SB 0371 Modifies and clarifies provisions of certain state retirement systems
LR Number:1480L.05T Fiscal Note:1480-05
Committee:Pensions and General Laws
Last Action:07/13/01 - Signed by Governor Journal page:
Title:HS HCS SB 371
Effective Date:August 28, 2001
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Current Bill Summary

HS/HCS/SB 371 - This act clarifies and makes minor modifications to the Missouri State Employees' Plan (MSEP), the Missouri State Employees' Retirement Plan 2000 (MSEP 2000), the Administrative Law Judges and Legal Advisors' Plan (ALJLAP), the Judicial Plan and the Highway Employees and Highway Patrol Retirement System (HEHPRS). Changes to the specific plans are broken down by plan as listed below:

DEFERRED RETIREMENT OPTION PLAN FOR STATE EMPLOYEES - A deferred retirement option plan is created for state employees under MOSERS and HEHPRS. Elected officials and members of the General Assembly are ineligible for the plan. EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2002 any member who continues to be employed for at least 2 years beyond their first eligibility date may elect to receive an annuity and lump sum payment or payments as defined in the plan.

MSEP and MSEP 2000 - The amount paid to an ex-spouse will be based on a percentage of the monthly annuity rather than a specific dollar amount. The percentage would apply to any lump sum distribution or cost-of-living adjustments. Legislators and statewide elected official will have the same death-in-service benefits and allows them to elect from the same menu of retirement options available to general employee members of the plan. The annuity starting date is clarified. The division of pensions is allowed as of a date specified in a court order or agreed by the parties. If a member fails to make an election within 90 days of the annuity starting date the retirement application will be nullified and must file a new application. If a retiree is rehired as an employee and works more than 1000 hours the retiree will not receive an annuity or accrue additional service and the system will recover benefits paid.

MSEP - The division of benefits order will be based on the value of the MSEP benefit but any increases after retirement will be based on the plan elected at retirement. Language regarding military service credit is clarified and reflects current federal law requirements for military service credit. Proof of service requirements for circuit clerks is clarified. Legislators and statewide elected officials will have the same death-in-service benefits and which allows them to elect from the same menu of retirement options available to general employee members of the plan. The annuity starting date is clarified.

Members of the Board of Trustees are allowed to continue serving until they resign or are replaced by new appointees. Definitions of disability and other rules established by the Board of Trustees may be included in contracts between the Board and other entities. The act modifies responsibilities, obligations and liabilities of insurers or service organizations and clarifies appeal procedures. Unused sick leave is changed from 21 days to 168 hours for purposes of crediting service.

This act would allow for complete transferability of service between MOSERS and HTEHPRS. HTEHPRS is authorized to provide worker's compensation and liability insurance.

MSEP 2000 - Pay is redefined to include any nonrecurring single sum payment. A member may not purchase additional service unless they have met the 5 year requirement. Members retiring under the Rule of 80 are eligible to retain any optional life insurance held immediately prior to retirement. Eligibility will cease at the earliest age for social security eligibility.

The designation of agent language is expanded to include the ALJLAP and Judicial plan. The designation is effective only upon the disability or incapacity of the benefit recipient as determined by the person's physician.

JUDICIAL PLAN - Any judge who has creditable service under Chapter 104 and Chapter 476, RSMo, shall make a one-time election upon application to receive all retirement benefits for that service under either Chapter 104 or Chapter 476, RSMo. The contribution rate used for calculating purchase of military service for a judge shall be the computed rate on the date of employment.

STATE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES - This act would create a defined contribution plan for state colleges and universities for teaching personnel, instructors, assistant professors, associate professors, professors, and academic administrators holding faculty rank. MOSERS is authorized to establish the plan, select a third party administrator, select investment products, and establish contribution rates. This portion is similar to SB 389.

MISCELLANEOUS - Any person appointed as a legal advisor who is qualified to receive retirement benefits shall be appointed as a special consultant and shall be eligible for benefits pursuant to sections 287.812 to 287.856. For purposes of public retirement systems the term spouse only recognizes marriage between a man and a woman.