Showing posts with label Rumor Central. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rumor Central. Show all posts

Calculating Final Average Pay

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Does MOSERS use the pay period end date or the check issue date when calculating the highest 36 consecutive months?
In our calculation of final average pay, we credit you based on when the payroll was earned, rather than the month it was actually paid. To calculate your pension benefit, we will use your highest 36 full consecutive months of pay –wherever that occurs in your individual pay history. Practically speaking, most people earn their highest 36 consecutive months of pay in their last three years of state employment, but not always*.

*Note: If you become eligible for and elect the BackDROP upon retirement, your FAP will be calculated using your MOSERS-covered work history prior to your BackDROP date. In other words, pay during the BackDROP period is excluded when calculating your monthly benefit amount.

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Travel Assistance

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I need to know if we still have Travel Assistance thru The Standard? I was told it might change beginning 1-1-19 and I will be leaving on a trip out of the US. I am retired & live in Fl. now. It also paid anything over 100 miles from home. Any information will be greatly appreciated.
Yes, members and retirees who have MOSERS basic life insurance* are eligible for travel assistance when traveling at least 100 miles from home or in a foreign country. Family members, including a spouse and children through age 25 are also covered. Medical assistance is one of the services they provide, including locating medical care, 24-hour access to nurses by phone, and emergency transportation services. (Please note: Travel assistance is not the same as travel health insurance. Please contact your health insurance provider regarding health care coverage when travelling.)

The updated travel assistance brochure on our website also has information in case you need information before your trip, such as passport and visa information, currency exchange, and inoculation requirements. There is an article in the Fall/Winter newsletters in as a reminder of the travel assistance benefits. All you need to do is print the wallet card with the worldwide phone number and bring it with you.

*MOSERS' life insurance is not available to employees of the Department of Conservation or state regional colleges/universities except for Lincoln University and State Technical College of Missouri.

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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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Final Average Pay and BackDROP Period

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Any pay earned after your BackDROP date (the beginning of your BackDROP period) does not count - it is excluded when we calculate your monthly retirement benefit. We will look at your entire pay history in your MOSERS-covered employment prior to your BackDROP period to find your highest 36 consecutive months of pay and use that to calculate your monthly benefit.

Remember, your BackDROP period, whether it is a 2-year or 5-year period, will always be immediately prior to your retirement date. That means, you wouldn’t continue to be employed in a MOSERS benefit-eligible position after your BackDROP period.

This is one of the factors to consider when making your elections about BackDROP. You can contact a MOSERS benefit counselor who can assist you in evaluating your options. You can also get benefit estimates based on different scenarios and use our Comparison Calculator to compare the long-term impact of different options. (Watch our Comparison Calculator video and our Creating a Benefit Estimate video for help getting started.)

For more information, see our recent post on Final Average Pay and on the 3-part formula we use to calculate retirement benefits.

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Pension Buyout?

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Will there be another pension buyout?
There are no plans in place at this time to offer another buyout option. The Missouri Legislature authorized the MOSERS Board of Trustees to offer the recent Buyout Program under SB 62 but that authorization expired on May 31, 2018. This was a one-time program. If MOSERS were to offer another buyout program in the future, it would require legislative approval. If such legislation passed, we would notify all eligible members. Print Friendly and PDF

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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Public Pension?

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Is mosers a public or private pension?
MOSERS is a public defined benefit (DB) pension plan so the benefit you receive through MOSERS is considered a public pension. As long as you reside in Missouri, your retirement benefits are subject to Missouri state income tax and federal tax. You may also be interested in information we have posted about the Missouri state tax Public Pension Exemption. Print Friendly and PDF

Sick Leave & Retirement

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There's a rumor going around that employees can no longer use their sick leave toward their retirement. I haven't heard of any changes, but I wanted to make sure since I handle retirement at our facility and have been asked. Thank you!
Often, people misunderstand how unused sick leave affects their MOSERS pension benefit. Unused sick leave does NOT count towards service for retirement ELIGIBILITY. It never has. In other words, it will not make you eligible for retirement sooner than you would have been without it. You must meet both the age and service requirements  –  not counting unused sick leave – to be eligible to retire.

As part of your retirement benefit calculation, we will add one month of additional service for each block of 168 hours of unused sick leave you have at retirement. This will increase the AMOUNT of your benefit payment every month in retirement. Unused sick leave cannot count toward eligibility for retirement or as part of your BackDROP period. That is, the months of unused sick leave will not make you eligible for retirement (or BackDROP) sooner, but will increase the amount of your payment once you have retired.

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.

