2024 Legislative Session Ends: Multiple Provisions Signed into Law Benefiting PSRS/PEERS Members

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During the 2024 Missouri legislative session that began Wednesday January 3, 2024, the General Assembly introduced more than 2,500 pieces of legislation. PSRS/PEERS closely monitored over 110 of those pieces of legislation and completed 80 fiscal impact requests. 

The session concluded on Friday, May 17, 2024, marking a historic low in the number of bills sent to the governor’s desk. A mere 28 non-appropriations bills and 18 other bills were passed. The prior record for the fewest bills passed occurred in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic significantly shortened the legislative session. Ultimately, no legislation passed that negatively impacts PSRS/PEERS or our members.

Provisions that Passed: Impacts on Working After Retirement

Governor Parson signed Senate Bill 727 into law on May 8, 2024. Three of the bill’s provisions positively impact PSRS/PEERS and our retired members who work after retirement.

These provisions go into effect August 28, 2024, and include the following changes:

Modernized Penalty for Exceeding Post-Retirement Work Limits

Retirees working for covered employers who exceed a work limit will be required to repay to PSRS/PEERS the amount earned in excess of the limit, or the entire amount of their monthly benefit for any month during which the limit is exceeded, whichever is less. This is a modernization of the current law that requires a member to forfeit a minimum of one full monthly benefit payment when a limit is exceeded.

New Work Options for Disability Retirees Under Age 60

Disability retirees younger than age 60 will be able to work for PSRS/PEERS-covered employers. Until they reach age 60, their earnings continue to be subject to the substantial gainful activity limit for non-blind Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, which is set by the Social Security Administration. Prior to the passage of this provision, disability retirees younger than 60 could not work in any capacity for a PSRS/PEERS-covered employer.

New Option for Local School Boards to Set PSRS 50% Post-Retirement Salary Limit

In cases when a PSRS retiree is working in a position that is not on the employer’s salary schedule or when the employer doesn’t use one, the local school board may set the 50% salary percent salary limit for the position, with approval from PSRS/PEERS.

Provisions that Did Not Pass: Higher PSRS Benefit Factor and Investment Policy

PSRS/PEERS also tracked several pieces of legislation that did not pass.  None of these bills were sent to the governor.

2.6% PSRS Benefit Factor

Senate Bill 898 sought to establish a 2.6% benefit factor for new PSRS retirees with 33 years or more of service. Last year,  Governor Parson signed into law the reinstatement of the 2.55% benefit factor for PSRS members who retired with 32 years or more of service.

Increase in Number of Non-Certificated Critical Shortage Hires Allowed

Senate Bill 898 also contained a provision that would have increased the number of non-certificated Critical Shortage Employment positions an employer can hire by raising the cap on these positions to 1% of the total certificated and non-certificated staff, or five individual PEERS retirees, whichever is greater. The current cap is 10% of the non-certificated staff, not to exceed five individual PEERS retirees. Similar language was signed into law last year for certificated Critical Shortage positions.

Investment Policy

Both House Bill 1937 and Senate Bill 1113 would have put policies into law that ensured that investments and proxy votes of public pension systems are undertaken for the economic interests of members, and not for any other objective. Both bills were supported by PSRS/PEERS.

Senate Bill 898 included a provision that would have required divestment from investments that are prohibited by federal law. PSRS/PEERS already complies with the language that was proposed in this bill and the federal law in question. PSRS/PEERS has also maintained an Anti-Terrorism and Economic Sanctions Policy for almost two decades.

Several pieces of legislation were also filed that would have required divestment based on parameters laid out in the bills. Depending upon the language, those pieces of legislation could have had a substantial negative impact on the financial condition of PSRS/PEERS.