When do I become a member of the Retirement
You become a member of
the Civilian Employees' Retirement System on your first day as an employee of
the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department. All regularly
appointed civilian employees of the Police Department appointed
after August 28, 2001 become members of the Civilian Employees'
Retirement System as a condition of employment. Members appointed prior
to August 28, 2001 had a six month waiting period prior to becoming a
member of the Civilian Employees' Retirement System.
civilian employees do not include police officer candidates that do not have
prior civilian service, or part time employees. Retired members of the Police
Retirement System or City Employees' Retirement System who come to work for the
Police Department are not eligible to participate in the Civilian Employees'
are member contributions to the Civilian Employees' Retirement System deducted
from my pay check?
Member contributions 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 5.0% of base pay. The employer
contribution rate is determined annually by the Retirement System actuary.
am I vested in the Civilian Employees' Retirement System?
You are vested in the
retirement system when you complete 5 years of creditable service. Once a
member is vested you are entitled to a retirement benefit at some future date.
am I eligible to retire?
Normal retirement for a
Tier 1 member of the Civilian Employees' Retirement System is the later of age
65 or 10 years of creditable service. Tier 1 members are eligible for an
unreduced service retirement at age 65 with 5 or more years of creditable
service, after reaching age 60 with 10 years of creditable service, or when the
combination of the member's age and creditable service total 80 and the member
has not reached age 60.
Beginning at age 55, any
Tier 1 member who has completed at least 10 years of creditable service may
retire and receive a reduced retirement benefit. The benefit is reduced by ½ of
1% for each month the effective date of the retirement is prior to the first
day of the month following the member's 60th birthday.
Beginning at age 60, any
Tier 1 member who has completed at least 5 but no more than 10 years of
creditable service may retire and receive a reduced retirement benefit. The
benefit is reduced by ½ of 1% for each month the effective date of the
retirement is prior to the first day of the month following the member's 65th birthday.
Normal retirement for a
Tier 2 member of the Civilian Employees’ Retirement System is the later of age
67 or 20 years of creditable service. Tier 2 members are eligible for unreduced
service retirement after reaching 62 with at least 20 years of creditable
service or at any time after a member’s total of age and years of creditable
service equals or exceeds 85.
Beginning at age 62, a
Tier 2 member who has at least 5 years of creditable service may retire and
receive a reduced retirement benefit. The benefit is reduced by ½ of 1% for
each month the effective date of the retirement is prior to the first day of
the month following the member's 67th birthday.
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 and 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
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 an
ACH letter from your 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 encouraged to bring your spouse to the appointment, as some
documents require their signature as well.
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 normal retirement
benefit formula is 2.0% 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 calculate the formula is for every
year of service you earn 2.0% of your final average salary. So at age 65 with
30 years of service you would receive 60% of your final average salary. With a
final average salary of $40,000 the retirement benefit calculation would be as
30 Years of Service x
2.0% = 60%
$40,000 x 60% = an
annual retirement benefit of $24,000
does Social Security work with my retirement benefits?
In addition to your retirement benefits
discussed here, all Civilian employees of the police department fully
participate in Social Security. Any benefits that you may be entitled to
receive from Social Security will not be reduced or impacted because you receive
a benefit from the Civilian Employees’ Retirement System.
The Social Security
Administration mails out annual benefit statements. That benefit shows your
projected monthly social security benefit at your full retirement age. It also
shows the impact of starting to collect benefits as early as age 62 or waiting
until age 70. More information about Social Security benefits can be found on
the Social Security Administration website at www.ssa.gov.
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. To be eligible for a cost of living adjustment, your
retirement must have started by December 31 of the prior calendar year. Since
the cost of living adjustment is calculated on the base retirement 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:
Average annual cost of
living adjustment: $21,000 x 1.0% = $210
In the first year, if a
1.0% cost of living adjustment is granted the member's retirement benefit would
be: $21,000 + $210 = $21,210
In the second year, if a
1.0% cost of living adjustment is granted the member's retirement benefit would
be: $21,210 + $210 = $21,420
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.
If an active member dies
while in service the surviving spouse benefit is determined by the years of
creditable service at the time of death. With less than 5 years of creditable service, the surviving
spouse will be paid the amount of the member's contributions in a lump sum. If
there is no surviving spouse then the lump sum payment will be made to the
named beneficiary or the member's estate.
