JEFFERSON CITY, MO/July 20, 2017 (STL.News) — On Friday, the governor signed into law Senate Bill 62, a measure that modifies provisions regarding various pension systems. Sponsored by State Senator Dan Hegeman, R-Cosby, the legislation includes provisions pertaining to the College and University Retirement Plan (CURP), county employees’ retirement fund (CERF), Public School Teacher Retirement System (PSRS), Public Education Employees Retirement System (PEERS), Kansas City Public School Retirement System (KCPSRS) and more.
“I originally filed Senate Bill 62 to help ensure the long-term viability of the College and University Retirement Plan, which is the defined contribution plan for public higher education faculty and administrators not employed by the University of Missouri System,” said Hegeman. “This measure has had the support of many of our state colleges and universities, and I’m very pleased the governor has signed it into law.”
Currently, employers participating in CURP contribute to each employee plan 1 percent less than the MOSERS’ normal cost rate; however, because the MOSERS’ normal cost rate has been declining, less money is being contributed to employees’ CURP accounts. Under SB 62, employers will be required to make a 6 percent contribution, while employees hired on or after July 1, 2018, will be required to contribute 2 percent. Additionally, all employees will be able to contribute to an optional supplemental retirement account.
“Throughout the country, many cities and states are struggling to fund their various public pension plans. From Chicago to Dallas and California to South Carolina, local and state governments alike are facing huge pension liabilities,” added Hegeman. “They’re finding themselves in a deep hole and are now scrambling to climb out. We don’t want this to be Missouri’s fate, and that’s why it’s critical we constantly assess the long-term viability of our defined contribution and benefit plans and make changes when necessary.”
Among other provisions, SB 62 reduces from 10 years to five years the vesting requirement for MOSERS/MPERS employees. This modification coupled with other cost-saving reforms actually make the plan stronger and more solvent going forward. The act also provides that a public retirement plan member who is convicted, rather than found guilty, of certain felony offenses, is not eligible to receive retirement benefits.