SB 279 Modifies provisions relating to the retirement systems for state officers and employees
Sponsor: Kehoe
LR Number: 0814S.03I Fiscal Note available
Committee: Seniors, Families and Pensions
Last Action: 2/20/2013 - Second Read and Referred S Seniors, Families and Pensions Committee Journal Page: S332
Title: Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2013

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Current Bill Summary


SB 279 - This act modifies provisions on the retirement system for state officers and employees. The act modifies the definition of "annuity starting date" as used in the Missouri Department of Transportation and Highway Patrol Employees' Retirement System (MPERS) and the Missouri State Employees' Retirement System (MOSERS). It also changes the definition of "beneficiary" to include both persons or entities, and modifies the definition of "employee."

MPERS - The act modifies certain provisions that apply only to the "Missouri department of transportation and highway patrol employees' retirement system" (MPERS), as now specified as the plan's title under the act. Under current law, a member of MPERS may nominate a person to receive a portion of the member's annuity depending on the option selected by the member. This act changes the language from "person" to "beneficiary" when referencing the person nominated to receive the annuity.

The term "legal guardian" has been changed to "legal conservator" in situations where a member dies with five or more years of creditable service and there is no surviving spouse to receive reduced survivorship benefits, but there are still benefits otherwise payable to a child under eighteen.

The act specifies that if an error has been made to the amount that a member or beneficiary receives then the error will not be corrected unless discovered within ten years of the initial date of the error.

MOSERS - The act also makes changes to the Missouri State Employees' Retirement System (MOSERS). First, the act changes the requirement of a Social Security number to require instead a birth date in situations where a division of benefits is being ordered following the dissolution of marriage. The act also states that a division of benefits order shall not require the retirement system to continue payments to the alternate payee when the original member's benefit is suspended or waived.

An annual benefit increase shall not accrue while a retired member is elected or appointed to a state office, or is employed by a department for a position which requires less than one thousand forty hours per year of duties to be performed.

The act also changes the term "person" to "beneficiary" when referring to the person nominated by the member to receive annuity payments in lieu of the normal annuity.

The term "guardian" has been changed to "conservator" in situations where a member with a vested right to a normal annuity dies prior to retirement and there is no surviving spouse to receive reduced survivorship benefits, but there are still benefits otherwise payable to a child under eighteen.

The act specifies that if an error has been made to the amount that a member or beneficiary receives then the error will not be corrected unless discovered within ten years of the initial date of the error.

PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO BOTH SYSTEMS

The act changes the language which applies to both retirement systems. The term "state agency" has been changed to "department" in various provisions, and the act specifies that a member shall be credited with all unused sick leave as reported by the last department that employed the member prior to retirement.

When an amount is due following the death of a member, survivor, or beneficiary who dies after September 1, 2002, and the financial institution of the individual or entity is unable to accept the final payments due, then the amount shall be paid to a designated beneficiary. If there is no living person or entity or surviving spouse then the amount shall be paid to surviving children. Additionally, the act removes the language "their descendants" from the chain of persons or entities who can be paid the amount.

PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO SEVERAL RETIREMENT SYSTEMS

The act states that a transfer of creditable service shall become effective at the time the person files written notification that the person elects to transfer the credit.

YEAR 2000 PLAN

The act also makes modifications to language concerning the year 2000 plan. First, the act modifies the definition of "beneficiary" and states that any person who elects to change from the closed plan to the year 2000 plan shall remain in the closed plan until the person's annuity starting date.

A member who terminates employment and is eligible to receive an annuity under the year 2000 plan may have the unused sick leave, as recorded by the last department that employed the member, converted to credited service.

Benefits payable to a child under eighteen shall instead be paid to a surviving parent or legal conservator until the child reaches eighteen.

The act states that cost of living adjustments shall not accrue while a retiree is employed, and any future cost of living adjustments paid after the retiree ends employment will be paid the same month as the retiree's original annual benefit increases were paid.

When an annuity under the year 2000 plan is marital property and a court divides the annuity between the parties during marriage dissolution proceedings, the division shall not require the retirement system to continue payments to the alternate payee if the member's retirement benefit is suspended or waived.

COURTS-GENERAL PROVISIONS

Finally, the act modifies the definition of "beneficiary" as it is used in the termination of benefits received by a surviving spouse due to remarriage and application for restoration of surviving spouse as a beneficiary.

This act is substantially similar to SCS/HCS/HB 233 (2013).

JESSICA BAKER