MO Public Pension Exemption

Married couples with Missouri adjusted gross income less than $100,000 and single individuals with Missouri adjusted gross income less than $85,000, may deduct up to 100% of their public retirement benefits, to the extent the amounts are included in their federal adjusted gross income.  Click here for MO-A form.

  • The total public pension exemption was limited to $36,976 for each spouse for the 2016 tax year.
  • Married couples with Missouri adjusted gross income greater than $100,000 and single individuals with Missouri adjusted gross income greater than $85,000, may qualify for a partial exemption.
  • There is no age requirement for eligibility.

Visit www.dor.mo.gov for more information regarding eligibility. Or you may contact the Missouri Department of Revenue at (573) 751-3505, email income@dor.mo.gov or consult a tax professional for more information.

December 12th COLA Report

COLA REPORT

REPORT ON DECEMBER 12th PSRS-PEERS BOARD OF TRUSTEE MEETING

The last meeting of the year of the PSRS-PEERS Board of Trustees was held on December 12th in Jefferson City.  Representing MRTA in attendance were MRTA Legislative Chairperson Linda Greeson, Shirley Ross of Lafayette County,  Micheal Stearley of Fredericktown, Warren Solomon of Cole County, and Jim Kreider, Executive Director MRTA.

The first item of business was the return-on-investment as of November 30th.  It is 3.1%.  We were expecting a better return on investment as the stock market reaches near 20,000 points, a record high.

The PSRS-PEERS Board decided on several issues of importance to MRTA. One was the MRTA mailing privilege allowed once a year by PSRS-PEERS since 1984. The Board eliminated this privilege.  This was of great disappointment to MRTA.  This issue was brought up after MRTA voiced our disapproval of the new COLA policy enacted on June 14th.  The new policy eliminates the COLA (0%) if the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is below 2%, above 2% CPI the COLA is 2%. MRTA and our 26,000 members will work hard on future board elections and board appointments in the future.  MRTA must be listened to and respected for what we do in promoting and protecting our educator retirement systems here in Missouri.  This action shows a lack of appreciation for our work. We are PSRS-PEERS’s soldiers on the legislative battlefield.  They have hurt their own army.

The most positive decision was enacting a resolution stating the COLA policy would be reviewed every year versus every four years. MRTA put forth this idea.  MRTA also suggested that the resolution address the reinstatement of the COLA as the priority of the Board versus a contribution reduction for employees and school districts.  This was not brought forward.  This is concerning because the current funding status of the PSRS-PEERs system is now, after the COLA reduction, 84.8% and the suggested actuarial contribution rate now stands at 26%.  That is 13% from the employee and 13% from the school district.  The board voted in September to leave the contribution rate at 29%.  That is 14.5% from the employee and 14.5% from the schools district.  They could have reduced the contribution rate and left the COLA reduction in policy.  PSRS-PEERS Director Steve Yoakum stated at the Board meeting, although not stated in the resolution, that it will be PSRS-PEERS’s priority to reinstate the COLA.

Another positive presentation was the systems’ detailed report on the measures being taken to avoid any cyber security problems.  It is now estimated that each full identity record of an individual is worth $1200 to $1300 on the black market.  PSRS-PEERS stated that in September 2016 they had 3,574,881 attacks on their system data from Korea.  So far the system has protected your data.  Our hat is off to the cyber security team.

Some MRTA members had voiced they wanted the PSRS-PEERS Board members’ e-mail addresses posted on the PSRS-PEERS website.  The Board brought this up.  After quite a bit of discussion, the decision was made not to post the e-mail addresses of elected and appointed board members on the PSRS-PEERS website.  Again, disappointing.  All e-mail to the Board must go through the director or staff first. If you have a comment or want to contact a PSRS-PEERS Board member write Director Steve Yoakum, SYoakum@psrsmo.org.

The meeting was adjourned for a closed session of the board.

MRTA is Thankful for You!

The past year has been tumultuous at MRTA. The year started off with a hard fought legislative session, then came the announcement of a COLAhappy-thanksgiving-background-1024x716 reduction and the battles and victories we have had so far in restoring the COLA. We have a long road ahead in the next year but we have so much to be thankful for. We are thankful we now have over 26,000 members! We are thankful our MRTA leaders have been working so hard throughout the state and have expanded our reach with three new MRTA Units! Most importantly though we are thankful for you!

Thank you for your lifelong dedication to the children of Missouri.

Thank you for your membership in Missouri Retired Teachers Association and Public School Personnel.

Thank you to all who have worked tirelessly to protect the pension benefits of Missouri’s retired education professionals.

Thank you to all who have served your community and our great state through volunteerism.

Thank you to all who volunteered as MRTA leaders throughout the state.

We hope the best for all of you in the coming year and we wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

MRTA Community Service Committee Votes to Focus on Hunger Relief

Mfeeding-missouri-logoRTA’s Community Service Committee’s purpose is to encourage MRTA members to continue their public service by providing and encouraging opportunities to serve their local communities as retired educators. TO SERVE, NOT TO BE SERVED is our motto.

