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Final Average Pay & Rule of 80

May 25, 2018, 08:34 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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