of the most recent fiscal year), MOSERS is 69.6% funded. That means that we have 69.6% of assets necessary to pay all accrued liability over the long term. Because we operate on a very long-term horizon (already analyzing and anticipating funding needs 30-50 years into the future), our funded status is expected to go down somewhat over the next few years and then begin to go back up. We will send a summary annual financial report for fiscal year 2017 to all members in December.

The MOSERS board has taken several actions to keep the retirement system solid and secure into the future. The board approved a proposal to reduce the system’s long-term liability by offering a voluntary lump-sum payment (rather than a monthly pension) to former state employees who will be eligible for a pension benefit at some point in the future. This is contingent upon the Governor’s action on SB 62. The Governor has until July 14, 2017 to take action on the bill (sign it, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature). If SB 62 is approved by the Governor, we will contact eligible members.

Also, unlike in Illinois, the Missouri General Assembly has consistently appropriated the full employer contribution to MOSERS as recommended by the plan’s actuary. The FY18 employer contribution contained in HB 5 was no exception and was Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed and sent to Governor Greitens on Thursday May 4th. The Governor has until July 1 to take action on HB 5, which includes MOSERS’ appropriation. You can find more information on Rumor Central about other related Board decisions and MOSERS' appropriation as well as additional details regarding MOSERS' funded status.

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Vesting Change?

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Heard the pension will be changing back to being vested at 5 years instead of 10 years. Is this true?
Yes, if approved by the Governor, vesting for actively employed general state employees in the MSEP 2011 will be 5 years, effective January 1, 2018.

The Governor has until July 14 to take action on the bill (sign it, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature).

For more information, please see our Legislative Update and our response to Rumor Central questions on vesting.

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Update on SB 62

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Can you give me an update on the possible lump sum payment to former state employees? I believe the state legislature passed the bill and now it's up to Mosers. Any idea when a decision will be reached? I'm really interested in learning details of the proposal.
The Governor has until July 14th  to take action on the bill (sign it, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature).

The legislation gives the MOSERS Board the authority to establish and offer a lump-sum payment program to terminated-vested members in lieu of retirement annuity benefits otherwise payable – but it does NOT require the board to do so. We do not know if or when the board will choose to establish such a program. If you would like additional information, please see the legislative update on our website summarizing SB 62.

We will contact affected members if the lump-sum program is established. Please ensure that both your email and mailing address are up to date with MOSERS so that you will receive important information from us if you are affected by any new legislation.

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Benefit Payment Options

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Can you please define "lifetime annuity" and "180 garanteed payments?" And can you tell me how they compare?
Life Income Annuity and Life Income with Guaranteed Payments are two types of retirement benefit payment options. Depending on your plan membership and marital status, you may have other options, too.

Part of step 2 of the retirement process, completing your Retirement Election Form, includes choosing your benefit payment option. This election determines if a benefit will potentially be paid to anyone else after your death. Regardless of the payment option you elect, once you complete the retirement process with MOSERS, you will receive a benefit payment each month for your lifetime.

If you choose Life Income Annuity, your retirement benefit will not be reduced but no survivor benefits will be paid to anyone after your death (other than the payment that is sent at the end of the month in which you die). If you are married and choose this option, your spouse must consent and waive their right to a survivor benefit by completing a form that MOSERS will send to you.

If you choose Life Income with Guaranteed Payments, your retirement benefit will be reduced for your lifetime. The guaranteed period starts on the effective date of your retirement (not at the time of your death) and extends for the term selected: 60 Guaranteed Payments (available in the MSEP), 120 Guaranteed Payments (available in MSEP and MSEP 2000), or 180 Guaranteed Payments (available in the MSEP 2000). At minimum, the guaranteed number of payments you elected will be paid by MOSERS either to you, to your beneficiary, or as a combination with some paid to you and the remainder paid to your beneficiary. If you have received all payments in the guaranteed period, you will continue to receive your monthly benefit for your lifetime but your beneficiary(ies) will receive only the payment that is sent at the end of the month in which you die. Life Income with Guaranteed Payments is an option sometimes elected by members who are not married, have no minor children, and think they may not live long in retirement. It allows them to have any remaining payments in the guaranteed payment period go to another person, an organization, or a trust. You may name more than one beneficiary with this benefit payment option.

It may be helpful to generate a benefit estimate on our website or request one from a benefit counselor to compare your options. We also have a Comparison Calculator online where you can input different benefit payment options and compare them over time.

Benefit payment options for general state employees in the MSEP and MSEP 2000 are explained in more detail during our PreRetirement Seminars and on pages 18-21 of the PreRetirement Seminar reference book.

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