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  • Merit System & Reemployment

    Jun 4, 2018, 2:18 PM By MOSERS

    Since the Merit system has been removed (by the newly signed law), does this mean that someone who retired from a Merit job could go back to work for the State and still collect their pension?

    No. SB 1007, which had the “merit system” language does not contain any changes to any MOSERS benefit provisions. SB 1007 modifies and repeals several provisions relating to the State Personnel Law (SPL), commonly referred to as the Merit system.

    As a general state employee, your MOSERS retirement benefit will stop if you retire (or are already retired) and later return to work in a benefit-eligible position covered by MOSERS or MPERS (the MoDot & Patrol Employees’ Retirement System).

    Your employer determines if the position is benefit-eligible. MOSERS administers pension benefits for most state agencies and regional state universities. See our website for a complete list of employers covered by MOSERS. If you have a question about whether or not accepting a position with the state will affect your MOSERS retirement benefit, we advise you to check with your potential employer.

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  • Using Leave After Applying for Retirement

    Jun 1, 2018, 3:30 PM By MOSERS

    Once you submit retirement papers with a date for retirement are you allowed to take any annual or sick time?

    Yes. Check with your agency’s human resources office about your specific guidelines for annual and sick leave accrual and usage before retirement. Please be aware that MOSERS converts each block of 168 hours of unused sick leave into a month of service credit to be used in your retirement benefit calculation. So, any usage of sick leave near your retirement date may affect previous benefit estimates you have received. Annual leave has no effect on your MOSERS benefit.

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  • Merit System Bill

    Jun 1, 2018, 2:17 PM By MOSERS

    How does, if at all, the removal of the Merit program affect my retirement? 

    SB 1007 does not contain any changes to any MOSERS benefit provisions so it should have no impact on your retirement. It modifies and repeals several provisions relating to the State Personnel Law (SPL), commonly referred to as the Merit system. It is our understanding that it was signed into law today.

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  • MSEP 2011 Legislative Changes from 2017

    May 31, 2018, 11:33 AM By MOSERS

    Correction Officers have been hearing that the State of Missiouri Retirement System is bringing back the "80 and out" rule or 80/80 and the Employee is vested after 5 years of service?

    For members of MSEP 2011 who are actively employed on or after 1/1/2018, yes, the vesting requirement did change to 5 years, effective 1/1/2018. This change was part of Senate Bill 62, which was passed during the 2017 legislative session. The changes were summarized on our legislative page.

    However, requirements for retirement eligibility were not changed. Members of MSEP 2011 reach normal retirement eligibility when they have at least 5 years of service and are age 67 or under the “Rule of 90”. Under the “Rule of 90”, they must be at least age 55 and their age plus years of service equal 90 or more. For example, if someone is age 60 and has 30 years of service, they would meet the Rule of 90.

    Not sure if you are in MSEP, MSEP 2000, or MSEP 2011? See What’s My Plan? (bottom of the MOSERS website homepage) with information about plan membership, retirement eligibility requirements, and other plan provisions.

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  • Credited Service for Army Reserve?

    May 31, 2018, 11:28 AM By MOSERS

    I just have a question regarding having Served in the Army Reserve. Can a state employee receive any credit for having served as a Reservist? 

    Yes, it is possible, depending on when your military service was performed relative to your state employment. There are provisions that allow you to 1.) purchase or 2.) receive automatic credit at no cost* for your eligible active-duty military service. Short duration active-duty military service such as two-week annual trainings in the reserve forces may qualify for service credit. This additional service credit will be used in determining your eligibility for retirement and calculating the amount of your benefit.

    We encourage anyone interested in purchasing prior active-duty military service to contact a MOSERS benefit counselor, who can provide cost estimates. The primary timing issue for you to consider when making a service purchase is that, the longer you wait, the more it will cost. In other words, it is often to your advantage, in terms of cost, to purchase service sooner rather than later to avoid additional interest costs. See the Purchasing and Transferring Service Credit brochure (MSEP &MSEP 2000) (page 6) for more information. Any eligible purchases must be applied for and paid for in full prior to applying for retirement.

