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Outstanding Benefit Services

Envisioning Your Future with MOSERS

[Posted on 04/09/2012 at 8:00 AM]

Outstanding Benefit Services means that retirement is all about YOU. You have been doing your part by working for the state and accumulating service credit, now let us help you get one step closer to your new phase in life.

This is part 2 of a 4-part series illustrating how MOSERS envisions your retirement...with us!

In Your Words


Some comments from the Coffee Breaks include:

  • Very good sessions and informative. Hope to attend more. This should be ongoing.
  • Great workshop - good information presented in a very good manner.
  • Session has been beneficial and what fun to see familiar faces.
  • Appreciate so much you offering these sessions. Regardless of the topics chosen to present, I always find them informative and always learn from the sessions.
  • I love these meetings. Makes me feel like I still belong and keeps me informed on what’s happening with our pension and benefits...
  • I believe we as retirees of the State of Missouri have a great retirement system...I certainly appreciate this system and feel confident that you work for us with fervor.

We are dedicated to providing you with high quality benefit services and we take our various roles in achieving that personally – you are not just numbers to us. Our priorities are to make sure our retirees get their benefit payments on time, and to educate our working members so they will feel less anxious about the transition to retirement. Read more about the makeup of the MOSERS’ membership in the most current Member Profile Summary.

 MOSERS is Not Just for Retirees...

Our working members also benefit from a defined benefit plan. MOSERS benefits are part of what is often referred to as the “three-legged stool” to help plan for retirement. We encourage you to consider the roles of social security retirement and personal savings (such as IRAs, State of Missouri Deferred Compensation savings), in addition to your MOSERS retirement benefit in planning your financial future. To help keep you in the loop we publish our PensionsPlus newsletter four times a year and you can choose to get electronic notifications when a new issue is posted on our website.

MOSERS provides Annual Benefit Statements and financial calculators so you will be able to see how all of your benefits work together. The State of Missouri Deferred Compensation Plan provides an interactive calculator tool called RetiremenTrack to illustrate how well the various savings components will replace the pre-retirement income stream. Having a reliable stream of income helps our members to budget better and plan for the future.

For state agencies and employers, MOSERS retirement benefits are a crucial part of an employee’s total compensation package that will help to attract and keep their valuable workforce. After employees become vested in the system, they will eventually be eligible to receive a retirement benefit in return for their public service. An article in Government Finance Review called “Setting the Record Straight about Public Pensions,” states that, “Pension plans have been shown to significantly increase employee commitment to their employers, as compared with other forms of retirement benefits, also helping with worker retention.” The valuable benefit package creates a long-term relationship between the employer and employee and helps attract employees who might otherwise work in the private sector.

Eligible, active employees are also covered by long-term disability insurance through MOSERS. This is another valuable component of the overall benefit package that is there in case of disability to prevent a gap in income during recovery. In addition, survivor benefits help protect your family in the event you die before retirement. There is no minimum service requirement for the survivor benefit if it is a duty-related death.

State workers are also very generous in giving back to their local communities. According to the Missouri State Employees’ Charitable Campaign (MSECC), in the past two years, “state employees have given more than $2,100,000 to charitable organizations that help make the world a better place for everyone.”

We’re Here Before & After Retirement

It doesn’t end with retirement! Our relationship with our retirees is continued through our RetireeNews newsletter two times a year, a Retiree Annual Benefit Statement, resources on our website and access to our benefit counselors.

The Buck Stays Here for the State of Missouri

According to the statistical section of the current Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the average annual MOSERS benefit payment for retirees in MSEP 2000 is $15,505, and is $14,339 for retirees in MSEP. Along with social security and personal savings, this modest, reliable income stream helps former public servants remain self-sufficient, even in uncertain times. It also helps to provide for their dependents through potential survivor benefits. Having a pension that won’t run out means retirees are less likely to have to depend on public assistance, and, according to the National Institute on Retirement Security’s report, The Pension Factor: Assessing the Role of Defined Benefit Plans in Reducing Elder Hardships, “Social Security is highly effective at helping seniors avoid poverty, but DB pensions enable people to maintain a middle class standard of living in retirement.”

Retirees Give Back to the State

MOSERS retirees give back in the form of volunteering and charitable giving. In the fall 2009 issue of RetireeNews, we asked our retirees to share their community service and involvement with local charities. We enjoyed hearing the wonderful personal stories, and the common theme in all of them was that MOSERS retirees get as much value back from their experiences as do those that they spend their time helping. You can read excerpts from their letters in the Spring 2010 issue of RetireeNews.

Our retirees from all areas of the state spend their time helping others at churches, hospitals, nursing homes, crisis centers, missions, and assisting their own friends and neighbors who may not be able to drive. Their selflessness demonstrates the spirit of community alive in small towns and big cities around Missouri. Retirees are now able to contribute to the Missouri State Employees’ Charitable Campaign even after they stop working for the state. Since implementation of this change, state retirees have contributed a total of $11,755 to charities throughout Missouri. Part of the ripple effect of defined benefit retirement plans is that there is a generosity among retirees who give back to others in their area when they feel more confident about their own financial future.

It’s Not Just Financial…

MOSERS believes in the importance of emotional planning as well as financial planning for retirement. It is a major life stage that can be accompanied by anxiety over the transition from full-time work to setting your own hours. We realize the need to keep the connections to your career and friends. We distribute four issues of RetireeNews per year to communicate news about legislation, COLAs, reminders about life insurance beneficiaries and estate planning, how life changes will affect your benefit, and much more. If your individual benefit amount changes, you will receive a notice by mail or in your online Document Express. We want to maintain our relationships with our members throughout their retirement by keeping them apprised of news they may have previously received from a human resources office or from coworkers.

