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Missouri Retirement System

missouri retirement system

The state retirement system of Missouri covers the multiple types of employees working on behalf of the state. The Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System (MOSERS) was established in 1957. Under the management of a board of trustees, it currently provides retirement benefits to most state public employees. MOSERS delivers those retirement benefits through pension trust funds. And per its 2017 annual report, MOSERS serves more than 49,000 active employees. In addition, it pays benefits to more than 47,000 benefit recipients. If you would value some extra assistance navigating the complex Missouri retirement system, considering consulting an expert. SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool can pair you with financial advisors who will best meet your needs.

Types of Retirement Systems in Missouri

Missouri has a large number of retirement systems for it public employees, with distinct offerings across many different public employments. The benefits and retirement requirements that accompany these plans hinge on what the position entails.

According to the MOSERS website, whether a Missouri resident works as an eductor, doctor, county supervisor, engineer or other type of public employee, MOSERS vows to provide a secure and stable retirement. Currently, eligible members of MOSERS include permanent, full-time employees of public schools, public defenders, agricultural workers, government office workers and other public entities.

Missouri Retirement Systems

System Title, by “Employee Classification”Eligible Employees
General EmployeesAll eligible State of Missouri are filed under this umbrella MOSERS category.
Conservation EmployeesThis classification covers all parks, recreation, agricultural and environment protection employees.
College/University EmployeesPublic workers employed by the any of the public universities and community colleges in participating Missouri districts, excluding University of Missouri employees, who are not members of MOSERS but instead receive benefits from the U. of MO system.
State Legislators & JudgesEmployees of the State legislature as well as justices of peace and judges sitting on district courts.
MoDOT (Dept, of Transportation) & Patrol Emplyees’ Retirement System (MPERS)A separate but much smaller system from MOSERS made specifically for workers in the Dept. of Transportation and state highway patrol; includes additional benefits for job health risks.

The retirement systems Missouri offers its public employees aim to provide participating active and retired members full financial security during retirement. Beyond that, in the event of the employee’s disability or death, the benefits will be enough to support the worker and his or her family. The system’s trust fund helps accomplish this feat. Contributions from employees themselves and their employers bolster that fund.

Overview of Mississippi’s Main Retirement Systems

missouri retirement system

As shown in the above table, MOSERS largely dominates Missouri’s retirement plans. But MPERS is a smaller and more selective system that is also available to a group of state employees. Their primary differences come in terms of their benefits, especially which one’s benefit offerings are more competitive. However, both are administered and funded by the same board of trustees. So benefits are the best metric on which to compare the two.

MOSERS – Benefits with the Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System include

  • Retirement and survivor benefits
  • Term life insurance
  • Disability
  • Medical insurance
  • Dental and vision insurance
  • Universal life insurance

MPERS – Benefits with the MoDOT & Patrol Employees’ Retirement System include

  • Retirement and survivor benefits
  • Disability
  • Partial medical insurance
  • Universal life insurance

Benefits available to all employees, in either retirement system, include deferred compensation, MO Cafe Cafeteria Plan and Universal Life Insurance.

Retirement Taxes in Missouri


On a federal level, the money that you contribute to your pension plan isn’t taxed, making it a tax-deferred account. However, any payments that you take directly from your pension after you retire will be taxed as income. The good news is that you’ll still have the chance to decide whether you’d prefer to have these funds withheld from each pension check or if you’d rather make estimated tax payments.

You can’t predict how much will be withheld from your income. Many factors that change from year to year may have an impact. But luckily, the government will do those calculations for you and supply you with a refund (or charge the dividends) at the end of the year. Retirement plans, like many of South Dakota’s, include rollovers. In this instance, you send your funds directly from your pension plan to a separate tax-deferred retirement account. If, instead, you have a Roth IRA, you’ll need to pay taxes up-front. But your distributions will be tax-free.


As detailed in our thorough Missouri Retirement Tax Friendliness Guide, the state of Missouri is moderately tax-friendly toward its retirees. You pay partial taxes on Social Security. But you pay full tax on retirement account withdrawals. You pay taxes on wages at normal rates. The marginal state tax rate is 6.00%. Finally, you pay partial taxes on public pension incomes and full taxes on private pension income. Missouri does not have an estate tax.

Current Financial Health of the Missouri Retirement System

missouri retirement system

The current state of the Missouri Retirement System, per its 2017 report, is healthy. It has seen vast percentage increases in benefits rolled out for those on its retirement plans, as well as upticks in value and income for such public work jobs. Enrollment numbers are unable to match those of larger and more populated states. But a large percentage of public employees duly rely on the MOSERS and MPERS systems for retirement security.

Tips for a Successful Retirement

  • Creating a financial plan is the best way to ensure that you’re not under-saving. This will make it easier to decide where you want to end up financially, which can make retirement more attainable.
  • Even with all the benefits of a state-set pension, retirement can nonetheless prove difficult to prepare for. Help from a financial advisor might be the best way to get your ducks in a row. SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool can set you up with skilled financial advisors in your area tailored to your financial needs.

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