HB 322 -- State Retirement Systems
This bill makes several changes to the Missouri State Employees'
Retirement System (MOSERS), the retirement system for the
Department of Transportation and the Highway Patrol, judges, and
administrative law judges and legal advisors. Many of the
bill's provisions clarify or amplify existing policy rather than
making substantive changes.
The bill adds definitions applicable to all retirement systems
for "biennial assembly" and "full biennial assembly."
Provisions that explain how to calculate the effect of military
leave are added to the definition for average compensation,
while the definition for military service is broadened to
include the Army and Air National Guard under certain
circumstances and to include categories designated by the
President in war or emergencies. The bill clarifies that normal
retirement age, currently calculated on the basis of 65 years of
age and 4 years of creditable service, may also be calculated on
the basis of age 65 and 5 years of creditable service by a
member who has left employment and is entitled to a deferred
normal annuity. For the water patrol, a similar clarification
is made for the normal retirement age, to age 55 and 5 years of
Anyone who left employment before August 28, 1993, covered by
MOSERS, the transportation and highway patrol, administrative
law judges', or judicial retirement plan is entitled as a
special consultant to purchase or transfer creditable service.
Anyone who left employment having earned creditable service
under the MOSERS system, administrative law judges' or judicial
systems before August 13, 1986, may, as a special consultant,
make a one-time transfer of creditable service.
New language prohibits a survivor or beneficiary from collecting
benefits when charged with the murder of a member of MOSERS or
the judicial or administrative law judges and legal advisors'
system. The bill also deletes references in several sections to
"unemancipated minor" children under 21, leaving the phrase
"children under 21."
When a division of benefits order is issued for a member's
benefits, it must be calculated as of the date of the
dissolution of marriage, rather than the date of the order. In
changes to the service vesting provisions, for members who
terminated employment on or after April 1, 1984, but before
September 28, 1992, the beginning date is corrected to October
1, 1984. The bill clarifies that a member who has left and then
re-entered service for one or more continuous years will have
prior vested service combined with current service. A vested
member who has left employment for 6 months or longer may
receive the present value of a deferred annuity; current law
does not specify a length of time that an employee must have
been separated from service. Any member who left employment
before August 13, 1986, who also had honorable service in the
armed forces and is otherwise ineligible for armed forces credit
may make a one-time purchase of creditable prior service in the
armed forces as a special consultant. A limit on the period of
prior creditable service that may be restored when a former
employee returns and completes one year of continuous service is
removed; currently forfeited service before October 1, 1984, may
not be restored.
The bill clarifies that a member who has served in at least 3
full biennial assemblies who left service before August 28,
1994, may receive, as a special consultant, credit for service
in the general assembly. Language is added that clarifies that
the surviving spouse of a General Assembly member or elective
state officer must have been married for the 2 years immediately
preceding the death of the member. The surviving spouse of a
person who had served in the General Assembly or statewide
elective office and retired on or after September 1, 1976, and
terminated employment before August 28, 1988, may become a
special consultant, entitled to 50% of the monthly annuity the
member was receiving at the time of the member's death.
The bill clarifies that members who continue to be employed by
an agency under the system or serving in the General Assembly
after age 65 will receive cost-of-living adjustments for the
period between the time the member achieved age 65 and the time
of termination of employment; current law covers the period
between age 65 and retirement. In options available in lieu of
the normal annuity, the provisions concerning the spouse of the
member are clarified to mean the spouse to whom the member was
married at the date of retirement. The surviving spouse may
name a beneficiary for a final payment of benefit; new language
permits a lump sum distribution if the beneficiary dies before
receiving the remainder of the 120 or 60 monthly payments,
depending on the option chosen. New language permits a member to
select a beneficiary to receive a final payment if there is no
survivor annuity payable.
Changes to the disability retirement provisions clarify that a
member is permitted to accrue creditable service toward
retirement until the member retires or is no longer disabled;
new language allows members to continue their life insurance
coverage during this period. If a member dies before retiring,
the surviving spouse will receive survivorship benefits
calculated as if the member had retired on the date of death.
The limit of life insurance coverage is raised from 3 to 6 times
annual compensation, and effective January 1, 1998, spouse and
dependent coverage is available, at the member's expense.
Obsolete language concerning limitations related to members'
medical insurance benefits is deleted.
The attendance policy for members of the MOSERS board of
trustees currently requires each absence to be excused and
dismissal after 3 consecutive unexcused absences; under this
bill, the excusal would be required at the third meeting and
each meeting thereafter. Service of legal process may be made
on the executive director or the director's designees, rather
than the assistant executive director.
MOSERS AND TRANSPORTATION/HIGHWAY PATROL SYSTEMS
New provisions permit the transfer of creditable service by the
survivor, when a member dies before retirement. Member
contributions that remain unclaimed for 4 years will revert to
the credit of the system. The unclaimed funds may be applied
for after 4 years have elapsed, but they will not bear interest
after the date the funds reverted.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGES AND LEGAL ADVISORS
New provisions specify that calculation of an annuity for an
administrative law judge or legal advisor shall be based on the
law in effect when the member left employment.
Judges who left employment before August 13, 1988, may become
special consultants eligible for retirement under the general
eligibility requirements of 476.520 or the early retirement
provisions of 476.545 RSMo. The computation of retirement
compensation is clarified; currently the law states that
calculation is based on the law in effect when a judge retires,
for the highest court on which the retired judge has served.
Under the bill, calculation will be based on the law in effect
at the judge's termination from employment as a judge, for the
highest judicial position the judge has held. Similar language
regarding calculation of benefits based on the law in effect at
the time of termination of employment is added to the section
concerning administration of benefits. Special commissioners
are subject to certain provisions of Chapter 476 concerning
beneficiaries. Special consultants who were eligible to retire
on August 28, 1995, who continued working but who retired before
August 28, 1996, are eligible for cost-of-living adjustments
dating from their eligibility for retirement.
Missouri House of Representatives' Home Page
Last Updated August 11, 1997 at 4:11 pm