When do I become a member of the Retirement
You become a member of
the Police Retirement System on your first day as a sworn Police Officer of
the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department. All law enforcement
members in active service for compensation become members of the Police
Retirement System as a condition of employment. Police Officer Candidates and
civilian employees of the Police Department are not eligible to participate in
the Police Retirement System.
are member contributions to the Police Retirement System deducted from my pay
Contributions to the
retirement system are mandatory for all members in active service and are a
percentage of base pay. Member and employer contributions, along with
investment earnings, are used to pay current and future benefits to members.
Your member contribution rate is set by the Retirement Board and is currently
11.55% of base pay and the employer contribution rate is determined annually by
the retirement systems actuaries.
am I vested in the Police Retirement System?
You are vested in the
retirement system when you complete 15 years of creditable service. Being
vested allows you to leave your member contributions in the Retirement System
if you terminate your employment and then you become entitled to a benefit when
you become age eligible. A Tier 1 member becomes age eligible at age 55 and a
Tier 2 member becomes age eligible at age 60. Your benefit begins the month
following the month you reach age eligibility.
am I eligible to retire?
Normal retirement for all
members of the Police Retirement System is upon completing 32 years of
Tier I members are first
eligible to retire upon completing 25 years of creditable service. Any Tier I
member in active service who reaches age 60 with 10 years of creditable service
Tier II members are
first eligible to retire upon completing 27 years of creditable service. Any
Tier II member in active service who reaches age 60 with 15 years of
creditable service may retire.
do I start the retirement process?
We recommend that you
call the retirement office about two to three months prior to your planned
retirement date and schedule an appointment with our Benefits Specialist to
select the best retirement date for your situation. Once you have
decided on a date, you should contact the Personnel Records Section to schedule
an appointment to begin the actual retirement process. The retirement sign out
process will be reviewed and you will be given a Clearance Sheet to have signed
at each stop along the way. The retirement office will be one of several stops
in the sign out process.
Please call and make an appointment to sign out, otherwise we will have to prepare your
retirement forms while you wait. You will need to bring a voided check or ACH
letter from you bank, as all benefit payments are made by direct deposit. If
you are married, please bring a copy of your marriage certificate, your
spouse’s Driver’s License and your spouse's Social Security card. You should plan
on spending a minimum of 30 minutes in the KCPERS' office going through the
sign out process, completing paperwork and learning more about your retirement
benefits. You are welcome to bring your spouse to the appointment.
If you are considering a
Partial Lump-sum Option Payment (PLOP), the application should be made 90 days
prior to your retirement date and you will need to notify us that you have
decided to take the PLOP 30 days prior to your retirement date.
If you participate in
deferred comp you will need to meet with the Deferred Comp Coordinator the
month before your retirement date.
is my retirement benefit calculated?
The retirement benefit
formula is 2.5% of your final average salary multiplied by your years of
creditable service. Your final average salary is the average of the highest,
usually the last, 24 months of base pay for a Tier 1 member and 36 months of
base pay for a Tier 2 member. An easy way to look at the formula is for every
year of service you earn 2.5% of your final average salary. So with 32 years of
service you would receive 80% of your final average salary. With a final
average salary of $76,452, the retirement benefit calculation would be as
32 Years of Service x
2.5% = 80%
$76,452 x 80% = an
annual retirement benefit of $61,162
For a member retiring
with 25 years of service and the same final average salary the retirement
benefit calculation would be as follows:
25 Years of Service x
2.5% = 62.5%
$76,452 x 62.5% = an annual
retirement benefit of $47,782
I receive cost of living increases after I retire?
surviving spouses, may receive an annual cost of living adjustment in an amount
not to exceed 3% of their respective base retirement benefit. Statutes
require that the Retirement System remain actuarially sound and that the
Retirement Board must act upon the advice of a qualified actuary when granting
cost of living adjustments. A Tier 1 member is eligible for the cost
of living adjustment if their retirement started by December 31 of the prior
year. Normally, a Tier 2 member becomes eligible for the cost of living
adjustment in the year following the year they would have attained 32 years of
Since the cost of living
adjustment is calculated on the base benefit for each member, the maximum
annual cost of living adjustment can be calculated at the time of retirement or
when a surviving spouse begins receiving benefits. The cost of living
adjustments are not compounded and are not prorated. Cost of living adjustments
are Not guaranteed.
