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  • Refund of Contributions for Beneficiaries

    Jul 21, 2020, 3:39 PM By MOSERS
    I’m a member of the MSEP 2011 retirement plan. As required, I have paid in 4% for almost nine years of service to the state totaling in excess of $10,000. I am currently a retiree as of 2020 and I’m receiving a pension. If I die before I’ve received at least $10,000 of my 4% contributions through the pension plan are my beneficiaries eligible for a refund?
    Thank you.

    Yes. You or your beneficiary or a survivor will receive, at minimum, benefit payments or a refund in an amount equal to what you contributed and any interest credited thereon, less any benefits received. 

    For example, let’s assume the following (numbers rounded for simplicity):

    • Your member contributions plus interest (earned on your contributions while you were actively employed) equaled $10,000.
    • You retired and you receive a monthly benefit of $800 per month.
    • During the 10th month, unfortunately, you pass away.
    • We will pay your final benefit payment at the end of the month in which you die to the person or entity you designated to receive your final benefit payment. At this point, MOSERS would have paid $8,000 in benefits.
    • If you elected a benefit payment option on your Election Form resulting in a spouse or someone else becoming eligible to receive a benefit based on your service, MOSERS would begin payments to that person, according to the election you made.
    • If you elected the Life Income Annuity, which has no ongoing survivor benefits, then the person or entity you designated to receive a refund of your member contributions would receive the balance of $2,000.
    • If you died without designating a beneficiary, we would pay the refund in the following order to your:
      • Surviving spouse (to whom you were married at the time of death)
      • Surviving children (divided equally)
      • Surviving parents (divided equally)
      • Surviving brothers and sisters (divided equally)

    If there are no eligible family members, your final benefit payment will be paid as otherwise permitted by law.

    You can log in to myMOSERS to check and/or update your Final Payment Beneficiary and/or Contribution Beneficiaries under Forms from your Member Homepage. Feel free to contact MOSERS with any questions for additional assistance. 

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  • Married State Employees & Survivor Benefits

    Apr 16, 2019, 3:16 PM By MOSERS

    If I pass away and I am vested with the state for 14 yrs, can my spouse get my state retirement; in addition, can she draw off her state retirement while drawing off my state retirement? In other words, can she draw off both retirements?

    Yes – Let’s look at different scenarios.

    Death Before Retirement:

    As a married, vested member, if you die before you retire and while still employed, your eligible spouse will receive your MOSERS survivor benefits. When she retires, she can draw her own MOSERS pension and the two will have no impact on each other. (The rules are not the same for Social Security benefits. Consult the SSA for more information on their rules about spouse benefits.)

    Death After Retirement:

    When each of you retire, you will choose a benefit payment option. Options include: Life Income Annuity, Joint & Survivor options, and Guaranteed Payment options.

    If you elect the Life Income Annuity option, your retirement benefit will not be reduced for the purpose of providing a survivor benefit. Your final payment will be sent to your designated beneficiary. Then, there will be no ongoing monthly survivor benefits payable to anyone after your death.

    Since you are married, you may elect the Joint & 50% Survivor or the Joint & 100% Survivor option. Each provides a lifetime benefit to you. If you die first, your spouse will receive a lifetime benefit for the remainder of her life. Your benefit will be reduced to provide this benefit*. Your spouse can receive your survivor benefit even if she is receiving her own MOSERS pension.

    If you elect a Guaranteed Payment option, you may name anyone as your beneficiary (does not have to be your spouse but she would have to waive her spouse benefit). Your retirement benefit will be reduced and if you die before all of the guaranteed payments have been made, the remaining payments will go to the beneficiary you designated at retirement.

    For more information, please review the death of a member section of our website. You can read more about benefit payment options in the Retirement Guide on our website in the Ready to Retire section. If you would like more information specific to your situation, contact a MOSERS benefit counselor. They can answer questions over the phone, or you can set up an in-person appointment.

    *There is no reduction for members who retire under the MSEP and elect the Joint and 50% survivor option.

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  • Death of Member Before Retirement

    Apr 10, 2019, 3:05 PM By MOSERS

    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 on our website regarding reporting the death of a member. 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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  • Survivor Benefit for Vested Employee

    Dec 3, 2018, 1:45 PM By MOSERS

    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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  • BackDROP & Survivor Benefit?

    Aug 21, 2018, 3:31 PM By MOSERS

    If I have completed my five year backdrop period and continue working in my state position, would my spouse receive the backdrop lump sum payment if I died while still working?

    For example, if I completed the five year backdrop period on 8-1-2018, continued working, planned on retiring on 6-1-2019, but died on 3-1-2019 - would my spouse receive the lump sum back drop as well as the monthly survivor pension benefit, or would she just receive the monthly survivor pension benefit?

    If you pass away before your retirement date, any elections you made about retirement are null and void, including any elections about BackDROP. If you were still working and had not yet reached your retirement date, you are considered an “active member” and we must pay your eligible survivor. Your spouse’s monthly survivor benefit would be based on the Joint & 100% benefit payment option and calculated using your final average pay and credited service as of your date of death. Your spouse would not receive the BackDROP lump-sum payment if you died prior to your retirement date. In calculating your spouse’s monthly benefit, we would count the time in what would have been your BackDROP period – your total years and months of creditable service. For more information regarding survivor benefits, please visit the death of a member section of our website.

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  • MSEP 2011 Survivor Benefits

    Jan 8, 2018, 8:03 AM By MOSERS

    I am a MSEP 2011 Employee and had a question regarding the new retirement benefit plan. I understand you can now become vested at 5 years instead of 10, but my question is, if my spouse and I are both deceased before the retirement age, who will receive my benefits? The previous handbook states if there is no eligible spouse, a total of 80% of your monthly base benefits will be paid to your natural or legally adopted children who are younger than age 21. Who will have children at the retirement age of 67 under the age of 21? A vast majority of employees will not have dependent children at retirement age, so where will the retirement benefits go then? Will there be a new MSEP2011 general employee handbook sent out soon? 

    It is accurate that, 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, and also that if there is no surviving spouse, a survivor benefit is payable to your natural or legally adopted child(ren) younger than age 21. If you die without any eligible beneficiaries, no survivor benefits are paid.

    If you made employee contributions to MOSERS and die without any eligible survivors, a refund of your contributions plus interest will be made to the beneficiary(ies) you have listed on your Contribution Beneficiary(ies) form or as otherwise permitted by law.

    All of the above information applies if you die while actively employed and BEFORE you begin receiving your MOSERS pension benefit. 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.

    If you terminate employment, then die before retirement, other stipulations apply. Effective January 1, 2018 for MSEP 2011 terminated-vested members: If you die after leaving state employment but prior to normal retirement eligibility age, monthly pension benefits will be payable to your eligible survivor(s) when you would have reached normal retirement eligibility. Please see the updated MSEP 2011 Handbookon our website for more information.

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Disclaimer

We strive to provide the most accurate information possible in our answers to Rumor Central questions. However, occasionally, laws, policies or provisions change and individual circumstances may vary. Please contact a MOSERS benefit counselor or see the handbooks in our website Library for more detailed information. If there is any difference between the information provided in this blog or on the MOSERS website and the law or policies that govern MOSERS, the law and policies will prevail. See our Privacy, Security & Legal Notices for more information.