With at least 5 years
but less than 20 years of creditable service, the surviving spouse has a choice
of the lump sum payment described above or a retirement benefit of 50% of the
member's accrued normal retirement benefit at the date of death, starting on
the later of the day after the member's death or the date which would have been
the member's earliest retirement date.
With at least 20 years
of service, the surviving spouse has a choice of the lump sum payment or 50%
benefit described above or a retirement benefit determined on a joint and
survivor basis from the member's accrued normal retirement benefit at the date
If a member dies after
retirement and has not selected an optional 100% 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 member retired and
elected an optional 100% joint and survivor benefit, the surviving spouse
benefit is equal to the member's benefit at the time of death. For member's who
elect the 100% joint and survivor benefit there is a permanent actuarial
reduction in the initial retirement benefit based upon the member's and
surviving spouse's ages at the time of retirement.
After August 2001,
surviving spouses are eligible to remarry without any loss of benefits.
is the supplemental benefit?
Members retiring with 15
years of creditable service after August 28, 2007 and eligible
surviving spouses that receive a monthly retirement benefit are also entitled
to receive the supplemental retirement benefit, which is currently $160 per
month. The supplemental benefit started in 1992 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. All members retiring
prior to August 2007 and their surviving spouses are eligible to receive the
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.
receive their pension payments on the first business day of every month. Due to
the fact that we have to wait until the payroll period has ended before we can
finalize a benefit calculation, the first benefit payment is not made until the
2nd month following the month of retirement, at which time you will
receive a double payment. For example, if you retire on December 20th,
you would receive your first pension payment for the months of January and
February on the first business day in February.
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 Civilian
Employees' 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
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 June 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 February 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 one or more years of creditable service beyond
their eligible retirement date 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 member with one or more years of service beyond their eligible
retirement date can elect a lump sum equal to 12 times their base monthly
retirement benefit. A member with two or more years of service beyond their
eligible retirement date can elect a lump sum equal to 12 or 24 times their
base monthly retirement benefit and a member with three or more years of
service beyond their eligible retirement date 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, if there is an eligible surviving
spouse, and if the member elects the 100% joint and survivor benefit.
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 a traditional IRA or other qualified retirement plan like the
department's Deferred Compensation plan.
I leave the Police Department can I get a refund of my contributions to the
Civilian Employees' Retirement System?
Upon termination of
employment with the department you will be entitled to a refund of your member
contributions to the Civilian Employees' Retirement System. If you are vested
with 5 years of creditable service you may choose to leave your contributions
in the retirement system and receive normal or reduced retirement benefits
based upon your eligibility.
If you are not vested in
the retirement system you will receive a refund of your member contributions.
If you have more than one year of creditable service your refund will include
applicable interest. As part of the sign out process we will review the amount
of contributions you have made and your pay out 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 distributions 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 Civilian
Employees' 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
from 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
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
Civilian Employees' 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 Civilian
Employees' Retirement System of Kansas City, Missouri that has been signed by
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 Civilian Employees' 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 Civilian Employees' Retirement System, other full-time
public employment in the state of Missouri, prior active duty military
service and interruptions in service due to a period of unpaid leave, including
If you were previously a
member of the Civilian Employees' Retirement System and terminated employment
with three 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 the time.
If you have been
employed in full-time nonfederal public employment within the state
of Missouri prior to becoming a member of the Civilian Employees'
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 the
retirement plan. You must have five years of creditable service in
the Civilian Employees' 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
Civilian Employees' 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
You can restore service
lost due to a period of unpaid leave by paying the full actuarial cost of the
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, are totally and permanently
disabled. Total and permanent disability is a condition which prevents the member
from engaging in any occupation or performing any work for remuneration or
profit for the rest of the member's life. The disability must not have been
caused by the member's own negligence or willful self-infliction.
retirement benefits are paid to those members who become totally and
permanently disabled due to and caused by actual performance of employment with
the Police Department.
benefits are paid to those members with 10 or more years of service whose total
and permanent disability arises from any other cause than a duty disability.
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, is totally and permanently disabled. 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 Retirement Board
who makes the decision to retire members of the Civilian Employees' Retirement
System on either a duty or non-duty disability.
Once the Police
Department has sent your file to the retirement system for a disability
evaluation it usually takes two to three months 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 Retirement Board meet and reach a decision.
do I find the Missouri State Statutes or Summary Plan
Description for the Civilian Employees' 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 Civilian Employees’ Retirement System can be
found in Sections 86.1310 to 86.1640 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, and the
can I get more information about the Civilian Employees’ 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 at South Patrol Division, 9701 Marion Park Drive.