Taxes on MOSERS Pension?

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Your RetireeNews, Fall Winter 2017 states if a retiree lives in Missouri, then Missouri state income tax may be due on the pension. Does this imply that if a retiree is a resident of another state (even one without a state income tax) that the Missouri pension is not taxed by the State of Missouri?
Each person’s situation may be different and we cannot advise you on your tax liability as it pertains to your MOSERS pension. We suggest you contact the Missouri Department of Revenue and/or a qualified tax advisor about your tax liability.

MOSERS withholds state taxes only for Missouri residents. If you aren’t a Missouri resident in retirement, contact the appropriate state and local tax authorities to determine the taxability of your MOSERS benefit there. We will mail 1099-R tax forms to all retirees by January 31, which you can read more about in the current Fall/Winter 2018 issue of RetireeNews.

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Retiree Payment Schedule

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After a person retires and receive their first retirement check, I am curious to know how will the be paid out? Will it be monthly, or bi-weekly?
Retirees are paid once a month, on the last working day of each month. If you enroll in direct deposit during the retirement process, your payment will be transferred electronically on that day. If you receive a paper check, it will be mailed on the last working day of the month. We encourage retirees to participate in direct deposit, since it is faster and more secure than a paper check.

You can view the payment schedule for the current year on our website, which we will be updating for 2019 soon.

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COLA This Year?

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Will there be any COLA this year?
Every year, we calculate and announce the retiree COLAs in mid-January. We won’t have data for the 2019 COLA until mid-January of 2019 because the information necessary to make that calculation is based on a comparison of changes from 2017 to 2018. The rate calculation is based on 80% of the percentage increase in the average CPI from one year to the next with a maximum increase of 5% (minimum 0%).* We will send you a notice, either in the mail or in your MOSERS Document Express online mailbox, during the month when you get your COLA.

Watch our website in January for more information. Learn more on the COLA page and in the upcoming issue of RetireeNews coming in late December.

* If you retired under the MSEP, and were hired before August 28, 1997, your COLA will be determined based on the annual COLA calculation except that you will receive a minimum 4% COLA (maximum 5%) until accumulated COLAs reach 65% of your initial (or original) benefit. This is called your COLA cap. After your benefit has increased to the COLA cap amount, your COLA will be between 0-5% each year.

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Part-Time Employment

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My initial State employment was as a part time employee. Do any of those years count towards my years of service when calculating my retirement options?
No, most likely not. The position must be “benefit-eligible”. Part-time positions are usually not benefit-eligible so that service likely does not count for retirement purposes. You will receive service credit only for periods that your employer reports you worked in a benefit-eligible position and for which they made employer contributions to MOSERS.

A position is benefit-eligible if it meets these two criteria:

1. The position must be in the nature of an ongoing (a multi-year position including a position covered by a contract) or permanent position.
2. The position must normally require the performance of duties of not less than 1,040 hours per year.

If the position meets both requirements, the position is eligible for MOSERS benefits. If not, the position is not eligible for MOSERS benefits. You may contact a MOSERS benefit counselor and they can tell you what service we have on record for you and provide you with benefit estimates.

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Survivor Benefit for Vested Employee

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Employee is vested and dies before retirement, will their spouse receive any retirement benefit.
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. You can find information regarding the death of a member on our website. Survivors should contact a MOSERS benefit counselor for guidance through the process.

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 terminated-vested members of MSEP 2011 who were first employed on or 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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