Pension Funding

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If the MOSERS retirement fund is only 69.6% funded currently and that figure does not go up or only goes up a little by the time I am eligible to retire in 5 years then does that mean I will only get
69.6 % of what I am supposed to get on my monthly pension?
No. MOSERS pays 100% of the promised benefits due to members. The funded status (technically the unfunded actuarial accrued liability or UAAL) of the retirement system is separate from the formula that is used to calculate your MOSERS retirement benefit. We are not a “pay-as-you-go” system, rather we are pre-funded through contributions from the state, contributions from members who were first employed on or after January 1, 2011, and from investment earnings. The funded status refers to the value of assets we have currently relative to all present and future liabilities.

MOSERS provides a defined-benefit pension. That means the benefit is defined by law and based on a formula as shown here:

Final Average Pay (FAP) x Credited Service x Multiplier = Monthly Base Benefit

The multiplier is determined by your plan (1.6% for MSEP; 1.7% for MSEP 2000/MSEP 2011). We encourage you to explore the section of our website called “What Plan Am I In?” to read more about the specific provisions in each plan.

We have answered many Rumor Central questions on system funding recently that you may also find helpful.

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Change to Rule of 90?

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I have heard from several people including some in a supervisor position that with the change from 10 year vesting to a 5 year vesting period that we will also be returning to 80 and out as opposed to 90 and out, is this true?
No. Other than the vesting period changing from 10 years to 5 years, the provisions of SB 62 have NO impact on members of MSEP 2011 who work in a MOSERS benefit-eligible position until they reach normal retirement eligibility.

Members of MSEP 2011 will become eligible for normal retirement when they are age 67 and have 5 years of service OR under the “Rule of 90” (“90 & Out”) which is when they are at least age 55 and their age and service equal 90 when they terminate/leave state employment.

It is important to note that the 5-year vesting for MSEP 2011 members will go into effect on 1/1/2018. MSEP 2011 members must be actively employed on or after 1/1/2018 to be covered by this change. For more information on vesting, see The Change from 10 to 5-Year Vesting for MSEP 2011 Members.

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Sick Leave & Retirement

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Is there any discussion about allowing current employees to use sick leave hrs as time worked in order to retire earlier, rather than counting them at retirement for yrs of service? If so what type of time frame for implementation is being looked at.
No, not that we are aware of. Currently, you will get one month of credited service for each 168 hours of unused sick leave you have at retirement. While this will increase the amount of your benefit, unused sick leave cannot count toward eligibility for retirement. That is, the months of unused sick leave will not make you eligible for retirement sooner, but will increase the amount of your payment.

Any change to this, or any other state employee pension provision, requires passage of legislation by the Missouri General Assembly and approval by the Governor. Pre-filing of bills begins on December 1, 2017 and the 2018 legislative session begins on January 3, 2018. We do not know what might happen with individual bills during the legislative session but we will monitor all legislation impacting MOSERS and inform our members of any changes that become law.

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Buyout Program

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So why is MOSERS trying to buy former employee's retirements from them? I know it to be true, one such employee I worked with now works with my spouse and showed him.
Senate Bill 62, passed during the 2017 regular legislative session, authorizes the MOSERS Board of Trustees to establish a voluntary pension buyout program. This program allows certain former state employees who are vested for a pension to cash out their future monthly retirement benefit in exchange for a one-time lump-sum payment now. The Buyout Program is NOT available to current state employees or members who are already retired.

The Buyout Program is completely voluntary and we encourage each eligible former state employee to discuss their individual situation with a financial advisor before making a decision.

We provided eligible former state employees with letters and a newsletter in September that outlined their options so that they may make an educated decision. If they do not elect the buyout, we will contact them prior to their retirement eligibility.

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Survivor Benefits

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If I die before I retire does my wife automatically receive the benefit when she retires?
Yes, if you are a general state employee, married, vested in MOSERS, and die before you retire with MOSERS, your eligible surviving spouse will receive survivor benefits. Survivor benefit payments can begin as early as the month following your death provided that MOSERS receives and processes the survivor application and all necessary documentation, such as a death certificate*.

The monthly benefit for your spouse will be based on the benefit you have accrued as of your date of death and calculated according to the Joint & 100% Survivor Option. The survivor benefit will be paid monthly for the remainder of your spouse's lifetime.

If there is no eligible spouse, a survivor benefit may be paid to your natural or legally adopted child(ren) who are younger than age 21. This benefit is dependent on the law in effect at the time of your termination. If there is more than one eligible child, the benefit will be divided equally among them. The survivor benefit for each child will stop when the child becomes age 21 (unless a child is totally disabled and you terminated service with the state on or after 8/28/2001).

If you die without any eligible beneficiaries, no retirement benefits are paid.

Otherwise, during the retirement process, you will make elections to determine if any potential survivor benefits will be paid to anyone after your death or not.

*Exception: The “immediate” survivor benefit provision is not available for future terminated-vested members of MSEP 2011 who will be hired after January 1, 2018. This was a change made in SB62 during the 2017 legislative session as a cost offset for the reduction in the vesting requirement from 10 years to 5 years for members of MSEP 2011. Eligible survivors of such members will begin receiving benefits when the deceased member would have attained normal retirement age. 

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