Travel Assistance Benefit

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I would like to know if the Travel Ins. United Healthcare Global is still in effect? I am going to be traveling outside the US & need to know if I become ill or injured will the Ins. cover me?
Yes, members and retirees who have MOSERS basic life insurance* are eligible for travel assistance when traveling at least 100 miles from home or in a foreign country.  Family members, including a spouse and children through age 25 are also covered. Medical assistance is one of the services they provide, including locating medical care, 24 hour access to nurses by phone, and emergency transportation services. All you need to do is print the wallet card with the worldwide phone number and bring it with you.

The travel assistance brochure on our website also has information in case you need information before your trip, such as passport and visa information, currency exchange, and inoculation requirements.

*MOSERS' life insurance is not available to employees of the Department of Conservation or state regional colleges/universities except for Lincoln University and State Technical College of Missouri.
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Optional Life Insurance Premiums

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When I retire from Missouri state employment, how much will my Optional Life Insurance premium increase? I have heard that it is expensive to keep after retirement because the rates increase. For example, if I increase my Optional Life Insurance to $30,000.00 this year with a $57.00 per month premium, how much will the cost per month increase?
I plan on retiring at age 67. I am 65 years old now. I think the Optional Life Insurance rates will increase as one ages? Is this correct? And, by how much will the rates increase?

Your premium for optional life insurance coverage through MOSERS* depends on your age (see table below) and the amount of coverage you have selected. Effective January 1, 2018, the monthly rate for a person age 65-69, will be $1.90 per $1,000 of coverage. For example, to have $30,000 in coverage: $1.90 x 30 = $57.00 monthly premium. At age 70 your premium will increase. (The rates for 2018 have been reduced. In 2017, it was $1.94 per $1,000 for ages 65-69.)


MOSERS Optional Life Insurance Rates effective January 1, 2018.
Age
Monthly Premium per $1,000 of Coverage
Under 35
0.08
35-39
0.10
40-44
0.16
45-49
0.24
50-54
0.43
55-59
0.76
60-64
1.18
65-69
1.90
70 & Over
3.33
The month of October is the Annual Optional Life Insurance Review period for active employees who have optional life insurance through MOSERS. October is your window of opportunity to evaluate your optional life insurance coverage and decide if you would like to increase it (within the established guidelines) without proving insurability.

When you retire within 60 days of leaving state employment, you may elect to continue purchasing any amount of coverage from $1,000 up to a maximum of $60,000 (in increments of $500). However, the amount of coverage you carry into retirement cannot exceed the amount you carried while actively employed. You have 60 days from the end of the month in which you leave state employment to make an election to convert the remaining optional life insurance to an individual policy through Standard Insurance Company if you meet eligibility requirements.

You may reduce your optional life coverage amount after retirement; however, you may not increase your coverage amount after retirement. To calculate your monthly and annual premiums, there is a convenient Optional Life Insurance calculator on MOSERS’ website. Click on Members, then Calculators. (Note: It still uses rates for 2017 since the reduced rates will not go into effect until January 1, 2018.)

If you terminated optional life insurance coverage through MOSERS at retirement (or did not have any), it cannot be reinstated or added after retirement. Please see the Life Insurance Handbook for more information.

*MOSERS' life insurance is not available to employees of the Department of Conservation or state regional colleges/universities except for Lincoln University and State Technical College of Missouri.

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Chairwoman's Message to Members

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The Springfield News-Leader reported on Sept. 13: "Lawmakers were jolted Wednesday morning when Missouri Treasurer Eric Schmitt told them that a large state pension plan has continued to weaken financially.
"Ten years ago, the Missouri State Employees' Retirement System (MOSERS) reported that it had enough money to cover about 79 percent of the future benefits it has promised to pay. Schmitt and others consider 80 percent to be a sign of a stable pension, though 100 percent funded is obviously an even better place to be.
"As of July 2016, MOSERS had dropped to about 69.6 percent funded. And over the last fiscal year, the news has worsened."
So, given all these negative stories coming out in the media, what can you do to reassure us that the MOSERS pension fund will be able to fund all retirees at 100% well into the future? Thank you.
We appreciate your attentiveness to the news and your interest in this story.

