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Returning to Work - Separation of Service

Dec 22, 2020, 11:50 AM by MOSERS
I have a question regarding returning to a temporary, non-benefit position after retiring on 2/1/21 from my FT, benefit position here in my office. Is there any restriction that MOSERS has against this? I was told I had to wait 30 days after my retirement, but do not understand since this would not, in any way, affect my state retirement. I am under the MSEP 2000 plan and was never required to contribute the 4% that employees have to do now. Why can't I transfer to that position on 2/1/21?

The IRS has specific rules around when a member of a qualified governmental pension plan may receive a retirement benefit. Specifically, the IRS requires an employee to have a bona fide termination with the employer before receiving a retirement benefit. MOSERS has conferred with its outside tax counsel and confirmed that without a separation from service, there can be federal tax penalties for both the member and MOSERS. At their November 19, 2020 meeting, the MOSERS Board of Trustees adopted new Board Rules on the termination of employment and reemployment of MOSERS retirees by any employers covered by MOSERS. The new Board Rules are designed to follow the IRS guidelines for separation of service and prevent such tax penalties from being levied against our retirees and the System.

Before receiving a benefit payment from MOSERS, an employee must have a bona fide termination. For purposes of the MOSERS’ board rules, a "bona fide termination" occurs when:

  1. You have completely severed employment;
  2. You have not entered into a prearranged agreement, prior to retirement, with any employer for subsequent employment on any basis (full-time, part-time, or other); and
  3. You are not subsequently employed by any employer on any basis (full-time, part-time, or other) within 30 days after your employment with your prior employer has ended.

For purposes of these rules “employer” means the State of Missouri or any other MOSERS-covered employer. See FAQs on Separation of Service for more information.

While the IRS rules are currently in effect, MOSERS will administer its Board Rules prospectively (on a going-forward basis only) for retirees who submit a retirement application on or after January 1, 2021. MOSERS will not apply the rule retroactively.

Upon meeting the separation-of-service rules, you may return to work and continue receiving your monthly pension payment, as long as your new position is not a MOSERS or MoDOT and Patrol Employees’ Retirement System (MPERS) benefit-eligible position. 

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