FAQ

I’ve heard a rumor but I’m not sure if it’s already been addressed on Rumor Central. How can I find a previous posting?
Almost every week we receive Rumor Central inquiries on issues already posted. Finding previous postings is fairly simple once you get to the Rumor Central homepage. Click on CATEGORIES or “All Topics” from the CATEGORIES menu. From this page, you’ll find a list of all labels.

This list will point you to prior postings on particular topics. For example, you would click on Rule of 80 to see all postings related to that topic. If that approach doesn’t work, you can use the Search feature next to the FAQ button. To use this function effectively you will need a key word to find related postings. For example, you could insert BackDROP and the search engine will list all postings referencing the BackDROP. Using these tools may allow you to resolve or answer your question in a more timely manner, plus it will mean less redundancy on Rumor Central.

COLAs

As a retiree, when will I get my cost-of-living adjustment (COLA)?
COLAs are payable each year on the anniversary of your retirement month except for:
  •  • Retirees who converted from MSEP to MSEP 2000 during the conversion window in 2000. Those retirees have COLAs payable in July. 
  • • Retirees who elected a BackDROP will have COLAs payable on the anniversary of their BackDROP date. 
Please see the COLA section of the MOSERS website for more information.

What will the COLA be for next year?
Good question! Please see the COLA section of the MOSERS website for more information. We announce the year’s COLA every January.

BackDROP

Is BackDROP going away?
 BackDROP remains unchanged for members of either the MSEP or the MSEP 2000. Any change to the BackDROP would require a change in the law. The legislative session runs from January to May each year. We encourage you to monitor legislation as it is introduced and moves through the legislative process by visiting the Missouri General Assembly’s Joint Bill Tracking website.

For members in the MSEP 2011, who were hired for the first time in a benefit-eligible position on or after January 1, 2011, BackDROP is not an option at retirement. You can see a summary of benefits chart for each of the three plans here.

Can my acquired/purchased service be used for BackDROP?
 Yes.  Acquired/purchased service is considered like any other credited service in determining your retirement and/or backdrop eligibility.

For example: A member is eligible to retire under the MSEP 2000 Rule of 80. If he or she purchased four years of additional service, then the member would be eligible to elect a BackDROP for a period of two years. 


Legislation

Does MOSERS support or oppose proposed legislation?
 The MOSERS Board of Trustees typically takes no stance on proposed legislation.   MOSERS’ governance policy (section 3-4) provides that staff will review all proposed legislation that impacts programs administered by MOSERS and may serve in three capacities:
  1. Advocate/Activist – in support of proposals which increase flexibility; provide remedies for inequitable benefits; correct structural deficiencies in program design; program changes developed through a collaborative effort; and proposals which add protection to the trust.
  2. Information Source – for technical commentary only. MOSERS will remain neutral and take no position on proposals which are not significantly impactful or which have conflicting policy implications.
  3. Protector – acting only when MOSERS is threatened, when mandates are proposed, or when limitations to the Board’s authority would result.

Where can I track a particular bill?
 We encourage you to monitor legislation as it is introduced and moves through the legislative process by visiting the Missouri General Assembly’s Joint Bill Tracking website.


Plans & Funding

Why do members of the MSEP 2011 have to contribute and others don't?
Some background on MOSERS prior to January 1, 2011, may be helpful in understanding the basis for the non-contributory status of the system prior to that date.  When the system was established by law in 1957, members contributed 4% of their pay to MOSERS.  In 1972, following a period of no or very modest pay raises for state employees, the decision was made by the state’s policy makers to eliminate employee contributions for state retirement in lieu of giving employees a pay raise at that time.  In other words, the non-contributory provisions were enacted as a trade-off for pay.

The changes made by the legislature in 2010 for all employees hired for the first time in a benefit-eligible position on or after January 1, 2011, will help the state of Missouri continue to provide financial security for all members by maintaining the defined benefit plan structure. It is important to point out that the state’s DB plan was preserved for all state employees, current and future. Legislation was introduced in the House and Senate that would have terminated the DB plan and replaced it with a defined contribution plan, which caused much concern. While a defined contribution plan is an excellent tool for supplemental retirement savings, it simply doesn’t provide the security of a defined benefit plan.

Can the state of Missouri access MOSERS Trust Fund?
No. The state cannot access MOSERS funds. According to state law, MOSERS assets are held in a trust fund set up for the exclusive purpose of administering the retirement benefit programs for covered state employees.

The “pension crisis” in other states has become common for people to think that all pension systems are in crisis, but that is not the case. The majority of public pension systems are stable and well-funded. In Missouri, the state has, without exception, made all contributions to MOSERS required to adequately finance retirement system benefits as determined by the system’s independent actuary. The FY14 employer contribution represents only 1.13% of the state budget, and the majority of MOSERS funding (66% from FY93-FY13) comes from long-term investment returns. You may be interested in reading more Key Facts that we consider to be guiding principles of prudent system funding.

We monitor all legislation affecting MOSERS and will provide information on our website regarding any legislative matters that may impact the retirement system. 

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