Also, we have MOSERS Retiree Connection, which includes retired state workers from all regions of the state who give their time and input to regular meetings. This program allows MOSERS to touch base with retirees and has developed a group of informed retirees who we can contact (or who can contact us) when rumors or concerns arise that affect MOSERS retirees. The Retiree Connection is not a lobbying group or political action committee. You can meet all of the current members on MOSERS’ website.

Meet a couple of our members here:

Gene Schneider

Click for Video Transcript

Retiree Connection Member

My name is Gene Schneider. I’m from Kirksville, Missouri, and I was on the Truman State University campus for 32 years, first as engineer and then as physical plant director. I took early retirement in ’97 and never regretted it. In my retirement, I did serve one term as a county commissioner but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed retirement and I’ve really enjoyed serving on MOSERS connections committee.

I think I found … I read about that in the newsletter and made an application with no idea that I would be chosen and was quite surprised when I got the notification and was eager to serve, simply because I like to participate in whatever thing I’m doing. But to me the MOSERS operation has come as a real pleasant … I won’t say the word “surprise” because I was aware that it was a very efficient organization … but the thing that is impressive about it and that I’ve learned through connections is the professionalism, and the real concern that the members of the MOSERS staff have for the retirees.

What has Retiree Connection accomplished on behalf of retirees?
We’ve done a number of things. One of the first things we did was, working with the MOSERS staff, we recommended that they encourage and strengthen the email usage and I think that saved MOSERS quite a bit of money in that they took that and implemented it. Then we were instrumental with them in setting up the Coffee Break operation and have worked with them setting up the topics for those Coffee Breaks, and I think those have been real good in getting information out to the MOSERS … to the retiree members and so those are some … two or three of the things we’ve done.

What has your own retirement experience been like?
The decision to retire is a little bit like the decision to get married. It’s one of those huge decisions that you have to make, and I would be less than honest if I didn’t say that I felt a good period of apprehension about making that decision to retire, but again as the famous Missourian said “You make a decision and you never look back” and that’s what I did. I’m surprised, in working through connections committee and meeting with other through the Coffee Breaks and such, the number of people who are afraid to retire, and then the number of people who. when they retire, don’t know what to do with themselves, and I think that’s an area where connections and the Coffee Breaks and such can help, getting information out to people that there are a lot of things to do out there, and there are things you can volunteer and work for, and that’s one of the things that I hope we can work at and continue to do.

Connections has been fun and I think it’s enjoyable. We’re a diverse group and we’re from all over the state. It’s great and it’s just another example of how MOSERS cares about the people that it serves.

Special Thanks to Gene Schneider, Retiree Connection Member

 

Jim Bowers

Click for Video Transcript

Retiree Connection Member

I'm Jim Bowers. I retired from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in 1990 and I became a member of the Retiree Connection Committee about three years ago. I got a communication from Lori and she asked if I might want to serve so I responded, and waited about four or five months and forgot about it, and then she sent me a notice that I was a member and so I’ve been attending ever since, and it’s been a great benefit to me, not only as a retiree but I’m also involved with ARMSE very heavily, I was the state president this past year, and there’s a prominent connection between ARMSE and Retiree Connection, and I worked on that very hard with my board, and ….

Retirees want to know more about their system and what’s happening in their system, and I think that the more we can get the information to them, the better they’re going to feel about what’s going on, especially now with the economy being what it is. So I really believe that there’s more people would serve on Retiree Connection Committee if they just knew what it was all about.

What has Retiree Connection accomplished on behalf of retirees?
I think it’s accomplished several things. One is it’s provided a resource to each of them to access that they can know more about their retirement check, they can know about various benefits and what’s happening to the benefits, and they know that MOSERS is working for them, and it’s there for their benefit only, and they’ve worked very hard at that.

What has your own retirement experience been like?
You’ve heard the statement many times “I don’t know what I did before I retired ‘cause I don’t have time now” and that’s true. I’m 81 years old and I’m still referring ballgames with youngsters, and my wife and I both work at Branson, working for different shows there … we work for about 14 different shows down there over the years, and that kept us busy and let us meet people and it’s very, very attractive for those that would like to continue doing something but don’t know what to do but it’s been fun.

I enjoy my retirement. In fact, I was shocked this last week … a gentleman informed me that he read … looked at my record and said “you’ve been retired for 21 years” and I said I hadn’t thought about it that long. But it’s been a great benefit to me. It’s a … my wife and I both … it’s been very, very appreciative of the retirement program anyway, and I’ve touted the program being one of the best that there is out there, and I tell people that every day.

Special Thanks to Jim Bowers, Retiree Connection Member

 

Coffee Breaks

Many of the Retiree Connection members help host the Post-Retirement Coffee Break meetings in their local area. These are informative meetings with speakers, opportunities to network with other retirees, and question and answer sessions with MOSERS staff on topics of interest to our retirees. MOSERS staff members and local members of our Retiree Connection group offer their time to travel around the state hosting and speaking at the Coffee Breaks. We have found retirees appreciate these opportunities to ask questions and meet others in their area.




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MOSERS
Missouri State Employees' Retirement System
Address: 907 Wildwood Dr., Jefferson City, MO 65102
https://www.mosers.org/images/mosers-logo-bg-375-280.jpg Phone: 800.827.1063 URL: Email: mosers@mosers.org Founded On: September 1, 1957