What Types of Missouri State Pensions are offered?
There are two main state-funded pensions within the state of Missouri that public employees can enroll in to secure a retirement future. These plans include:
PSRS/PEERS- The Public School & Education Employee Retirement Systems of Missouri is specifically designed for those teachers and administrators working in Public school systems, Universities or Community Colleges.
MOSERS-The Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System is for all other state employed positions within the state
Descriptions of the General Employees pension plan
The specific aspects of general employee benefits vary depending on the employee’s date of enrollment. Two separate handbooks have been generated to describe in detail what each program within this division entails and includes:
MOSERS for employees hired before January 1, 2011 is a defined benefit plan available to general state employees, legislation, elected state officials such as those in political positions, judges and state employed legal administrators.
There are no employee contributions to the plan if enrolled before January 1, 2011. The benefits are funded solely by state contributions and an earned interest on those contributions.
The vesting period for this plan is 5 years
COLA adjustments are made on the employee’s anniversary date and equal a .50% increase yearly
Retirement age for MSEP
- Full Benefit retirement may be taken at age 65 with 15 years of credited service or when the age of the employee and years in service is equal to 80
- Early retirement may begin at age 55 with at least 10 years of service for a reduced rate
Retirement for MSEP 2000
- Full benefit retirement begins at age 62 with at least 5 years of service or age 48 if the sum of the age and years of service equals 80
- Early retirement begins at age 57 with five years of vested service
Also available under this program are temporary and permanent disability and death/survivor benefits that are personal choice pending. Choices are determined at the time of enrollment in the program.
General Employee’s Handbook for those hired after January 1, 2011 is also a defined benefit plan with a few differences.
The employer/employee contribution rate is established yearly by the Board of Trustees for the next fiscal year. Employees will receive a statement that will detail the information regarding the upcoming year and the details can also be found online on MOSERS website. Normally the employee contributions are 4% of payroll.
- Vesting period is 10 years service credit
- Full benefit retirement can be taken at age 67 with at least 10 years of credited service or at least age 55 when the age and years of service combined equal 90
- Early retirement begins at age 62 with at least 10 years of credited service
In both systems, basic life insurance is included at no cost and optional life insurance can be purchased for additional deduction costs. In addition, each system provides members with options for survivor benefits and disability both long-term and short-term.
Legislation and Elected Officials are automatically enrollment in a specific division of MOSERS upon taking office. Vesting requirements for legislation is 3 full biennial assemblies or 6 years. For elected officials the best period is 1 term which is normally 4 years.
- Member payroll contributions are 4%
- MSEP and MSEP 2000 retirees may take full benefit retirement at age 55 with vesting period satisfied or at least age 48 when age and years of service combined equal 80
- COLA adjustments are 4% per year until the 65% cap has been reached
- Other benefits include lifetime annuity payments and the choice of unreduced joint survivor benefits or 50% survivor benefits
- Disability coverage after vesting periods include short and long term disability
The Judicial Plan
Benefits will depend on when the employee took the position. Vesting begins the first day of employment regardless of start date.
Those employed before 2011- Normal retirement age is 62 with 12 years service, 60 with 15 years service or age 55 with 20 years credited service. Early retirement may be take starting at age 60 with 15 years service or age 62 with 12 years.
- Plan includes a guaranteed lifetime benefit payment and the choice of unreduced joint or 50% survivor benefits
- There are no member contributions within this group
- COLA is applied yearly at 4% until 65% cap has been reached
- Also included in the plan are several long and short term disability options
Employees with a start date after 2011- Full benefit retirement begins at age 67 with 12 years of service or age 60 with 20 years or more credited service. Early retirement may be taken when the employee reaches age 67 and has 12 years of service or age 62 with over 20 years of credited service.
- The plan includes a guaranteed lifetime payout monthly, two options for survivor benefits with either 100% or 50% payouts to survivors.
- Additional disability coverage is available for long and short term
- Contributions are 4% of employee per-tax payroll
- COLA is based on 80% of the percentage increase in the average cost of living and evaluated yearly
What are the Benefits in the PEERS/PSRS Teacher Retirement System?
Teachers and administrators of public schools, community colleges and Universities have a separate retirement benefit plan for employees. The program is separated into two plans, the PEERS and PSRS programs which differ slightly:
PEERS- Public Education Employee Retirement System has a five year vesting period. The program is funded through employee/employer contributions and investment earnings on accumulated contributions. Current contribution rate is 6.86%.
- Retirement with full benefits may be take at age 60 with at least five years of service, any age once service years reach 30 or when the age of the employee and the years of service combined reach a total of 80 which is called the ‘rule of 80’
- Early retirement begins at age 55 with at least five years of service or any age once 25 years of service have been met
- Disability and survivor benefit options are chosen at the date of enrollment.
- Teachers may also elect to continue working after retirement with a small reduction in benefits unless the employee has reached the age of 70 at which time benefits begin automatically
PSRS Retirement Program-the Public School Retirement Program also has a five year vesting period. Funding comes through employer/employee contributions and earned investment interest from the state on all contributions.
- Current employee payroll contribution is 14.5%
- Retirement with full benefits can be taken once the employee reaches age 60 with at least five years of service credits, at any age when 30 years service have been reached or when the employees age plus the number of years in service total 80
- Early retirement begins at age 55 with at least five years of service credited or any age once the employee reaches 25 years of service
- Additional benefits include the employee’s choice of several survivor benefit programs and long or short term disability for qualifying circumstances
- Employees can continue working with partial benefits until the maximum age of 70 is reached at which point full benefits will begin and work will no longer count towards credited service years
A COLA increase of 2% is set for the year 2014.