Showing posts with label MSEP 2011. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MSEP 2011. Show all posts

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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Leaving Employment Before Retirement Date

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My retirement plan is MOSERS 2011. If I leave state employment AFTER I am vested but BEFORE my retirement age/date, how do I figure my monthly benefit amount?
If you are vested with MOSERS (you have at least 5 years of service) and then leave state employment, you will be eligible* for a lifetime monthly benefit, which will begin once you meet the age requirement (and all other legal requirements) and retire under a MOSERS defined benefit pension plan. In general, your benefits will be based on the laws in effect on the day you leave state employment.

For general state employees, we calculate retirement benefits using this three-part formula:

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.)


FAP $3,000 (per month)         x          7.5 years of Credited Service             x          0.017 Multiplier 
for MSEP 2011 = $382.50 Monthly Base Benefit

Keep in mind that additional service will increase your benefit:

FAP $3,000 (per month)         x          23 years of Credited Service              x          0.017 Multiplier for MSEP 2011= $1,173 Monthly Base Benefit

As a member of MSEP 2011, you will become eligible for normal retirement when you have at least 5 years of service and reach age 67 OR under the “Rule of 90” which is when you are at least age 55 and your age plus service equals 90 prior to you leaving state employment.

As a member of MSEP 2011, you pay contributions to help fund the system. Upon termination of employment, you may request a refund of your contributions or you may leave your contributions with MOSERS. It you take a refund of your contributions, you will forfeit all your credited service and any future rights to receive benefits from the system, but you get a check equal to the amount of contributions you made plus any interest. See our Member Contributions brochure for more information.

For more information, see the MSEP 2011 Retirement Plan video or the MSEP 2011 Handbook. You can also request a benefit estimate by calling a benefit counselor.

*An exception is if you were fired because you were convicted of a specified felony committed in connection with your job as a state employee on or after August 28, 2014. See Missouri Revised Statute §105.669

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COLAs and BackDROP

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My retirement date is January 1, 2019 and my backdrop date is March 1, 2016. Will I receive a COLA on my backdrop date in March, 2019?
Typically, members receive a COLA each year on the anniversary of their retirement date, unless one of the exceptions* applies. In your case, since you elected BackDROP, your COLAs will be payable each year on the anniversary of your BackDROP date rather than on the anniversary of your retirement date. In your specific case, your COLAs will be awarded in March, and you will receive a COLA on March 1, 2019.

We will determine the 2019 COLA in mid-January of 2019, and will announce the COLA amount on our website. We will send you (all members) a notice, either in the mail or in your MOSERS Document Express online mailbox, when the COLA is applied to your monthly benefit payment.

*The other exceptions of when COLAs are applied include:

·         Retirees who converted from MSEP to MSEP 2000 during the conversion window in 2000 have COLAs payable each year in July.
·         MSEP 2011 members hired after January 1, 2018 who leave state employment prior to retirement eligibility, will receive their first COLA in retirement on the second anniversary of their retirement.

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Unused Sick Leave & Credited Service

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What happens to your sick time earned when you retire and have between 5 and 10 years of service completed?
Your MOSERS pension benefit is calculated using the formula:

Final Average Pay x Credited Service x Multiplier = Monthly Base Benefit. 

As part of this calculation, we will add one month of additional service for each block of 168 hours of unused sick leave you have at retirement. For example, if you have 2,500 hours of unused sick leave, you will receive an additional 14 months of credited service (2500/168=14.88) when your retirement benefit is calculated. Your unused sick leave is used in calculating the amount of your retirement benefit, but cannot be used to determine eligibility for retirement or BackDROP. Any amount of sick leave that remains above the calculated additional service credit is forfeited.

There are some specific situations in which unused sick leave doesn’t count:
•        MSEP 2011 members: If you leave state employment after January 1, 2018 and prior to being eligible for early or normal retirement, you will get no service credit for unused sick leave.
•       MSEP retirees: If you leave state employment prior to being eligible for early or normal retirement, you will get no service credit for your unused sick leave.
•       Legislators, statewide elected officials, and judges: You do not accrue sick leave.

Please note: Employees of colleges and universities should discuss maximum accrual levels and procedures with their HR office.

