Missouri State Employees' Retirement System's board authorized staff to discuss with state legislators the potential of allowing some former state employees who are vested in the $9 billion pension fund to take their benefits in a lump sum, said Candy Smith, pension fund spokeswoman.
Ms. Smith said the deadline for introducing new legislation during the current legislative session has passed, so anything that could be introduced would need to be done as an amendment to a bill already dealing with MOSERS. Staff will speak with legislators to “see if there is interest and a potential vehicle for us to pursue,” Ms. Smith said.
The lump sum offer would potentially affect about 19,000 former employees who are vested in the pension plan and left the pension fund on or after Sept. 1, 2002, and have not started collecting benefits Ms. Smith said the offer would help with both administrative costs and the funded status of the pension fund.
MOSERS currently offers a lump sum to former employees who are vested, are not within five years of receiving benefits and left MOSERS between Oct. 1, 1984, and Sept. 1, 2002.
The timeline for potential legislation is not yet known.
As of June 30, MOSERS' actuarial value of assets was $9.021 billion, while liabilities totaled $13.299 billion, for a funding ratio of 67.8%, according to the pension fund's most recent annual report.