At A Glance. The Basics of Your Retirement System. Contact Us. Legal Disclaimer. PO Box 268 Jefferson City, MO

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1 Contact Us At A Glance The Basics of Your Retirement System PO Box 268 Jefferson City, MO W. Truman Blvd. Jefferson City, MO (573) or toll free (800) Website: Legal Disclaimer This brochure explains your rights, benefits and responsibilities as a member of the Public School Retirement System of Missouri (PSRS). It is intended to serve as a ready source of information about the System and not as a legal document or a substitute for the law. If differences appear between the law and the brochure, the law must prevail. The System is governed by the laws found in Chapter 169, Revised Statutes of Missouri, the Missouri Code of State Regulations (CSR) Title 16, Division 10, and in the Public School Laws of Missouri published by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Similarly, the law takes precedence over any oral statements made by a representative of PSRS regarding your rights, benefits and responsibilities as a PSRS member. For further information, please refer to the PSRS Member Handbook, contact us at our office or visit us online. 13MSP0040

2 Welcome to Your Retirement System The Public School Retirement System of Missouri (PSRS) has helped more than 78,000 Missouri educators and their families achieve financial security during retirement. PSRS was established in 1946 to provide certificated public school employees and their families with a significant and stable source of retirement income, disability and survivor benefits. We recognize that retirement may not be uppermost in your mind at this stage in your career. But at PSRS, we believe that planning in advance is essential to achieve a financially secure and enjoyable retirement. We encourage you to learn how PSRS operates and understand the benefits you are entitled to receive. There are resources available to you online, or by contacting us. A short list of resources for quick answers to your PSRS questions is included near the end of this brochure. Lifetime Benefits With Five-Year Vesting As a PSRS member, once you have earned five years of qualified service with PSRS, you are vested and can receive lifetime retirement benefits when eligible. In most cases, the retirement benefits paid to PSRS members exceed the funds they contribute to the System while working. In fact, most PSRS retirees recover all their contributions within the first five years of retirement. Membership Offers Other Important Advantages Disability benefits are available if you have five years of eligible employment and cannot work due to a disability that appears to be total and permanent. Survivor benefits may be payable upon your death with as little as two years of service. If you take leave from employment for military service, you may be able to get service with PSRS (to count toward your retirement) for the leave time. Purchasing service with PSRS may allow you to reach vested status, retirement eligibility or qualify for a larger benefit. Reinstating service allows you to buy back service for a membership you previously forfeited by taking a refund of your account balance. As a retiree, a $5,000 Death Benefit is payable to a beneficiary at your death. During retirement, you receive cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) on your retirement benefits. Your contributions and interest are always returned to you or a beneficiary. The Importance of a Defined Benefit Plan As a PSRS member, you are a member of a defined benefit, or DB, retirement plan. DB plans provide members like you predictable income for life, no matter how long you live. The term defined benefit is derived from the fact that your lifetime retirement benefits are determined by a pre-defined formula that includes: A benefit factor set by Missouri law Your salary (including employer-paid health, dental and vision insurance premiums) Your years of service with PSRS Unlike defined contribution, or DC, retirement plans such as IRAs, 403(b) or 401(k) plans, you don t have to make investment decisions regarding your retirement funds. As a DB plan, PSRS can more effectively reduce investment risk, and investment decisions are handled by PSRS professional investment staff and managers. 2 PSRS At A Glance The Basics of Your Retirement System 3

3 And, because PSRS is a DB plan, your retirement benefits are payable for your lifetime. The amount of money in your PSRS account when you retire does not have a bearing on the amount of benefits you can receive. While DC retirement plans are an important piece of your overall retirement savings, they provide benefits based on account balances in those plans at retirement. That means a retirement based on DC plan savings alone can run out and leave you without the retirement income you need. Want to keep track of your salaries, service and account balance? Visit and create a username and password to access the secure portion of our website. There you can see the most current information about your retirement account. Financial Protection for Your Family In addition to the emotional stress caused by the loss of a loved one, it can also put significant stress on a family s finances, particularly when this occurs during the working years. To help ease this burden, PSRS offers valuable financial protection for your family if you die before retirement. The benefits payable depend on your family situation, employment status and years of service with PSRS. Always keep your beneficiary designations with PSRS up-to-date to ensure benefits payable to your survivors are distributed according to your wishes. You can update your beneficiary designation at any time using the Pre-Retirement Beneficiary Designation form available on our website, or by requesting one from our office. How Your Retirement Benefits are Funded You contribute a percentage of your salary to PSRS to help fund your benefits. The contribution rate is set each school year by the PSRS/PEERS Board of Trustees. It is based on the recommendation of the Systems actuary after the annual actuarial valuation has been completed. For , the contribution rate is 14.5% of your salary. Members who hold positions that require Social Security withholding contribute to PSRS at two-thirds the contribution rate, or 9.67%. PSRS contributions are automatically deducted from your pay and are tax-deferred (not taxed until paid to you as monthly benefits or as a lump-sum payment). Your funds are credited to your individual account, and you earn interest on your funds every June 30. Your employer contributes an equal percentage to PSRS. Employer funds are placed in a general reserve account used to help fund benefits for retirees and beneficiaries of deceased members. As a member, you have this guarantee: your contributions and the accrued interest are always returned to you or your beneficiary in the form of monthly benefits or a lump-sum payment. Want to see your current beneficiary designation? Visit and log in to your secure online account to view your beneficiary designation anytime. 4 PSRS At A Glance The Basics of Your Retirement System 5