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MSEP 2011 Vesting

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I was hired on June 30th 2014 and I was told I was vested at 10 years of service. Due to this change am I now vested at 5 years instead of 10?
Yes, if you continue working until you have five years of service, you will be vested. At the time you were hired in 2014, vesting for members of the MSEP 2011 (those first employed in a MOSERS benefit-eligible position on or after January 1, 2011) was ten years. Last year, the Governor signed legislation which changed the vesting requirement to five years, effective January 1, 2018. MSEP 2011 members must be actively employed on or after 1/1/2018 to be covered by this change. The changes were summarized on our legislative page and in this article about the vesting change on our website. Keep in mind, the longer you work, the more credited service you will have and the higher your pension benefit will be.
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Increasing Contributions?

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Is it possible to contribute more to your pension, to lower your retirement date and still receive a full pension.
No. The only potential way to move your retirement eligibility date closer is to purchase or transfer qualifying prior public service that you may have and combine it with your MOSERS pension. See our MSEP 2011 Acquiring Service Credit brochure for more information or contact a MOSERS benefit counselor to see if you qualify and if it would be beneficial for you to do so.

In order for any prior public service to qualify, it must have been full-time, nonfederal, public (government) employment that you performed in Missouri. Examples include prior employment with a public school, city, or county in Missouri, or employment covered by the MoDOT & Patrol Employees Retirement System (MPERS). This could potentially make you eligible for retirement sooner if the extra service resulted in you hitting the Rule of 90 prior to age 67. (The Rule of 90 is available only to those still actively employed by the state.)

You may also want to keep in mind that you are not required to keep working for the state until retirement age in order to get your pension. Once you are vested with MOSERS, even if you leave state employment, you will be eligible for a lifetime monthly benefit once you also meet the age and all other legal requirements and retire under a MOSERS defined benefit pension plan. Your benefit is calculated using the formula:
Final Average Pay x Credited Service x Multiplier = Monthly Base Benefit. 
Remember, it is this formula, NOT employee contributions (made by those first employed on or after 1/1/2011), that determines your monthly retirement benefit. The longer you work, the more your benefit will be.

You certainly can contribute more to MO Deferred Comp to increase your supplemental savings for retirement but it won’t make you eligible for retirement any sooner.

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Withdrawing Funds

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Is is possible to withdraw a portion of our annuity?
No. MOSERS is a non-contributory defined benefit (DB) plan for members hired before January 1, 2011. As such a member, your employer pays the necessary contributions to MOSERS while you are actively employed so that you may receive a future monthly retirement benefit and potential survivor benefits. Since you do not pay contributions, you are not eligible to withdraw funds from the retirement system.

Members employed in a MOSERS-covered position for the first time on or after January 1, 2011 are required to contribute 4% of their gross salary to help fund the retirement system. Those members, if they leave state employment, have the option of requesting a refund of the contributions they have made to MOSERS plus any interest on their contributions – if they do so prior to reaching normal retirement eligibility. Any member who receives a refund will forfeit service credit and the right to receive any future retirement benefits from MOSERS.

Any refund of contributions taken as cash (as opposed to rolling it over to MO Deferred Comp, a traditional IRA, or other qualified retirement plan) is considered taxable income for the year you receive it. MOSERS is required to withhold 20% for federal taxes on such a refund. If you receive a cash payment before you reach age 59½ and do not roll it over, you may have to pay an IRS a penalty equal to 10% of the taxable portion of the payment in addition to the regular income tax. See our Special Tax Notice for more information.

The IRS does not currently allow pension plans to offer lump-sum payouts to current retirees in exchange for reduced future benefit payments. MOSERS did offer a buyout program which enabled eligible members to accept a lump-sum payment in lieu of all future annuity payments. However, this program was not available to members who had already begun receiving monthly benefits.

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4% Contribution for MSEP 2011

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My daughter is considering becoming employed for a state agency and is curious if she will be required to put a % of her pay check towards her retirement since she will be hired after the 1/1/2018 and the new rule that is in place.
Yes, anyone who is first employed in a MOSERS or MPERS benefit-eligible position on or after January 1, 2011 must contribute 4% of pay to the retirement system. Your daughter's 4% contribution is used to help pay the cost of her future defined benefit retirement plan and could potentially pay her back far more than she contributes. See a simplified example in The Value of Your Retirement Benefit. When she retires, she will receive a benefit payment every month for as long as she lives. This means she can never outlive her MOSERS retirement benefit.

If she leaves state employment prior to becoming eligible for normal retirement, she may request a refund of her contributions plus credited interest. Or, she may leave her contributions with the system if she thinks she might return to work for the state at some point in the future and would like for those years of service to count toward an eventual retirement benefit. See our Member Contributions brochure for more information.

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