Hunger is a reality for many in Missouri; for this reason, the MRTA Community Service Committee has once again voted to focus on hunger relief as the statewide project. The committee encourages our local units and all MRTA members to participate in food drives, raise awareness of food insecurity, and volunteer at local food banks.

Please visit www.feedingmissouri.org to find about food banks in your area. Help make a difference in the lives of our fellow Missourians!

Are We Strong Enough?

By Linda Greeson, Chairwoman MRTA Legislative Committee

Last week as I was preparing for Thanksgiving and we all have many, many things to be linda-greesonthankful for, I noticed an e-mail that I had printed because it contained so much encouragement for us as retirees. It was titled, “We Will Win This War We Will Not Ever Give Up.” It had been written in May, 2016 by Jim Kreider.

Here we are in November 2016 about to inaugurate a new Governor with unknown outside influences. I believe we are battle hardened for the work and fight that must continue. We must reach out to the “young” retirees for membership in MRTA. They are facing a longer timespan to need their defined benefit pension plan than those of us who are older. We must also reach out to the newly elected officials and begin educating them about our retirement system and the importance of public education for our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren. Our work is for the future!!

February 15, 2017 will be our Legislative Day at OUR Missouri State Capitol Building. Please mark your calendars today to be present at 10 a.m. in the Capitol Rotunda. We go to the Capitol to visit with our legislators in February when it is COLD and the weather is unpredictable because that is when bills are being filed and we need to educate OUR legislators about the content and repercussions of some bills. Contact your Region Vice-President about reserving a place on a bus for the Legislative Day trip. The busses deliver you to the front door of the Capitol and pick you up for the trip home. No worries about parking and walking in the COLD. Most bus captains will discuss during the trip, current legislative issues so you will be well prepared when you meet with your legislators. We must ALWAYS do our “homework” before meeting and educating those who represent us.

See you at the Capitol!!

Linda Greeson

Click here for printable version.

We Will Win This War! We Will Not Ever Give Up!

We Will Win This War. We Will Not Ever Give Up!

I was asked, “Why do we fight? There is no way we can beat the billionaires and extremist politicians.” I say, “It is all about the future. It is all about the young. This is why we became educators. This is why we will win this war.”

It seems every year we have to fight for what we have earned in our careers as jimeducators. It seems overwhelming when not one, but two or three billionaires who have political agendas keep targeting us as public pensioners, and public education as a whole. We are tired of the fight. We ask ourselves, “How can we win?” We will win and here is why.

We will never give up on public education, educators, and Missouri children. We will not give up on protecting our earned retirement benefits. We will not give up because many of our children and grandchildren are pursuing a public education to make their lives better and our nation better. We will not give up because many of our children and people we love are now working hard every day to be the best educators possible. We will not give up because we know that our world-class pension benefits attract and retain the world’s best teachers in Missouri classrooms. This is a prolonged battle that we will eventually win.

By ”SHOWING UP” through your MRTA membership and your hard work, the tide will change. Over the past 10 years, we have already celebrated many victories in protecting our pensions and public education. Had we not done so, where would we be today? We already have a reputation of “SHOWING UP” and being effective in the Legislature. We are battle hardened. Our work and our fight continues.

We will win because Millennials are already realizing that a retirement plan and retirement security through a defined benefit plan is a necessity. The defined benefit plan is making a comeback after the super wealthy and political extremists’ pushed for the defined contribution plan, 401(k), which now has been labeled “A Failed Experiment.” Baby Boomers are tired of working only because they do not have enough savings to live a decent life in retirement. Voters and taxpayers will, once again, see the importance of public education to America, to the middle class, to our children and our grandchildren. IF WE WORK AND HOLD THE LINE we will see a new voter who will, once again, vote in favor of these basic American values. We will win! I truly believe this!

NEVER GIVE UP MRTA! Your work is the future.
There is truly STRENGTH IN NUMBERS!
THE WORLD IS RUN BY THOSE WHO SHOW UP!

Jim Kreider
MRTA Executive Director
mrtadirectorkreider@mrta.org

P.S. Be assured! We will not give up on restoring the COLA for all public education retirees!

Click here for a printable version.

 

PSRS/PEERS Board Signature Petition Update

MRTA’s petition gathered 21,299 Updated signatures!

UPDATED February 23, 2017

MRTA President Sandy Applegate and MRTA Director Kreider delivered our COLA petition which gathered 21,299 signatures to Governor EricGreitens.  The petition asks the Governor to make new appointments to the PSRS/PEERS Board of Trustees a priority and requests he consider MRTA’s input when appointments are made.

Click here to see letter to Governor Greitens.

 

October 5, 2016

In response to the June 14, 2016 PSRS/PEERS Board of Trustees decision to change the COLA policy, MRTA initiated a signature petition to ask Governor Nixon to make appointments to vacant and expired seats on the PSRS/PEERS Board of Trustees.

MRTA has been successful in gathering over 21,299 signatures!  These signatures were presented to both candidates for Governor in hopes that the next Governor will make new appointments a priority when he takes office.