MO Governor Signs Pension Reform

July 20, 2010 ( – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has signed legislation requiring new state workers to contribute toward their pensions and to stay on the job longer before being eligible for benefits.

Under the bill, new state employees will contribute 4% of their pay toward their pension benefits (see MO Lawmakers Give Final Approval to Pension Reform). They also will need to spend at least a decade working for the state to qualify for a pension, instead of the current five years.    

The state’s standard retirement age will increase from 62 to 67. State employees previously could retire when their age plus the number of years working for state government equaled 80, so long as they are at least 48 years old, but the new bill increases that option to a sum of 90, with workers needing to be at least 55 years old.  

The changes are projected to save the state $659 million over the next decade, with part of those savings intended to offset a 10-year cost of up to $150 million for new automaker tax breaks authorized under a separate bill.