Missouri State University

Retirement Information

Thinking about retirement? This web page provides specific information on a wide range of subjects regarding retirement. If you are looking for information on one of the retirement topics below, you can easily access the information by clicking on the topic.

Retirement Plans:

Upon employment, all full-time faculty and staff are automatically enrolled in one of the University's two non-contributory retirement plans; either the Missouri State Employees' Retirement System, referred to as MOSERS, or the College and University Retirement Plan, referred to as CURP. MOSERS is a defined benefit plan which requires five years of creditable service for vesting, whereas CURP is a defined contribution plan with immediate vesting. All staff employees, and faculty hired before July 1, 2002, are enrolled in MOSERS. Faculty and full-time academic administrators hired after July 1, 2002 are enrolled in CURP.

MOSERS: Employees who are planning to retire are strongly encouraged to attend a MOSERS pre-retirement seminar which is free, on campus, and scheduled in October of each year. Eligibility and length of service requirements for retirement are described fully in the MOSERS General Employees' Retirement Handbooks. Applications for retirement must be submitted to MOSERS at least 30 days before the desired retirement date; failing to do so will delay retirement. Employees are also encouraged to contact the Office of Human Resources 90 days prior to their anticipated retirement date to schedule an appointment to be briefed about retirement relevant matters and to prepare the application for retirement. The Office of Human Resources will assist in preparing all relevant retirement paperwork. During the appointment, a representative from Human Resources will explain the various retirement plans and options. Employees should bring one of the following documents as proof-of-age:

  • Birth certificate (original)
  • Military form DD-214
  • Passport (current or expired)
  • Valid Missouri driver's license

Employees who are married must also bring:

  • Spouse's proof-of-age document (from list above)
  • Marriage certificate

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CURP: Eligibility, enrollment, and investment options under the College and University Retirement Plan (CURP) are described fully in the College and University Retirement Plan Handbook. A CURP member is considered to have retired if he/she is age 57 with at least 5 years of service in CURP at the time of termination of employment from Missouri State University, or is at least age 48 with his/her age and years of service to Missouri State University equaling 80 or more at the time of termination of employment from Missouri State University and is eligible for and receiving a retirement benefit from CURP. Since CURP members are immediately vested, they may begin to receive income at any time after termination of employment. Benefits will be based upon the person's account balance (contributions plus investment earnings or losses) at the time of retirement. It is important, however, that CURP members understand any tax consequences that may apply to their benefit. Because CURP members self-direct the contributions to their accounts, questions regarding individual account balances, cash value of the account, investment options, investment advice, or general information about the accounts should be addressed to the TIAA-CREF Telephone Counseling Center at (800) 842-2776. CURP participants can access their individual accounts, update their records, or change asset allocations online at http://www.tiaa-cref.org/curp .  CURP members should contact TIAA-CREF for information about applying for retirement.  CURP members who plan to retire are encouraged to contact the Office of Human Resources and make an appointment to receive information about other retirement-relevant matters at least 30 days prior to retirement.

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Staff Retirements:

Staff employees may retire at any time during the year provided they are eligible to retire and they have submitted their retirement application to MOSERS at least 30 days before the selected retirement date. Under MOSERS’ regulations, regardless of what day a person stops working, his/her retirement date can only be on the first day of a month, e.g., January 1, February 1, March 1, April 1, etc.

  • Submission of Resignation Form: Staff employees electing to retire must first complete a Resignation Form and submit the form to their supervisor for signature. The Resignation Form is available in the Office of Human Resources and should be submitted at least 45 days prior to the date of termination. The Resignation Form is not the MOSERS Retirement Application. 
  • Payment for unused vacation: At the time of retirement, the University will pay the employee for any unused vacation days, minus applicable taxes, through a supplemental payment normally by the end of the following month . This payment is not included in the MOSERS retirement benefit calculation. 
  • Payment for unused sick leave: At the time of retirement, staff are paid for 40% (up to a maximum of 48 days) of their unused sick days with the remaining days reported to MOSERS for service credit. The amount paid is not included in the MOSERS retirement benefit calculation.
  • Working After Retirement:  Occasionally, staff employees who retire from Missouri State University have the opportunity to work for the University in a part-time capacity.  Working part-time for Missouri State University once a staff member has retired is permissible and will not result in the loss of retirement benefits, provided the retiree does not work 1,000 hours or more in a 12-month period.  If a retiree works 1,000 hours or more in a 12-month period, the University is required to notify MOSERS and as a result of the notification, MOSERS will stop the retirement payments to the retiree.   

