2020 Retirement Board Election Results
Chief Richard Smith was the only member to file for the open seat on the Retirement Board. According to the Retirement Board Election Policy, when only one qualified candidate files for a position to be filled, no election for the position shall take place and the filed candidate shall be declared elected by the Retirement Board. At the May 14 Retirement Board meeting the board voted unanimously, with the exception of Chief Smith who abstained from voting, to re-elect Chief Smith to a three year term ending in June 2023.
2020 Ad Hoc Cost of Living Adjustment
The Retirement Board did not approve an ad hoc cost of living adjustment (COLA) for retired members of the Police plan or Civilian Employees’ plan at the April 9th Board meeting. The Retirement Systems’ actuary, Cavanaugh Macdonald, advised the Board that actuarial investment returns in FY 2019 were too far below the assumed rate of return of 7.45% to allow for a COLA. Current market conditions indicate that investment returns will also fall well below the 7.40% assumed rate of return for the fiscal year ending April 30, 2020. Any increase in benefit payments, through a COLA, is an increase in liabilities that the Retirement Systems cannot afford at this time.
Retirement System Update on COVID - 19
Dear Retirement System Members,
We wanted to give you an update on the activities of the Kansas City Police Employees’ Retirement Systems in light of all the COVID-19 coronavirus concerns now that it is impacting our lives and investment markets on a daily basis. We have a well-established process in place to ensure continued benefit payments and services to our members. At the same time we will do everything we can to protect the health of our staff and those we serve. Before you come to the Retirement office, please give us a call and we’ll see if we can help you over the phone, through email, or US Mail.
A few years ago we worked with our outside auditors to develop a comprehensive Business Continuity Plan so we could provide services to our members if we could not work out of the Retirement Systems office. We are prepared to have some or all of the staff work remotely and continue to provide all of our services to you through phone and email rather than in person. You will find each of our email addresses and direct work phone numbers on the Retirement Systems Staff tab on the About KCPERS page on www.kcpers.org or you can always email us at [email protected]
Monthly benefit payments will continue as usual through Northern Trust. We use an exception payment process meaning that once you are set up for a benefit payment it will process automatically, every month, without any action by the Retirement Systems staff. We can make updates to your payment profile either from the office or remotely through a secure connection to Northern. Those updates may include an address change, new bank account, or tax withholding changes. Northern has reviewed their Business Continuity Plan with us and it is very robust. They have staff and facilities around the world to process our benefit payments.
Our investment managers and consultants also have comprehensive plans in place to ensure that portfolio teams can monitor and manage our investments while working remotely. All of our investment managers have implemented their Business Continuity Plans. They are prioritizing the health and safety of their employees by limiting domestic travel, cancelling foreign travel, and having their employees work remotely. They are also staying in close contact with us to provide updates on market observations and opportunities.
If you have questions or need our help, please do not hesitate to call or send an email. We are ready to provide assistance during these unsettled and unusual times.
2019 Tax Information and Mailing Schedule for IRS Form 1099R
This year, as usual, your IRS Form 1099R for filing your 2019 taxes will be mailed to you by Northern Trust. Northern is the company that processes the Police and Civilian Employees’ Retirement Systems monthly benefit payments.
Northern has advised us that 1099R’s for both retirement systems will be mailed to all retirees prior to January 31, 2020. While the Retirement System can request a duplicate form, Northern Trust charges the Retirement System for each duplicate 1099R we request. If you do not receive your 1099R by February 10, 2020 please contact the Retirement Office.
For those of you filing taxes in Missouri, below you will find additional information about Missouri’s Public Pension and Social Security Exemptions and Qualified Health Insurance Premiums. For those retired Police plan members who have their health insurance premium deducted from their monthly benefit check, below you will find a link to additional information about the IRS treatment of insurance premiums for retired public safety officers.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call the Retirement Office at 816 482-8138.