The following is an
example of how a member's retirement benefit increases with cost of living
Base retirement benefit:
Maximum annual cost of
living adjustment: $47,782 x 1% = $478
In the first year, if a
1% cost of living adjustment is granted, the member's annual retirement benefit
would be: $47,782 + $478 = $48,260
In the second year, if a
1% cost of living adjustment is granted, the member's annual retirement benefit
would be: $48,260 + $478 = $48,738
is an eligible surviving spouse and how are their benefits calculated?
An eligible surviving
spouse is married to the member at the time of retirement and remains
continuously married to the member until the time of the member's death. A
surviving child may be eligible for spousal benefits in the event there is no
eligible surviving spouse.
If an active member dies
while in service, the surviving spouse benefit is 40% of the member's final
If a Tier 1 member
retires or terminates service after August 1999 and dies after retirement, the
surviving spouse benefit is 80% of the member's benefit at the time of death.
If a Tier 1 member
retired or terminated service on or before August 1999 and dies after August
1999 the surviving spouse benefit is 40% of the member's final average salary.
However the surviving spouse can be appointed by the Retirement Board as a
consultant and receive benefits equal to 80% of the member's benefit at the
time of death.
If a Tier 1 member
retired prior to August 1997, an eligible surviving spouse must have been
married to the member at least two years prior to retirement.
After August 2000,
surviving spouses are eligible to remarry without any loss of benefits.
If a Tier 2 member dies
after retirement and has not selected an optional joint and survivor benefit,
the surviving spouse benefit is 50% of the member's base benefit plus an
immediate percentage cost of living adjustment equal to the total percentage
cost of living adjustments received during the member's lifetime.
If a Tier 2 member
retired and elected an optional joint and survivor benefit, the surviving spouse will receive (depending
on the member’s election) either the same amount the member was receiving at
the time of death or 75% of the amount
the member was receiving at the time of death. For member's who elect an
optional joint and survivor benefit there is an permanent actuarial reduction
in the initial retirement benefit based upon the member's and surviving
spouse's ages at the time of retirement.
is the supplemental retirement benefit?
All retired members and
eligible surviving spouses that receive a monthly retirement benefit are also
entitled to receive the supplemental retirement benefit, which is currently
$420 per month for Tier 1 members and $200 per month for Tier 2 members. The
supplemental retirement benefit started in 1991 at $50 per month to help offset
the rising cost of health insurance premiums. It has increased through cost of
living adjustments to the current amount. The supplemental retirement benefit
is not restricted to paying for health insurance premiums.
will I receive my first retirement benefit check?
Normally, your first day
of retirement is the day after your last day on payroll at the police
department. The effective date of your pension is the first day of the month
following your retirement effective date.
Law Enforcement retirees
receive their pension payment on the last day of every month, so you would
receive your first benefit payment on the last business day of the month
following the month in which you retire. For example, if you retire on December
20th, you would receive your first pension payment for the month of
January on the last business day in January.
Benefit payments are
made via direct deposit to your bank account. A monthly confirmation statement
from Northern Trust, our custodial bank, is mailed to your home.
is the retirement system's role in providing retiree health insurance?
As a convenience to our
members the retirement system will deduct your health insurance premium from
your monthly retirement benefit and send it to the Police Department. The
department then pays the monthly Blue Cross/Blue Shield bill for both active
and retired members.
Access to retiree health
insurance is provided by the Police Department and not by the Police Retirement
System. The department contracts with Blue Cross/Blue Shield for health
insurance for both active and retired members, and is responsible for
negotiating the policy benefits, co-pays, deductibles, and monthly premiums.
Open enrollment for
making changes to your retiree health insurance is coordinated by the
department's Benefits Section and usually takes place from mid-March to mid-April.
New health insurance premiums take effect on May 1, at the start of the fiscal
year, and are deducted for the first time from your end of May benefit payment.
If you are over 65 and
participating in one of the department offered Medicare Tie-in or Replacement plans,
the open enrollment period, through the Benefits Section, is generally from mid-November
to mid-December. The new Medicare premiums take effect on January 1 and are
deducted for the first time from your end of January benefit payment.
is a PLOP?
The Partial Lump-sum
Option Payment (PLOP) is an alternative way to receive your lifetime retirement
benefit. Members who retire with 1 or more years of creditable service beyond
their eligible retirement date, as described below, may elect to take part of
their retirement benefit in a lump sum at the time of retirement and then
receive a reduced monthly retirement benefit going forward.