Last week, we posted a message on our website from the Chairwoman of the MOSERS Board of Trustees. You can find that at this link:

https://www.mosers.org/MOSERS-News-Archive/2017/Chairwomans-Message.aspx

Also, copied below is the text of her message.

Dear Members:

As Chairwoman of the MOSERS Board of Trustees and a member of the system, I want to let our members know about recent board activity that will ensure the system remains on a strong financial footing. In light of recent headlines in articles that reference MOSERS, I want to reassure you that your MOSERS benefit is secure.

Beginning in FY17, the Board adopted a funding policy to gradually lower MOSERS’ investment return assumption to more accurately reflect capital market expectations and to confirm its commitment to sound financial practices. While this movement in assumptions will result in higher annual employer contribution requirements in the short-term, it is the board’s expectation that these changes will strengthen MOSERS’ financial position and will ultimately enhance the retirement security of our members.

As outlined in the chart below, MOSERS has a long-term plan in place to achieve a 100 percent funded ratio (assets to cover liabilities). This long-term plan is much like a home mortgage that requires a commitment to achieve a fully funded plan (or a paid off house). As long as there is a commitment to make the required mortgage payments, the house mortgage is ultimately paid in full. In Missouri, the Governor and the legislature have demonstrated a commitment to paying the full amount needed each year to pay promised benefits to retirees. The commitment from the state has been consistent since MOSERS’ inception -- and was evident this year as the amount needed for Fiscal Year 2018 was fully funded.




MOSERS currently has $8 billion in assets with which to pay benefits. These assets work to keep your benefit secure. State employee pensions are an obligation of the state and MOSERS is well-positioned to continue paying the hard-earned retirement benefits of our members.

Whether a past or current state employee, I wish to express my appreciation to you, our members, for your dedication to this great state and the citizens of Missouri. If you ever have any questions, please contact us at MOSERS, PO Box 209, Jefferson City, Missouri 65102, call us at (800) 827-1063, or visit our website at www.mosers.org

Sincerely,

Shannon Owens
Chairwoman

You can find more information in our Comprehensive Annual Financial Report which is posted to our public website. All members will receive a summary annual financial report (either by mail or email) as part of their winter newsletter.
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Converting Life Insurance at Retirement

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Upon retirement, are you allowed to convert the state maintained life insurance and/or optional life?
Yes, as long as you had basic life insurance coverage as an active employee and did not terminate coverage at retirement. If you retire within 60 days of leaving state employment, the state will continue to pay for $5,000 of basic life insurance* coverage for your lifetime. You have 60 days from the date of retirement to make an election to port or convert the remaining basic life insurance to an individual policy through Standard Insurance Company if you meet eligibility requirements.

Additionally, at retirement, you may elect to continue purchasing any amount of MOSERS optional life insurance coverage from $1,000 up to a maximum of $60,000 (in increments of $500). However, the amount of coverage you carry into retirement cannot exceed the amount you carried while actively employed. You have 60 days from the end of the month in which you leave state employment to make an election to convert the remaining optional life insurance to an individual policy through Standard Insurance Company if you meet eligibility requirements.

Also, if you retire under the “Rule of 80” (MSEP 2000), or “Rule of 90” (MSEP 2011), you may retain all of your optional life insurance coverage until age 62. At age 62, your coverage will automatically reduce to a maximum of $60,000.

If you terminated optional life insurance coverage through MOSERS at retirement (or did not have any), it cannot be reinstated or added after retirement. Please see the Life Insurance Handbook for more information.

*MOSERS' life insurance is not available to employees of the Department of Conservation or state regional colleges/universities except for Lincoln University and State Technical College of Missouri.

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System Funding

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We have received some questions about MOSERS' funding related to the Buyout Program: 
I just read an article in the St Joseph News Press that states the Missouri pension system " is struggling " It then talks of the pension buyout program. Financially is the system struggling?
I saw in the editorials from the Kansas City and St Louis newspaper that MOSERS is funded only at 69%. What does this mean for the long term future of MOSERS
 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). 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 the Buyout Program the articles are referring to.

Also, unlike in other states, the Missouri General Assembly has consistently appropriated the full employer contribution to MOSERS as recommended by the plan’s actuary. The Governor signed House Bill 5 on June 30, 2017, which resulted in full funding of MOSERS at the contribution rate as certified by MOSERS Board of Trustees in September 2016.

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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