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The Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System (MOSERS) was established in September 1957 by an act of the Missouri State Legislature. Its purpose is to administer retirement, life insurance, and long-term disability benefits to eligible members of the defined benefit retirement plans.
The retirement benefit from the Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System (MOSERS) is considered marital property upon divorce. If a party married at any time while an active member of MOSERS and is considering a divorce, his or her spouse may be entitled to receive a portion of the retirement benefit.
Section 104.312 and 104.1051 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri (RSMO), permits the division of MOSERS retirement benefits in the event of a divorce. This law allows MOSERS to pay a portion of the participant’s pension benefit directly to the former spouse at the time he or she begins receiving MOSERS payments.
Divorcing spouses should remember that the decision to divide a pension is theirs. Two considerations should be weighed when considering whether or not to use a Division of Benefits Order (DBO):
> No payment will be issued to a former spouse until the participant begins receiving retirement benefits from MOSERS.
> No division can be authorized without a DBO. Learn more by reading our FAQs below.
A. In order to divide a benefit, the participant must be vested as of the date of the divorce. He or she must be eligible to ultimately receive a benefit without regard to future service, based on the vesting schedule. For general state employees it varies from 5 to 10 years of creditable service. A participant becomes vested upon completion of credited service.
A. If he or she is not vested on the date of divorce, the retirement benefit cannot be divided. If a participant is not vested, he or she is not entitled to a benefit; therefore, there is nothing to divide.
A. Before MOSERS divides a participant’s benefit, a court of competent jurisdiction issues a Division of Benefits Order (DBO).
A. According to the law, the court may award the former spouse up to 50% of the benefit accrued during all or part of his or her marriage.
A. Yes. A participant may choose to divide the present value of his or her retirement benefit at the time of divorce as a part of the property division. He or she might make a swap of the present value for another asset.
A. No. MOSERS payments are made only when the member spouse ends his or her employment, or applies for a benefit or refund, and his or her benefits become payable.
A. If the member decides on monthly payments, the former spouse must accept the same payment regime.
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