A Tier 1 member with 26 or
more years of service can elect a lump sum equal to 12 times their base monthly
retirement benefit. A member with 27 or more years of service can elect a lump
sum equal to 12 or 24 times their base monthly retirement benefit and a member
with 28 or more years of service can elect a lump sum equal to 12, 24, or 36
times their base monthly retirement benefit.
A Tier 2 member with 28
or more years of service can elect a lump sum equal to 12 times their base
monthly retirement benefit. A Tier 2 member with 29 or more years of service
can elect a lump sum equal to 12 or 24 times their base monthly retirement
benefit and a Tier 2 member with 30 or more years of service can elect a lump
sum equal to 12, 24, or 36 times their base monthly retirement benefit.
When a member elects to
take a PLOP their monthly benefit is reduced on an actuarial basis. The new
reduced base benefit is used to determine future cost of living increases and
surviving spouse benefits. The actuarial reduction depends on the age of the
member at retirement, the amount of the lump sum PLOP and if there is an
eligible surviving spouse.
A portion of the PLOP
distribution may be nontaxable and can be paid directly to you. The taxable
portion of a PLOP distribution is subject to mandatory 20% federal withholding
and may be subject to an additional 10% federal tax penalty for early
distribution from a retirement plan. You may defer paying taxes, and
possibly eliminate the additional 10% tax penalty, by rolling the taxable
portion into an IRA or other qualified retirement plan like the department's
Deferred Compensation plan.
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I leave the Police Department can I get a refund of my contributions to the
Police Retirement System?
Upon termination of
employment with the department you will be entitled to a refund of your member
contributions to the Police Retirement System. If you are vested with 15 years
of creditable service you may choose to leave your contributions in the
retirement system and be eligible for retirement benefits when you become age
If you are not vested in
the retirement system you will receive a refund of your member contributions.
As part of the sign out process we will review the amount of contributions you
have made and your payment options. Taxable
funds paid directly to you are subject to mandatory 20% federal withholding and
may be subject to an additional 10% federal tax penalty for early distribution
from a retirement plan. You can defer paying taxes, and possibly eliminate the
additional 10% tax penalty, by doing a direct rollover of the taxable portion
into a traditional IRA or other qualified retirement plan like the department's
Deferred Compensation plan.
I get a refund, why don't I get any of the employer contributions made on my
The City and Police
Department make employer contributions to the Retirement System based on total
salary for the pay period, not for specific individual members. The Police
Retirement System, being a defined benefit plan, does not credit employer
contributions to individual member accounts. Benefits are paid from the
investment trust that includes contributions from the employees and employer
and investment earnings on those contributions. A defined benefit plan requires
all members to contribute the same percentage of pay and guarantees a specific
benefit at retirement.
This is very different
than a defined contribution plan which would keep separate accounts for all
contributions because the member can determine how much they want to
contribute, within certain limits, the employer can determine how much they
want to contribute and at retirement there is no guarantee of a specific benefit.
am going through a divorce, why are the attorneys asking about my retirement
Retirement plans are
treated as any other property or investment acquired during the marriage and
when assets are divided between two people the court wants to look at all the
assets of the marriage.
frequently call the Retirement System’s office asking for information about the
Police Retirement System benefits, the benefits for a specific member and the
amount of their member contributions. We will not provide specific member
information without a release of information to the Police Retirement System of
Kansas City, Missouri that has been signed by our member.
If the court decides to
divide your retirement benefit as part of a divorce decree, a Qualified
Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) agreed to by you and your former spouse will be
sent by the court to the Police Retirement System. A QDRO is an order from the
court to divide your retirement benefit at the time of your retirement or
upon termination of employment. Typically the QDRO will specify either a fixed
dollar amount or a percentage of the retirement benefit payment that will be
paid to an ex-spouse and the remainder of the benefit to you.
In an effort to ensure
that we correctly administer each QDRO the retirement system has prepared a
standard QDRO form that can be mailed or e-mailed to your attorney.
can I purchase creditable service?
In order to purchase
creditable service you must have qualifying service that is eligible for
purchase. Types of qualifying service that may be eligible include
prior membership service in the Police Retirement System, other full-time public
employment in the state of Missouri including time spent as a
civilian employee of the Police Department and time spent in
the Police Academy, prior military service, and interruptions in
service due to a period of unpaid leave, including military leave.