4 Disability Benefits If you develop an illness or sustain an injury that prevents you from working, you may be eligible for disability benefits through PSRS. The cause of your disability does not have to be work-related. Until you reach age 60, your PSRS disability benefits are payable, as long as you are unable to earn a livelihood in any occupation and you do not return to work for a PSRS-covered employer. Upon reaching age 60, your benefits are payable regardless of your disability status, unless you exceed the limits on working after retirement for PSRS-covered employers. Disability qualifications: Have at least five years of PSRS-covered employment Under age 60 Become permanently disabled while working in PSRS-covered employment, or within one year after, if the condition causing the disability begins while you were employed Incapable of earning a livelihood in any occupation (currently defined as earning $18,000 or more per year) Not working for any PSRS-covered employer When Can I Retire? You are eligible for normal, or full, retirement at: Age 60 with at least five years of service Any age with at least 30 years of service Rule of 80: when the sum of your age plus your years of service equals 80 or more Early retirement options are available, but benefit amounts under these options are reduced. You are eligible for early retirement: At age 55 with at least five years of service At any age with at least 25 years of service If you work in PSRS-covered employment for 31 or more years and retire on or before July 1, 2014, you are eligible for a slightly higher retirement calculation. If you work three years beyond normal retirement, you have the option to choose a one-time, Partial Lump Sum Option (PLSO) payment at retirement with reduced lifetime monthly benefits. Calculating Lifetime Retirement Benefits PSRS retirement benefits are based on a formula consisting of three components: 1. Benefit Factor, which is set by Missouri law and can only be changed through legislation. The factor used in your benefit calculation depends on the type of retirement benefits for which you are eligible. The benefit factor for normal, or full, retirement is 2.5%. 2. Final Average Salary is determined by adding your three highest consecutive annual salaries (including employer-paid health, dental and vision insurance premiums), and dividing the total by 36 months to arrive at a monthly average. 3. Years of Service include service earned for PSRScovered employment and any service you reinstate or purchase, as permitted by law. Example: If your final average salary is $4,250 and you have 30 years of service, your lifetime benefit is $3,188. Final Lifetime Benefit Average Years Single Life Factor x Salary (FAS) x of Service = Benefit 2.5% x $4,250 x 30 = $3,188 Note: If you are also covered by Social Security and paying into PSRS at two-thirds the contribution rate, your benefits will be calculated at two-thirds the normal benefit amount. Wondering how much your benefit will be? Use our online Benefit Estimate Calculator at to get an idea. 6 PSRS At A Glance The Basics of Your Retirement System 7

5 Benefit Payment Options At retirement, you have six different benefit plans from which to choose. These plans give you the flexibility to provide varying levels of financial protection for your family after your death. Benefits under all the plans are payable for your lifetime, and, in some cases, for the lifetime of your beneficiary. PSRS benefit plans fall into three general categories: The Single Life Plan provides the largest lifetime monthly benefit to you with no continuing monthly payments to a beneficiary after your death. Three Joint-and-Survivor Plans provide a reduced lifetime monthly benefit to you. Upon your death, 100%, 75% or 50% of your benefit is paid for life to a beneficiary. If your beneficiary passes away before you, your benefit pops-up to the amount you would have received under the Single Life plan. Two Term-Certain Plans provide slightly reduced lifetime monthly benefits to you. Monthly benefits are paid to your beneficiary only if you pass away within a certain period of time, or term, from your retirement date (60 or 120 months). If you pass away before you have received the minimum number of monthly benefits in the term, the remaining benefits in the term are paid to your beneficiary. If you live beyond the term, your beneficiary does not receive any monthly benefits after your death. Want to see how your benefits under the different plans could turn out? Use our online Benefit Estimate Calculator at Your Post-Retirement Income Will It Be Enough? Financial experts agree that during retirement, the average individual needs to replace 70% to 90% of his or her preretirement income to maintain the same standard of living during retirement. Your PSRS benefit, Social Security (if you are eligible), and other pensions and savings should all be considered part of this replacement income figure. The earlier you start planning for retirement, the better prepared you will be to achieve the level of post-retirement income you desire. The percentage you personally need depends on your plans and lifestyle before and after retirement. During your retirement years, do you anticipate your income and your expenditures to increase or decrease? For example, you ll likely need more money in retirement if you plan to travel and see the world than if your plans include spending leisurely time close to home. You can perform a simple calculation to determine the percentage of your income that will be replaced by your PSRS benefit. Example: If you want to receive 75% of your salary after you retire, you need 30 years of PSRS service. See the calculation below. Benefit Factor Used in Your PSRS Retirement Years of Benefit Service at Replacement Calculation x Retirement = Percentage 2.5% x 30 = 75% 8 PSRS At A Glance The Basics of Your Retirement System 9