    *Note: Members of the MSEP 2011 may get automatic credit if they were employed by the state immediately prior to entering the armed forces and return to state employment within the timeframe specified by USERRA. However, purchase of prior active-duty military service credit is not available to members of MSEP 2011.

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  • BackDROP Decisions

    May 29, 2018, 4:06 PM By MOSERS

    I was eligible for retirement on 06/01/2017 on the 80 and out. I am just getting one year of backdrop in. Do I need to submit any paperwork advising of my intentions of working on the backdrop? 

    The answer is no. You just keep working. You don’t need to notify MOSERS of any decisions about BackDROP until you retire. If you retire online, you may make your BackDROP election when you choose your benefit payment option.

    However, you must work at least two years beyond when you are first eligible for normal retirement to be eligible for BackDROP. BackDROP provides a lump-sum payment in addition to your ongoing monthly benefit payment in retirement. MOSERS has many different resources to find out more about BackDROP. * Besides the member handbook, we also have a BackDROP page with links to many resources on our website.

    * Note: The BackDROP is available only to general state employees in the MSEP and the MSEP 2000.

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  • Sick Leave & BackDROP Period

    May 29, 2018, 4:02 PM By MOSERS

    Questions regarding sick leave. I have around 22 months of employment remaining before I reach the 80 and out. I have around 1900 hours of sick leave currently. Does sick leave still contribute towards your credible service period? If I elect to backdrop, does this apply to the backdrop period if I do not count this towards credible service? Thank you!

    Yes, you will get one month of credited service for each block of 168 hours of unused sick leave you have at retirement. While this will increase the amount of your benefit, unused sick leave cannot count toward eligibility for retirement or as part of the 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.

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  • 70 & Out Rumor

    May 29, 2018, 4:00 PM By MOSERS

    I was hearing that there may be a 70 & out for one to retire from Corrections? Is this true or another rumor....

    No, this is not true. MOSERS administers retirement benefits but we do not have the authority to change plan provisions. Any change to the Rule of 80/”80 & Out” (or any other state employee pension provisions) would require a change in the law. The 2018 regular legislative session ended on May 18th and there were no such proposed changes. Keep in mind that the Rule of 80/”80 & Out” is not the only way to reach normal retirement eligibility.

    General state employees become eligible for normal retirement once they meet one of the following sets of age and service criteria:

    MSEP Members
    • Age 65 + 5 years of service
    • Age 60 + 15 years of service
    • “Rule of 80” – (at least age 48) when age + years of service = 80 or more.
    MSEP 2000 Members
    • Age 62 + 5 years of service
    • “Rule of 80” – (at least age 48) when age + years of service = 80 or more
    MSEP 2011 Members
    • Age 67 + 5 years of service
    • “Rule of 90” – (at least age 55) when age + years of service = 90 or more at time of termination

    See What’s My Plan?(bottom of the MOSERS website homepage) with information about plan membership, retirement eligibility requirements, and other plan provisions.

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  • Final Average Pay & Rule of 80

    May 25, 2018, 8:34 AM By MOSERS

    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 General Employees Retirement Handbook (MSEP & MSEP 2000) 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 What’s My Plan? (bottom of the MOSERS website homepage) with information about plan membership, retirement eligibility requirements, and other plan provisions.

    * 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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  • Becoming Vested

    May 24, 2018, 2:19 PM By MOSERS

    When do you become vested? Is the 5 years calculated by your date of hire (to the exact date?) or the end of month in which you were hired?  

    Vesting occurs 5 full years from your date of hire in a benefit-eligible position. Therefore, barring any non-creditable leave periods, a member who began employment on February 21, 2018 would become vested on February 21, 2023. Once you are vested with MOSERS, even if you leave state employment, you will be eligible for lifetime monthly benefit payments once you also meet the age requirement (and any other legal requirements) and retire under a MOSERS defined benefit pension plan.

    The 5-year vesting for MSEP 2011 members went into effect on 1/1/2018 and MSEP 2011 members must be actively employed on or after 1/1/2018 to be covered by this change.

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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.