If you were previously a
member of the Police Retirement System and terminated employment with five or
more years of creditable service, you are eligible to restore your prior
service. You must pay the member portion of the actuarial cost of
If you have been
employed in full-time non-federal public employment within the state
of Missouri prior to becoming a member of the Police Retirement
System, you may be eligible to purchase creditable service up to the actual
amount of time spent in other public service at the full actuarial cost of the
time. Qualifying service can be either time spent that was not
covered by a retirement plan or, if covered by a retirement plan, you cannot be
entitled to any future benefit for that period of service. You must
provide verification of service and benefit status from your previous employer
or retirement plan. You must have five years of creditable service in the
Police Retirement System to be eligible under this option.
If you served in
the U.S. military on active duty prior to becoming a member of the
Police Retirement System, you may purchase up to two years of creditable
service based on military service, at the full actuarial cost of the time. You
must provide us with appropriate documentation of your qualifying military
You can restore service
lost due to a period of unpaid leave by paying the full actuarial cost of
The actuarial cost is
calculated using factors provided by the retirement system actuaries based on
your age, years of creditable service, and salary at the time of the purchase.
about a military leave of absence?
We will always follow
the provisions of federal USSERA laws when it comes to unpaid leave for active
duty military service for our members. In addition to the federal law, the
retirement system has provisions for restoring creditable service for a period
of unpaid military leave at a reduced cost and under certain circumstances at
no cost to the member. Members returning to work from military leave will need
to fill out an application to restore your creditable service due to active
military service and submit that along with all mandatory documentation
directly to the Retirement office. This application can be found under the
member information/forms section. For any questions, please refer to the
Military Leave of Absence Policy in the About KCPERS section of the website or
contact the Retirement System staff.
happens if I get injured and cannot work?
In addition to providing
retirement benefits, the retirement system also pays benefits to members who
become disabled and, following rehabilitation, cannot perform the full and
unrestricted duties of a police officer. Duty disability retirement benefits
are paid to those members who become permanently unable to perform the full and
unrestricted duties of a police officer as the natural, proximate, and
exclusive result of an accident occurring within the actual performance of duty
at some definite time or place.
We also provide non-duty
disability benefits to those members with 10 or more years of service who are
permanently unable to perform the full and unrestricted duties of a police
officer as the result of an injury or illness not exclusively caused by the
actual performance of official duties or by their own negligence.
Members with disabling
injuries or illnesses are referred to the retirement system after the Police
Department has determined that the member, following a full rehabilitation
process, cannot perform the duties of a police officer. The Police Department
sends medical information about the member's condition to the retirement system
along with an evaluation from the department doctor. This will be the first
time the retirement system will know the member has a disabling injury or
illness and we have a separate evaluation process that includes a Medical Board
independent of the department's evaluation process. You will be asked to
authorize the release of all your medical records to the retirement system
Medical Board. A doctor from the Medical Board will review your records and
examine you to complete the medical evaluation for the retirement system.
The findings of the
Medical Board of the Retirement System are then sent to the Board of Police
Commissioners who makes the decision to retire members of the Police Retirement
System on either a duty or non-duty disability.
Once the department has
sent your file to the retirement system for a disability evaluation it can take
two to three months, or more, to get medical records from your doctors, have
your medical records reviewed by the Medical Board of the Retirement System, set
and complete your appointment with the Medical Board doctor, have the Medical
Board doctor complete the written evaluation, and then have the Board of Police
Commissioners meet and reach a decision.
do I find the Missouri State Statutes or Summary Plan
Description for the Police Retirement System?
You can find both the
Missouri State Statutes and the Summary Plan Description on the KCPERS website.
The state statutes that govern the Police Retirement System can be found in
Sections 86.900 to 86.1280 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri. The summary plan
description provides a short explanation of plan benefits in a more readable
format than the statutes. The Summary Plan Description covers Membership,
Creditable Service, Contributions, Retirement Benefits, Death Benefits, and the
can I get more information about the Police Retirement System?
You can always call or
stop by the KCPERS office. Our phone number is 816 482-8138 or the toll free
number outside Kansas City is 888 813-8138. Our office is in the
Multipurpose Building on the South Patrol Division Campus at 9701 Marion Park
Drive. Our website kcpers.org has information on benefits, Retirement Board
meetings, retirement system news, and education.