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Employer Contribution Rate

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I see the contribution rate has gone up to 21.77%. You're back at the trough again. I suppose it makes your job easier when all you have to do is simply charge institutions like MSSU more. It's an unfunded mandate that puts significant financial stress on all Missouri universities.
Where can I find the contribution rates for previous years? Is it a constant upward trend with no end in sight?
Here is a link to a fact sheet on the employer contribution rates on our website. It shows the employer contribution rates from FY14 through FY20. 

After considerable deliberation, the MOSERS Board of Trustees voted to lower the assumed rate of return (ARR) on investments from 7.50% to 7.25% and intends to further reduce the ARR to 6.95% for the June 30, 2020 actuarial valuation. 

Funding for the system comes from 1) investment returns, 2) employer contributions, and 3) employee contributions (from those first employed in a benefit-eligible position on or after 1/1/2011). 

Changing the assumption about the amount of funding that will come from investments (the ARR) automatically causes employer contributions to increase and our funded status to decrease in the short term, but will work to ensure MOSERS’ sustainability over the long term.

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2019 COLA Announcement

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Will there be raise for retirees for 2019? When will it be decided and how much?
Yes, if you are referring to the annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs), assuming there is an increase in Consumer Price Index. We will calculate the 2019 COLA in January 2019. The rate calculation is based on 80% of the percentage increase in the average Consumer Price Index from one year to the next. The maximum increase is 5% (minimum 0%). We will get the data we need to make the calculation in mid-January 2019.

As a retired general state employee, you will receive a COLA each year on the anniversary of your retirement date, unless one of these exceptions applies to you:

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

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

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.

Note: If you are a legislator or statewide elected official who retired under MSEP 2000 or MSEP 2011, you do not automatically get COLAs. Your benefit will be adjusted only if there is an increase in pay for active members of the general assembly or statewide elected officials, respectively.

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State Employee Pay Raise?

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I heard that the pay increase for 2019 for state employees will not be given to state employees on their check, put is being used for their insurance premiums. If that is true does not seem fair as some employees do not carry state insurance... so do they get a raise ?....
We administer retirement, life insurance, and long-term disability benefits but are not involved in employee pay or medical insurance decisions so we do not know the answer to your question. Your agency’s human resources staff may be able to provide you with more information.

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BackDROP & Reemployment With the State

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If I retire with Backdrop, how long do I have to wait if I want to start back working in a state-paid position?
If you retire and return to work in a benefit-eligible* position, your monthly retirement payment will stop as soon as we are notified that you are re-employed. Once you have worked for at least 12 continuous months in your new benefit-eligible position, you will begin accruing a separate retirement benefit.

Once you re-retire, your previous benefit will restart and your new benefit (based on your new service and salary) will be calculated and your benefit payments (old benefit plus new benefit) will resume. You are not allowed to elect BackDROP after you have first retired. In other words, you will not be eligible for BackDROP if you return to state employment after having already retired from the state.

If you retire and return to work in any position not covered by MOSERS or MPERS (including work for the state in a non-benefit-eligible position), you may continue receiving your MOSERS pension benefits and earn as much as you wish. Such employment will have no effect on your MOSERS benefit.

*A benefit-eligible position is one that normally require at least 1,040 hours of work per year, is permanent in nature, and is covered by MOSERS or the MoDOT and Patrol Employees’ Retirement System (MPERS). Your employer, not MOSERS, determines if you are working in a benefit-eligible position.

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University of Missouri

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With MU in discussions to buy St. Mary's Hospital, will benefited employees (Part-time and full-time) who are retired from the state of Missouri and receiving their retirement benefit have to stop that benefit when they become MU employees and fall under that plan? 
No. MOSERS and the University of Missouri are separate retirement systems. A MOSERS retiree could take a part-time or full-time position with an MU employer and continue receiving their benefits since such employment would not be in a MOSERS or MPERS benefit-eligible position.

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Employer Contributions to Social Security

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Does my employer contribute to my social security while I am a state employee?
Yes. As a state employee, you and your employer both pay into Social Security while you are working. For questions about deductions from your paycheck, contact your employer’s human resources department. For questions about Social Security benefits, visit the Social Security Administration’s website at or call them toll-free at (800) 772-1213. Print Friendly and PDF

College & University MOSERS Members

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I work at a university. The president of the University recently said that MOSER's is trying to kick university employees out of the system. What will happen to our pensions if we are kicked out?
We are not pursuing any efforts to remove university members from MOSERS. Ultimately, if there were any proposed changes to any retirement plan provisions for our members, they would have to go through the legislative process, be passed by the Missouri General Assembly, and be signed into law by the Governor. The 2019 legislative session begins January 9, 2019 and ends on May 17, 2019. You can track all proposed legislation relating to MOSERS on our Legislation page or on the Joint Committee on Public Employee Retirement website. Print Friendly and PDF