Study Makes a Case for Increasing MOSERS Staff Pay

May 18, 2010 ( - A study by CBIZ Human Capital Services of St. Louis makes a case for giving Missouri State Employees Retirement System staff higher base salaries when their bonuses are eliminated July 1.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the CBIZ study compared pay for MOSERS staff with that of employees at 22 public pension funds across the country and databases of similar positions in private industry, and found that if all bonus money were added to the base salaries, investment staff would be paid 92.3% of the median and operations staff would earn 97.8% of the median, or middle point, of the market. The study does not deal with pay levels for the top two administrators, Executive Director Gary Findlay and Chief Investment Officer Rick Dahl, whose pay is set by contract and is negotiated separately, the news report said.  

The retirement system’s board of trustees commissioned the study to help set new pay levels for next fiscal year, and a compensation committee has reviewed the options. Committee chairman Bob Patterson said members will vote by e-mail this week, and the recommendation will go to the full MOSERS board in June, according to the Post-Dispatch.  

MOSERS staff received almost $300,000 in bonuses last year even as the pension fund lost almost $1.8 billion (see MO Governor Unhappy about Retirement System Bonuses). Pension officials said the payments were based  on how well the plan’s investments performed over five years compared with similar portfolios.  

In January, the MOSERS board voted 8-1 to discontinue bonuses and automatic cost-of-living raises for the system’s employees (see MOSERS Board Votes to Drop Staff Bonuses).