Missouri Public Pension and Social Security Exemption
Retired members of KCPERS that are Missouri tax filers may be eligible to exempt a portion of their pension and/or Social Security income from Missouri income tax. To claim the pension and/or Social Security exemption on 2019 returns, Missouri tax filers will need to file using Form MO-1040, otherwise known as the long form, or Form MO-1040P, short form. If filing on Form MO-1040, you will need to complete the worksheet in Part 3 of Form MO-A and file it along with Form MO-1040. If you were age 62 by December 31, 2019 and received Social Security benefits, you will also want to complete the section for the Social Security exemption in Part 3. If filing on Form MO-1040P, the calculation of the pension and/or Social Security exemption is found on page 3 of that form.
Generally for 2019 tax returns, the pension exemption will be calculated as the amount of your taxable pension, limited to a maximum of $38,437 for each taxpayer, and then reduced by the amount of your nontaxable social security benefits, if any. The amount of your pension exemption may be reduced for married couples with Missouri adjusted gross income above $100,000 or for single taxpayers with Missouri adjusted gross income above $85,000. Your exemption is decreased by the amount your income exceeds the limit.
For more information regarding eligibility please contact the Missouri Department of Revenue at (573) 751-3505 or www.dor.mo.gov, or consult your tax professional.
Qualified Health Insurance Premiums
Missouri also allows a subtraction from federal adjusted gross income for qualified health insurance premiums. On 2019 tax returns, the subtraction is taken on Line 12 of Part 1 of Form MO-A and filed along with Form MO-1040. The Missouri Department of Revenue supplies a worksheet for Line 12 of Form MO-A which can be found in the MO-1040 instruction packet.
Military Leave of Absence Statutes and Retirement Board Policy
On August 28, 2015 the new military leave provisions for the Police Retirement System and Civilian Employees’ Retirement System will become law. In addition, the Military Leave Policy has been update to implement the changes in the statutes.
The changes in the statutes provide that a member may restore creditable service in the Retirement System for a military leave of absence by paying the amount of member contributions missed during that time. Members may also choose to not restore creditable service lost due to a period of military leave. A total of five years of military leave time can be purchased at the member contribution rate. A member may request a waiver to be granted creditable service in the Retirement System for the period of military leave time without having to pay the member contribution rate. The Retirement Board can waive the payment of member contributions for up to a total of three years (of the five years) of creditable service for military leaves of absence. A waiver can only be requested when the member provides orders under Title 10 or Title 32 and provides the appropriate copy of their DD-214 or NGB 23. The amount of creditable service that has previously been granted to a member by the Retirement System prior to August 28, 2015 will not change.
In anticipation of the changes to state statutes the Retirement Board also adopted changes to the Military Leave of Absence Policy. Attached you will find a copy of the amended policy. As you will see the Retirement System will continue to follow the provisions of USERRA as it relates to granting creditable service for military leaves of absence.
One of the biggest changes in the policy is that it will be your responsibility to contact the Retirement System to request a Military Leave of Absence worksheet upon your return from military service. The worksheet will show the dates of unpaid service in the Retirement System. Upon receipt of the worksheet members will need to complete an Application for Creditable Service due to Active Duty Military Service and provide the required documentation that corresponds with the current period of military leave. Members will designate on the application if they are planning to restore the service by making the member contributions or if they are requesting a waiver of the member contributions.
The worksheet, application form, and required documentation will be submitted to the Military Leave Review Committee (please see the attached policy for more information on the Committee) who will make a recommendation to the Retirement Board based on the application and documentation submitted by the member. If approval is recommended by the Military Leave Review Committee and granted by the Retirement Board, staff will notify the member of the amount of member contributions that are due, if any, and the date by which the contributions must be paid in full to grant the creditable service.
If you have any questions about the changes to the Military Leave statutes or policy, please do not hesitate to contact Sharon Blancett at 482-8830 or me at 482-8157. We are also available to meet with members to review the application form, required documentation, review process, and USSERA time limits for completing the application process.