    MOSERS does not specify how working under 1,000 hours can be scheduled.  As an example, a retiree could work 20 hours per week for 49 weeks of the year and not have worked 1,000 hours.  Another example would be a retiree who works 40 hours per week for 24 weeks of the year, (a total of 960 hours of work) without reaching 1,000 hours of work.  When a retiree is re-hired, the Office of Human Resources monitors the hours the retiree works in order to know if/when the retiree has worked 1,000 hours or more so that MOSERS can be notified. 

    In rare instances, a staff employee returns to work for Missouri State University on a full-time basis.  When this happens, the University notifies MOSERS of the retiree’s re-employment as a full-time employee and MOSERS stops the payment of retirement benefits to the retiree.  As a full-time employee, the retiree is eligible for all insurance benefits as he/she had prior to retirement.  When the person stops working full-time and returns to retirement status, the University notifies MOSERS of this change so that the person’s retirement payments can be re-started.

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Faculty Retirements:

Generally, there are two times during an academic year when faculty members can retire; (a) at the end of the spring semester, or (b) at the end of the fall semester. Academic administrators (i.e., deans, department heads, academic program directors, etc.) are on 12-month appointments which generally end each June 30th. Such administrators who decide to retire usually retire at the end of the 12-month appointment period, i.e., July 1st. However, there are other retirement date possibilities for academic administrators and they should contact the Office of Human Resources as soon as possible after deciding to retire so that relevant information about retirement dates can be explained and discussed.  Since academic administrators earn vacation and paid sick leave while serving in their 12-month positions, the procedures governing payment of vacation and sick leave at retirement, as delineated above for staff employees, also apply to academic administrators with some modifications.

Summer Appointment and Supplemental Pays:   All of the faculty member's salary earned through summer teaching appointments is reported to MOSERS or CURP and the University remits a contribution on the amount paid.  Additionally, any salary which a faculty member receives as a supplemental pay is also reported to MOSERS or CURP and the University remits a contribution on those amounts as well.

Cash awards for teaching, research or service are not considered wages and thus not reported to MOSERS or CURP for retirement contributions.

As a faculty member considering when to retire (spring or fall), it may be helpful to understand how the payment of your earned salary is handled by the University under the two opportunities to retire. Faculty members have 9-month appointments, yet receive salary over 12 months of the year. Any teaching done in summer is under a separate appointment and the salary paid for it is in addition to the annual academic year salary.  (Note:   Under MOSERS' regulations, a person may not retire in a month if he/she is still considered to be a full-time employee of the employer, i.e., the University.)

  • Faculty members electing to retire at the end of the fall semester have earned part of their salary for the academic year and are owed salary through January. Most faculty members wishing to retire at the end of the fall semester would normally retire February 1.
  • Faculty members electing to retire at the end of the spring semester have earned 100% of their salary for the academic year but are still owed salary for June and July. Most faculty members wishing to retire at the end of the spring semester can retire June 1 or August 1.  
  • Teaching after retirement: Many faculty members who retire continue to teach for the University. They are appointed as Per Course Faculty in their department.  The teaching load for Per Course Faculty is limited to six credit hours a semester.   Thus, teaching as Per Course Faculty will not jeopardize a faculty member’s MOSERS retirement because he/she does not teach more than half of the normal teaching load for full-time faculty. Since the normal teaching load for full-time faculty is considered to be 12 credit hours per semester, retired faculty should not teach more than a 6-credit hour load in any semester or 12 credit hours in a 12-month period to avoid the possibility of their MOSERS retirement payment being stopped due to working full time.

