Advantages of PEERS Membership

PEERS is a Defined Benefit (DB) pension plan, providing predictable retirement income for life, no matter how long you live. In most cases, the retirement benefits paid to PEERS members greatly exceed the funds they contribute while working.

Advantages at a Glance

  • When you have five years of PEERS service you are vested and can receive lifetime retirement benefits when eligible.
  • Disability benefits are available if you have five years of eligible employment and cannot work due to a disability that appears to be total and permanent.
  • Survivor benefits may be payable upon your death with as little as five years of service.
  • Purchasing or reinstating service with PEERS may allow you to reach vested status or retirement eligibility sooner, or even qualify for a larger benefit.
  • You receive cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) on your retirement benefits.

Your lifetime retirement benefits are determined by a pre-defined formula that includes:

  • A benefit factor set by the Missouri Legislature
  • Your salary (including employer-paid health, dental and vision insurance premiums)
  • