Showing posts with label retirement benefit formula. Show all posts
Showing posts with label retirement benefit formula. Show all posts

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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Final Average Pay and BackDROP Period

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MY PENSION IS BASED ON MY BEST 36 MONTHS EARNINGS. WAGES DURING MY 5 YEAR BACKDROP PERIOD ARE EXCLUDED. WHAT IF MY BEST 36 MONTHS ARE AFTER I COMPLETE MY 5 YEAR BACKDROP PERIOD?

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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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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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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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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COLAs

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I don't understand if mosers is profiting so well why do the retirees only get 1.5% raise. It seems like the pot gets bigger and why not pass it out. The cost of living goes up an up but the retirees are going backwards. I have been retired 14 years and only get 21% increase and Mosers does about 7.5% thats 147% increase. It looks a little lopsided. I know it's a complicated process. Like the ones that took the back drop you handed them a bonus that i never saw because I choose to retire and give a job to younger adults instead of letting them not work and the back droppers working filling that spot. 
The way that MOSERS is set up, neither staff nor Board Members can decide to increase cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) or monthly retirement benefits. It is all based on state statute and it all factors into the overall funding structure of the retirement system.

COLAs are calculated according to state statute (104.010.14 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri), which stipulates that the CPI used to calculate COLAs must be the “CPI-U (Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers). For most general state employees, the COLA is based on 80% of the percentage increase in the average CPI from one year to the next. COLAs are intended to help you cope with the rising cost of goods and services that you buy.  You can see a detailed explanation of how the 2018 COLA was calculated in January 2018.

Your benefit is calculated using the formula: Final Average Pay x Credited Service x Multiplier = Monthly Base Benefit. Benefit amounts vary for each retiree based on their individual pay and service history. Funding to pay benefits comes from three sources:

1. Contributions from Employers, as a percentage of employee payroll
2. Contributions from Employees first employed in a benefit-eligible position on or after January 1, 2011
3. Investment Returns

The purpose of investing trust fund assets is to provide a funding source that helps pay the cost of the benefits. Over that past 20 years, 61% of the assets in the MOSERS Trust Fund have come from investment returns. If it weren’t for the income from investments, the cost to the state and to members would be significantly higher. When calculating how much the state will have to contribute going forward, our external actuaries make assumptions on various economic and demographic factors. One is how much we can expect to earn from investment income. That assumption for FY18, which ended June 30, 2018, was 7.5%.

BackDROP isn’t a bonus. It is an benefit payment option available at retirement if an employee works at least two years beyond their normal retirement eligibility date. It allows such members to get a lump-sum payment in addition to their monthly benefit. However, none of their pay or service credit during their BackDROP period counts toward their monthly benefit. So, generally speaking, their monthly benefit is less if they elect BackDROP than it would have been had they not taken BackDROP.

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Final Average Pay & BackDROP

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Note: the question below refers to a previous Rumor Central question from July 2018:
"As you referenced, FAP is determined using your highest 36 full consecutive months of pay when looking at your entire work history covered under MOSERS. Practically speaking, for most, that is their last three years, but not always. The exception to this would occur under the BackDROP (if eligible). If you become eligible for and elect the BackDROP upon retirement, your highest 36 consecutive months would be determined from your MOSERS-covered work history prior to your BackDROP date. In other words, any pay or service during your BackDROP period doesn’t count toward your monthly benefit payments."
Okay, based off this information, since I am working on my back-drop currently, an increase in pay will NOT increase my retirement? I am planning on working overtime as a Correctional Officer, will this have an effect on the amount of money I receive in my retirement? Yes or No...
You are correct that pay earned during your BackDROP period will not count towards calculating your retirement benefit. Your monthly benefit will be calculated using your final average pay (FAP) and credited service as of your BackDROP date (the day your BackDROP period begins).

Any pay or service you get during your BackDROP period is not counted when calculating your monthly benefit payment. To be clear, any overtime pay you receive during your BackDROP period will not be considered in calculating your final average pay. But keep in mind, you are not required to take BackDROP, regardless of how long you work beyond normal retirement eligibility, and you don’t have to notify MOSERS of any decisions about BackDROP until you retire. You may elect not to take BackDROP if you want all your service and pay to count and, likely, increase your monthly benefit.

This BackDROP graphic may help explain the big picture or you can read the BackDROP brochure on our website for more information. Details related to BackDROP can be confusing! Members who are or may become eligible for BackDROP are encouraged to attend a PreRetirement Planning Seminar and/or make an appointment with a MOSERS benefit counselor for further explanation.

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State Contribution to Retirement?

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Does the State of Missouri contribute any matching funds to the retirement program?
I am receiving conflicting information, that there are and are not matching funds. I've been told 0 and "up to 3%."
As a MOSERS benefit-eligible member, you have a defined benefit pension plan, which provides lifetime monthly benefit payments to you after you retire. It is based on the formula: 

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

Remember, it is this formula, NOT contributions, that determines your monthly retirement benefit. 
There are three sources of income that fund your MOSERS defined benefit pension plan: 

1. Contributions from members of the MSEP 2011 and the Judicial Plan 2011, which are 4% of pay,
2. Your employer’s contributions, which are currently, 20.21% of covered payroll, and 
3. MOSERS’ investment income. 

You can read more about plan funding on our website. If you leave state employment prior to normal retirement eligibility, you may request a refund of your member contributions plus interest. (Your member contributions consist of #1 above; #2 and #3 remain in the MOSERS trust fund.) Interest on member contributions is calculated using the 52-week treasury bill rate. 

You may also participate in the State of Missouri Deferred Compensation Plan (MO Deferred Comp), which is a supplemental retirement savings program. Currently, the State does not match any contributions to MO Deferred Comp, but there are many other reasons that MO Deferred Comp is an important part of your benefit package. 

Watch our New Employee Orientation video for a quick overview of your MOSERS benefits. 

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Overtime & Final Average Pay (FAP)

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Given the extreme amount of overtime currently being worked by corrections officers (over 1 million hours so far in 2018, and 1.6 million last year), how will this effect the long term funding available for pensions? Their pension is based off their 3 highest consecutive grossing years of service. Many officers have been grossing 2-3 times their base pay due to the inordinate amount of overtime. This has been ongoing now for two-three years. This will make a huge impact on their pension monthly benefit, increasing it exponentially. Has there been any comprehensive study done on how this will effect our pension funding in the future?
Calculating Your Benefit

You are correct, retirement benefits for general state employees are calculated using a three-part formula:

Final Average Pay (FAP)  x  credited service  x  a multiplier =  Monthly Base Benefit

As you referenced, FAP is determined using your highest 36 full consecutive months of pay when looking at your entire work history covered under MOSERS. Practically speaking, for most, that is their last three years, but not always. The exception to this would occur under the BackDROP (if eligible). If you become eligible for and elect the BackDROP upon retirement, your highest 36 consecutive months would be determined from your MOSERS-covered work history prior to your BackDROP date. In other words, any pay or service during your BackDROP period doesn’t count toward your monthly benefit payments.

Overtime pay can increase your retirement benefits if there is a pattern of overtime pay. We don’t count one-time payments or any payments from your employer after you terminate state employment such as for unused vacation/annual leave.

Pension Funding

With regard to your question about how all this overtime will affect pension funding, you can rest assured that it is all being factored in to our funding process, we have made our external actuary aware of it, and we will continue to monitor it.

In setting funding policy, our Board of Trustees works with our external actuary to review and set assumptions about a variety of economic and demographic factors including payroll growth, inflation, life expectancy, and several other factors.

We conduct an annual “valuation” which is collecting all the above data (and more) and sending it to our external actuary. Our actuary does an “experience study” every 5 years to compare our assumptions to our actual experience with our members and with other economic factors. Then, we make adjustments accordingly. All that (and more) goes into the calculation of employer contribution rates going forward.

The Department of Corrections (DOC) is a large employer but is one of several that we cover. While there may have been increases in payroll at DOC, they are offset elsewhere. For the year ended 6/30/17, the overall pay increase for state employees we cover was slightly less than assumed (p. 20 of FY17 Valuation). We will have the data for FY18 soon. Each of the 39 state departments, agencies, colleges, or universities that we cover makes employer contributions as a percentage of their total actual payroll, which includes overtime pay. So, paying overtime also increases the amount of employer contributions that DOC has already been making to MOSERS. As mentioned above, we will continue to monitor overtime at DOC and factor it into our funding calculations.

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Final Average Pay & Rule of 80

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Note: we receive this question a lot, so we thought it would be helpful to repost it as a reminder.
Is our retirement benefit based on the 3 highest years of wages?
or the 3 highest years of wages before you hit 80 and out?
I keep hearing both, so not sure which is right.
The answer depends on if you elect BackDROP* (if eligible); not when you hit “80 & Out”.

If you are a general state employee, your retirement benefit is calculated using a three-part formula:

Final Average Pay (FAP)        x            credited service         x             a multiplier

FAP is determined using your highest 36 full consecutive months of pay when looking at your entire work history covered under MOSERS. Practically speaking, for most, that is their last three years, but not always.

The exception to this would occur under the BackDROP (if eligible). If you become eligible for and elect the BackDROP upon retirement, your highest 36 consecutive months would be determined from your MOSERS-covered work history prior to your BackDROP date. (Some people find BackDROP easier to understand if they think of the BackDROP period as being “cashed in” because salary and service during that period don’t count in the calculation of your monthly benefit amount.)

So, to reiterate, if you don’t elect BackDROP, your monthly benefit will be based on your highest 36 full consecutive months of pay, regardless of whether that is before or after you might hit “80 & Out”.  See the MSEP/MSEP 2000 General Employees Retirement Handbook for an example and more detailed information. Also, keep in mind that “80 & Out” is not the only way to become eligible for retirement. For example, as a general state employee in MSEP 2000, you might become eligible for normal retirement at age 62 with 5 years of service before you would become eligible for “80 & Out”.  See Which plan am I in? with a list of plan provisions including criteria for normal retirement eligibility in each plan.

*BackDROP is available only to general state employees who are members of MSEP & MSEP 2000 and who work at least two years beyond normal retirement eligibility.
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Base Benefit & COLA Cap

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Where can one find one's base benefit for the purpose of determining the 65% of base benefit when COLA's will end?
Your COLA does not end once you meet your COLA cap*—it is simply calculated differently. If you retire under the MSEP and were hired before August 28, 1997, you will receive a COLA of at least 4% each year (maximum 5%) until you reach your COLA cap. The COLA cap is when the sum of your COLAs equal 65% of your initial benefit amount. Then, your annual COLA will be equal to 80% of the percentage increase in the average Consumer Price Index (CPI) with a minimum of 0% and maximum of 5%.

Your estimated date to reach the COLA cap can be found on your annual benefit statement in the COLA section. It says “Estimated Date to Reach 65% COLA Cap….” and a date. Typically, it is around 12-13 years after you’ve retired.

*The COLA cap does not apply to MSEP 2000 members; it applies only to members of MSEP hired prior to 8/28/97, who receive a minimum 4% COLA until meeting their COLA cap.
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Is the MSEP 2011 Still a Contributory Plan?

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I have an employee who was hired June 2011. He has a question about the 5 year vesting. Since 5 year vesting is back he would like to know if Moser's will start contributing to retirement or if he will still have to make those contributions through his payroll.
MSEP 2011 members will still have to contribute 4% of pay to their future retirement benefit. Other than the vesting period changing from 10 years to 5 years for MSEP 2011 members employed on or after January 1, 2018, the provisions of SB 62 have NO impact on members of MSEP 2011 who work in a MOSERS benefit-eligible position until they reach normal retirement eligibility.

Money to pay current and future MOSERS pension benefits comes from:

  1. Contributions from employees who are members of the MSEP 2011 or Judicial Plan 2011 (4% of pay for MOSERS members; typically 5-10% nationally*),
  2. Earnings on investments of money in the MOSERS trust fund (61% of assets in the MOSERS trust fund have come from investment earnings), and
  3. Contributions from employers (state agencies) as a percent of active employee payroll.

Below is a simplified example of what future retirement benefit might look like over time. The benefit would be even more with compounding cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs), which are included in MSEP 2011, but not shown here for simplicity. The benefit formula is:

Final Average Pay x Credit Service x Multiplier = Monthly Base Benefit



























*Understanding Public Pensions, April 2017, Center for State & Local Government Excellence, AARP




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Department of Corrections Rumor

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I JUST HEARD A VICIOUS RUMOR THAT MISSOURI MIGHT PRIVATIZE THEIR PRISON SYSTEM. IF THAT HAPPENS, HOW WILL IT AFFECT MY BACKDROP AND PENSION?
We are not familiar with that rumor. Any hypothetical privatization of services provided by the Department of Corrections would likely require legislative approval and/or action by the Governor.

MOSERS would pay any accrued pension benefits (including BackDROP) to employees once they reach retirement eligibility age & service based on the pension formula for general state employees as outlined in state law as of the date the member leaves state employment.

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Moody's Ratings

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As a prospective state employee, I am curious on how any municipal ratings changes by Moody's will affect payout on MO Pensions.
Moody’s ratings do not affect the amount of MOSERS pensions payments. As a new state employee, you would receive a Statewide Employee Benefit Enrollment System (SEBES) brochure with an overview of benefits, including those offered by MOSERS. Along with other benefits, we administer a defined-benefit (DB) pension plan with payments based on a formula as shown below. (The multiplier is determined by your plan; 1.6% for MSEP; 1.7% for MSEP 2000/MSEP 2011). We encourage you to explore the section of our website called “What Plan Am I In?” to read more about the specific provisions in each plan.

Pension formula for general state employees: 

Final Average Pay (FAP) x Credited Service x Multiplier = Monthly Base Benefit

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How is Final Average Pay Figured?

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I'm thinking about retiring when I am 62 years old. I'm confused on which salaries would be used to figure my retirement. Is it the last 3 yrs of work, the 3 highest salaries, or the 3 highest consecutive salaries?
Pay is one part of the three-part formula for general state employees:

Final Average Pay (FAP) x Credited Service x Multiplier = Monthly Base Benefit

Specifically, FAP is the average of your highest 36 full consecutive months of gross pay no matter where in your work history that may fall. Practically speaking, for most, it is during their last three years, 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.) 

*BackDROP is available only to general state employees who are members of MSEP & MSEP 2000 and who work at least two years beyond normal retirement eligibility. 

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Vesting & MSEP 2011

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I was hired November 1st 2015. I was wondering how long I have to work for the state in order to draw retirement when I am the age I can retire. Like if its 5 years, Say I work 5 years and quit the state job because I have a baby and need to be a stay at home, when I am 55 can I draw retirement, or do I lose retirement because I quit?
You have to work long enough to be vested in order to receive a future retirement benefit. Once you are vested with MOSERS, even if you leave state employment, you will be eligible for a lifetime monthly benefit once you meet the age and all other legal requirements and retire under a MOSERS defined benefit pension plan. The good news is the legislature passed a bill this year to change the vesting requirement for members who were first employed on or after January 1, 2011 (members of MSEP 2011) from 10 years to 5 years. The 5-year vesting for MSEP 2011 members will go into effect on January 1, 2018. MSEP 2011 members must be actively employed on or after January 1, 2018 to be covered by this change.

Vesting is one part of retirement eligibility. The other part is age.  As a member of MSEP 2011, you will become eligible for normal retirement when you are age 67 and have 5 years of service OR under the “Rule of 90” which is when you are at least age 55 and your age and service equals 90 by the time you leave state employment.

For example, let’s say you are employed by the state for 7 years, leave state employment for five years, then return to work and work for another 23 years for a total of 30 years of service. If you were age 60 with 30 years of service and still employed, you would be eligible to retire under the Rule of 90. On the other hand, if you became vested but never returned to state employment, then you could begin receiving your MOSERS retirement benefit at age 67. The formula for calculating your benefit is Final Average Pay  x  Multiplier (0.017)  x  Service Credit = Monthly Benefit so, the longer you work, the more your benefit will be.

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Income Replacement in Retirement

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I was told that if you work for the state for 40 years that your retirement will be roughly the same as your salary. This doesn't make sense to me but need to check it out.
With forty years of service, your retirement benefit from MOSERS would not be the same as your salary; however, your MOSERS benefit plus your Social Security benefit would be closer to replacing most of your pre-retirement salary. Here is more information:

The retirement plan through MOSERS is a defined-benefit pension. That means the benefit is defined by law and based on a formula as shown here:

Final Average Pay (FAP) x Credited Service x Multiplier (1.6% for MSEP; 1.7% for MSEP 2000/MSEP 2011) = Monthly Base Benefit  

Example: Let’s assume that when you retire, your annual salary is $40,000; you have 40 years of service; and you elect MSEP with a  multiplier of 1.6% (0.016)

FAP ($40,000/12 = $3,333.33 monthly) x Credited Service (40 years) x Multiplier (0.016) = Monthly Base Benefit

$3,333.33 x 40 x 0.016 = $2,133.33

With 40 years of service, your monthly base benefit is equal to 64% of your salary at retirement. This does not include the impact of such provisions as the Temporary Benefit which may apply, if eligible, or COLAs in retirement.

As noted in our publication, Key Facts, generally speaking, combined pension and social security benefits should replace approximately 75% of a 30-year employee’s final average pay. Additional personal savings through programs such as MO Deferred Comp can make up the difference. You can get a pension benefit estimate at any time by logging in to your Member Homepage. Click on Estimates, then on Estimate Your Retirement Benefit. You may wish to print several versions based on different dates or other factors. Or, contact a MOSERS benefit counselor to request estimates or to make an appointment for a face-to-face meeting. We encourage you to explore the section of our website called “What Plan Am I In?” to read more about the specific provisions in each plan. Once you meet the age and service requirements and retire under a MOSERS defined benefit plan, you are guaranteed a lifetime pension benefit. When you are Ready to Retire, we are here to help.


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