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Retiree Medical Insurance:

Effective January 1, 2008, faculty and staff members who retire from the University and who are eligible for Medicare (i.e., at leastage 65), cannot keep their Missouri State University medical insurance.  

Faculty and staff members who not yet eligible for Medicare when they retire may keep their Missouri State University medical insurance until the month they reach age 65, provided they pay the premiums for the coverage. Upon reaching age 65, retired faculty and staff members will have Medicare as their primary medical insurance; they cannot keep their Missouri State University medical insurance, not even as a secondary insurance to Medicare.

Faculty and staff members who are providing Missouri State University medical insurance coverage for their spouse at the time they retire may continue to do so, under the following rules:

  • If the spouse is not yet eligible for Medicare, the spouse may be covered under the Missouri State University medical insurance until the month that he/she becomes eligible for Medicare, even if the spouse will not become eligible for Medicare for several years and even though the faculty or staff member cannot keep the insurance.
  •  A faculty or staff member’s spouse who is eligible for Medicare at the time the faculty or staff member retires cannot be covered under the Missouri State University medical insurance.

The University recognizes that finding other private medical insurance to compliment faculty and staff members' Medicare coverage can be complicated due to the range of insurance options available to people covered by Medicare. Therefore, the University has engaged Med-Pay to assist Medicare-eligible retirees. Med-Pay will explain the types and levels of private health insurance available in our local area and will answer retirees’ questions about coverages. Med-Pay will also assist retirees in selecting a prescription drug plan (Part "D").

The medical insurance premium rates for retiree medical insurance are based upon the amount which the University contributes for active employee insurance. The type of coverage that retirees may keep is determined by the type of coverage they had while employed at Missouri State University. If an employee retires with just single coverage (i.e., no spouse or family coverage through University’s plan), then he/she may keep just single coverage; he/she may not pick up spouse or family coverage subsequent to retiring even if he/she has a change in family status (example – a single person who marries after retiring and now has a spouse). Employees who have spouse or family coverage while they are employed at Missouri State University may keep that same coverage when they retire. Should the spouse or family member(s) pre-decease the retiree, he/she can reduce his/her coverage to single coverage. Once the coverage has been reduced to single coverage, it can not be changed to spouse or family coverage should the retiree re-marry and gain a new spouse and/or dependents.

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Retiree Dental Insurance:

Upon retirement, faculty and staff members may elect to keep their Missouri State University dental insurance under the mandate of the federal COBRA law (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985), but only for a limited period of time, provided they pay the required premiums.  Dental insurance coverage may be continued for up to a maximum of 18 months or until the faculty or staff member reaches Medicare age (i.e., 65), whichever occurs first. 

Faculty and staff members who are providing Missouri State University dental insurance coverage for their spouse and/or family members at the time they retire may continue to do so in accordance with the COBRA mandate.

The dental insurance premium rates for COBRA dental insurance are based upon the amount which the University contributes for active employee insurance and include a 2% administrative fee allowed under COBRA.

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Continuing Life Insurance:

Upon retirement, faculty and staff members may elect to keep their life insurance coverage, without having to submit proof that they are in good health, provided they pay the required premiums. The coverage is available through the University’s contract with Hartford Life Insurance Company and is term life insurance. The amount of coverage which a retiree may keep is based upon the person’s age at retirement and is limited to a choice of 50%, 75% or 100% of the amount of coverage the person had while employed at Missouri State University. Retirees who are age 65 or older at retirement may keep 50%, 75% or 100% of 25% of the amount of coverage they had while employed. Examples:

  1. an employee who is age 65 has $50,000 of term life insurance coverage while employed at Missouri State University. Upon retirement, that person may keep 50%, 75% or 100% of $13,000 (i.e., 25% of the $50,000 = $12,500 rounded up to $13,000).
  2. an employee who is less than 65 years of age at retirement has $50,000 of term life insurance coverage while employed at Missouri State. Upon retirement, that person may keep 50%, 75% or 100% of $50,000 (i.e., a choice of $25,000, or $38,000, or $50,000).

