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Pension Funds

Missouri State Employees offers lump sums to 17,000 former employees yet to retire

Missouri State Employees' Retirement System, Jefferson City, is offering lump-sum payouts to 17,000 former state employees, said Candy Smith, pension fund spokeswoman.

The $9 billion pension fund is making the offer to about 17,000 former state employees who are vested in the pension plan but have yet to receive benefits, and left their positions on or after Sept. 1, 2002, and before July 1 of this year. The offer was made possible by Missouri state legislation passed earlier this year.

In April, when MOSERS began speaking with legislative officials about passing such legislation, Ms. Smith said the offer would help with both administrative costs and the funded status of the pension fund.

The offer window is now open and expires on Nov. 30. Lump-sum payments will take place over six months beginning in December, and will be "60% of the present value of the member's future normal retirement annuity," according to MOSERS' website. The average monthly retirement benefit of those receiving the offer is $450, and the average potential lump-sum payment would be $18,450.

MOSERS currently offers an ongoing lump-sum offer 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.

As of June 30, 2016, MOSERS' actuarial value of assets was $9.02 billion, while liabilities totaled $13.3 billion, for a funding ratio of 67.8%, according to the pension fund's most recent annual report.