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

Death of Member Before Retirement

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My age is 58 and i have worked for the state 20 years. My question is if i died before i retired well my spouse receive my pension? My normal retirement is 1/1/2020.
Yes, if you are an active general state employee, married, vested in MOSERS, and die before you retire with MOSERS, your eligible surviving spouse will receive survivor benefits. If you have no surviving spouse, we will pay survivor benefits to your natural or legally adopted child(ren) younger than age 21. If you die without any eligible beneficiaries, no survivor benefits will be paid. These benefits would be payable in the month following your death.

The monthly benefit for your spouse will be based on the benefit you have accrued as of your date of death. We will calculate it according to the Joint & 100% Survivor Option. We will pay monthly survivor benefits 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.

An exception to this: The “immediate” survivor benefit provision is not available for terminated-vested members of MSEP 2011  employed on or after January 1, 2018. This change was in SB62 during the 2017 legislative session. It is 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.

Members often have similar questions about death AFTER retirement. A key feature of your MOSERS defined benefit (DB) pension plan is that it can provide financial security for your eligible survivor(s) as well. 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 – to a spouse if you are married, or, potentially, to another beneficiary.

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Contribution Refunds

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I’m considering accepting a job that participates in Moser. There is a substantial payroll contribution for the pension and that it takes five years to be vested. My question is if I do not work the full five years in order to be vested will my payroll contributions be available to me for withdrawal or transfer?
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 4% contribution is used to help pay the cost of your future defined benefit retirement plan and could potentially pay you back far more than you contribute. See a simplified example in The Value of Your Retirement Benefit. When you retire, you will receive a benefit payment every month for as long as you live. This means you can never outlive your MOSERS retirement benefit.

If you leave state employment prior to becoming eligible for normal retirement, you may request a refund of your contributions plus credited interest. By taking a refund, your forfeit all your credited service. Or, you may leave your contributions with the system if you think you 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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MOSERS' Funding Ratio

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So I read on here that the Funding Ratio for Mosers was around 82% in June of 2010. Looking at the most recent Fund Ratio:59% (correct me if I’m wrong). Should I be concerned about this considering the 20-22% drop in just 8 years when I plan on retiring in 28 years? What is the reason for this significant drop?
If the drops related to poor investments why when the overall market has recovered and has been doing well during this period?
If because of liabilities continue to grow faster than contributions/investment returns what steps are being taken for this? Is the lump sum option presented to former employees that left the state going to help this?
-If it continues to go down wont employee/employer contributions continue to go up? The employer contribution rate has steadily been rising correct? Isn’t this a bad sign for sustainability of the fund?
What steps are being taken to prevent the pension fund from ending up like California or Arizona in the next decade or so? Is any research being done in relations to these funds on why they are failing and how to prevent similar outcomes for Missouri? I’m just asking as I have been very concerned for my future retirement as I’m sure many others are.
Thank you for your insightful questions and your interest in these very important topics. 

Certainly, one factor that spurred the decrease in MOSERS’ funded status was the Great Recession of 2009. In our fiscal year 2010 annual report (FY10 CAFR), it says, “During the year ended June 30, 2010, the funded ratio (of …the MSEP…) decreased from 83% to 80.4%, primarily as the result of the previous years’ unfavorable investment experience” (p 12 FY10 CAFR).

Consequently, Missouri was among the first of many states to pass legislation making changes to their retirement benefits. In 2010, the Missouri General Assembly created the MSEP 2011. By requiring employee contributions and increasing the retirement eligibility age (among other changes), this action assists in long-term plan sustainability, retained the defined benefit retirement plan structure for state employees, and provides stability for future generations. While the impact of these changes will grow over time, as of January 30, 2019, already 45.72% of active state employees are in the MSEP 2011.

However, the primary reason that MOSERS’ funded ratio has dropped so significantly is that our Board of Trustees has taken action over the past four years to incrementally reduce our assumed rate of return (ARR) on investments. This reduction is to more accurately reflect capital market expectations. The Board has also indicated their intention to further reduce the ARR going forward:

MOSERS Assumed Rate of Return
•         Effective 6/30/2011: 8.5%
•         Effective 6/30/2012 - 6/30/2015: 8.0%
•         Effective 6/30/2016: 7.65%
•         Effective 6/30/2017: 7.5%
•         Effective 6/30/2018: 7.25%
•         The MOSERS Board has indicated an intention to reduce the ARR to 7.10% for the June 30, 2019 actuarial valuation.
•         The MOSERS Board has indicated an intention to reduce the ARR to 6.95% for the June 30, 2020 actuarial valuation.

Your MOSERS Board of Trustees is actively engaged in prudent analysis, plan sustainability, and benefit security for members. The Board's recent decisions to reduce the assumed rate of return on investments automatically result in higher employer contributions and a lower funded status in the short term but work to ensure MOSERS’ sustainability over the long term. Each year, the MOSERS Board certifies an employer contribution rate which results in an appropriation request within the state budget. The employer contribution is calculated by our external actuary as the amount needed from the state, as the employer, (in addition to investment income and employee contributions) to systematically and appropriately pay current and future benefits. In other words, if we assume that, in the future, we will receive less income from investments and not change employee contributions, the difference must come from increased employer contributions.

As you inquired about, the voluntary Buyout Program, authorized by state law, was offered by the MOSERS Board of Trustees in 2017 and 2018 to eligible vested former state employees of the system in an effort to reduce MOSERS pension liability. It eliminated $41 million in net liability for the system.

Additionally, our investments staff reduced investment fees by $36 million in FY18 and the MOSERS Board adopted a new asset allocation, which began in January 2019 and will be fully implemented over a 36-month period. While MOSERS’ investment returns have not always met assumptions in recent years, our long-term investment results, of 9.4% (since first tracking this data in 1981), exceed our current assumed rate of return. This, combined with the new investment portfolio, put us in a good position to meet our assumptions in the future.

It is important to remember that a pension system, such as MOSERS, operates on a very long-term time horizon. While our actuaries expect that employer contributions will increase and our funded status will decrease over the next few years, they also expect that throughout your career, our funded status will improve and MOSERS will be well-funded by the time you retire – allowing us to keep our promise of helping to provide retirement security for you and all of our other current and future retirees.

For more information on the above, see our FY18 Summary Annual Financial Report and our Actuarial Valuation Report as of June 30, 2018 (p 32, column 6). 

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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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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.)

Example

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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