The life insurance premium rates are based upon the person’s age and are set for each 5-year age bracket, e.g., 50-54; 55-59; 60-64; 65-69, etc. When a retiree reaches the next 5-year age bracket, his/her life insurance premium rate increases to the amount for that age bracket. In other words, the life insurance premium rates are not "locked in" for the life of the policy.

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Continuing Long-term Care Insurance:

Some employees elect to purchase long-term care insurance offered through the University’s contract with Prudential Life Insurance Company. Since that coverage is totally paid by the employee without any contribution by the University, faculty and staff may keep their coverage upon retirement.

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Participation in the Cafeteria Plan

Employees who participate in the cafeteria plan and who retire during the calendar year have the option of using the cafeteria plan for the payment of certain insurance premiums and other medical expenses on a tax-exempt basis.

  • Payment of Insurance Premiums: If an employee is participating in the cafeteria plan for the purpose of paying his/her monthly medical and/or dental insurance premium for family coverage, and he/she retires during the calendar year (i.e., January – December), he/she can pay the insurance premiums through the cafeteria plan even though he/she has retired and is no longer an active employee of the University.

    Example: An employee, who elects to retire September 1, has family medical insurance with the premiums paid through participating in the cafeteria plan. Just prior to retiring, the employee enrolls in the University’s Retiree Medical Insurance Plan for him/herself and family. The monthly medical insurance premiums for the remainder of that calendar year can be paid through the cafeteria plan only if the employee agrees to pre-pay the premiums for the remaining months of the calendar year (Sept-Dec) from his/her monthly pay during the months of May – August. In other words, rather than paying one premium in each month of those months, the employee would have a double-deduction of the premium for each of those four months. Thus, upon retiring on September 1, the employee’s (retiree’s) medical insurance premiums for him/herself and family have been paid through the remainder of the calendar year, and paid on a pre-tax basis. 
  • Using the Flexible Spending Account: If an employee is participating in the flexible spending account (FSA) of the cafeteria plan to be reimbursed for non-covered medical and/or dental expenses, and he/she retires during the calendar year (i.e., January – December), he/she can pre-pay the monthly contribution through the cafeteria plan and have access to those funds for the remainder of the calendar year, even though he/she has retired and is no longer an active employee of the University.

    Example: An employee, who elects to retire September 1, participates in the flexible medical spending account of the cafeteria plan. When the employee enrolled in the plan during open enrollment, he/she determined that his/her non-reimbursable medical expenses for the calendar year would be $1,200. So, the employee elected to have $100/month deposited in his/her flexible spending account through the cafeteria plan. By the end of August (his/her last month as an active employee), the employee will have contributed $800 to his/her account, leaving him/her $400 short of the amount the employee calculated he/she would need for the year - $1,200. If the employee truly needs that $400 for medical expenses, he/she could have an additional $100 deducted from his/her pay each month for the four months before retirement, thus having contributed $1,200 to his/her account for that year. Having contributed the full $1,200 to his/her account, the employee will have access to the full $1,200 through the end of the year. If the employee decided not to contribute the $400, and then had a medical expense after August 31, he/she can not be reimbursed from his/her flexible spending account for that medical expenses even though there are funds in the account. The $800 contributed during January-August can only reimburse medical expenses that are incurred between January 1 and August 31.

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Benefits Extended to All Retirees:

All retirees are entitled to certain benefits including:  a retired employee's identification card (BearPass Card), use of the University's Taylor Health and Wellness Center and pharmacy, personal check cashing privileges at the Bursar's Office, library privileges at Meyer Library, use of campus recreational facilities, employee discounts on purchases in the Baker Bookstore, admission to athletic events and cultural programs at reduced employee rates, and admission to convocations and lectures.  Any retiree may enroll in one college course each semester and have his/her required student fees paid by the University.   This fee waiver benefit can be assigned to eligible dependent children of the retiree, but cannot be assigned to the retiree's spouse.   When this benefit is assigned to an eligible dependent child, that child may receive up to 15 credit hours per academic year, the same benefit provided to active employees' children.

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