6 Purchasing More Service With PSRS Because your service retirement benefit amount is based, in part, on the number of years of service you have at retirement, some members choose to purchase additional service with PSRS. If you are, or become eligible to purchase service, it can help you: Vest your membership earlier Protect loved ones if you pass away before retirement Retire earlier Receive a greater benefit amount There are different types of service that you may be eligible to purchase, including: PSRS service previously forfeited due to a refund of contributions and interest Military, sick or maternity/paternity leave Employment with other public and private organizations Each type of service purchase has its own eligibility requirements. Detailed information can be obtained from PSRS. Social Security Most PSRS members do not pay Social Security taxes on their earnings while employed by PSRS-covered employers. Members employed in certain positions (determined by your employer and the Social Security Administration) pay into PSRS at a two-thirds rate, and also pay into Social Security at the full rate. If you have other employment that is covered by Social Security in addition to your PSRS-covered employment you may be subject to two federal laws that can cause a reduction in your Social Security benefits: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) The Government Pension Offset (GPO) We recommend that you contact your local Social Security office, call the Social Security Administration at (800) or visit for further information PSRS At A Glance The Basics of Your Retirement System 11

7 PSRS Resource Directory: How to Get More Information Member Handbook The Member Handbook provides you with information on your rights, benefits and responsibilities as a PSRS member. It is available on the PSRS website. Paper copies may be requested by contacting PSRS. Member Statement Each fall, you receive a Member Statement. It includes the amount of your contributions, accumulated interest, years of service, salary history and your beneficiary designation. Up-to-date account information is also available on our website. Member Newsletter As a PSRS member, you receive newsletters to keep you informed about your retirement system, including service purchase information and deadlines, upcoming seminars, legislation related to the retirement system, changes in contribution rates, and planning for retirement. Reviewing the newsletters will assist you in making good decisions for your future. You can sign up to receive the newsletter by just visit and log in to your account. Information Center Trained specialists are available every business day to assist you with your PSRS questions. Call toll free (800) , between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Website In addition to giving you online access to your account information, our website, provides 24-hour access to many retirement system forms and publications. You can use online calculators to estimate retirement benefits or purchase costs and view videos on a variety of subjects. Retirement Education and Counseling Free educational programs are available to members at all career stages. Employers can set up in-service meetings and mini-seminars for professional development days by contacting PSRS. The Early/Mid-Career In-Service provides members who are just starting out, or who are in the middle of their careers, with a general overview of PSRS, including the many advantages of being a part of a defined benefit retirement plan. We discuss some of the more important aspects of the Systems, such as vesting, purchasing and reinstating service, and a variety of available resources. The Pre-Retirement In-Service is for those members within seven years of retirement eligibility, but all members, as well as their guests, are welcome to attend. We cover information to be aware of when considering retirement, including the types of benefit plans offered, when to file paperwork and considerations for working after retirement. Attendees receive one Benefit Estimate for the expected retirement date. Pre-Retirement Planning Seminars are for those members within five years of retirement eligibility, but all members, as well as their guests, are welcome to attend. Seminars provide an in-depth review of information you need to know when you are ready to retire, including a review of a personally-prepared Benefit Estimate, how and when to file paperwork, and other considerations as you approach retirement. Seminars are scheduled throughout the year across the state. You can find the seminar schedule online at Pre-Retirement Planning Seminars are also held on a smaller scale (up to 15 members) every business day at our office in Jefferson City. Register by calling or online. Individual counseling is available at our office in Jefferson City. Walk-ins are welcome, but we suggest calling the office to schedule an appointment or making an appointment through our website. Web counseling sessions are available to all members who would like to meet one-on-one with a retirement counselor without the drive to Jefferson City. You can see and speak with a counselor and share documents during the session. Register by calling or online. 12 PSRS At A Glance The Basics of Your Retirement System 13

8 PSRS/PEERS Quick Facts 45 th largest public pension plan in the nation Larger than all other Missouri public pension plans combined Market value of invested assets: $33.5 billion* 110 th largest institutional investor in the world, Recognized leader in the public pension industry for commitment and innovation in the areas of investments, technology and member service Serve almost 242,000 members and retirees Work with 537 employers In fiscal year 2013, PSRS/PEERS paid nearly $2.2 billion in retirement benefits to more than 76,000 retirees and beneficiaries. *June 30, 2013 Sources of Funding 20-Year Average PSRS funding comes from three sources: Member contributions* Employer contributions Investment earnings In total, approximately 61 of every dollar used to pay retirees is generated from investment earnings. *The 20 includes member contributions and service purchases. 14 PSRS At A Glance

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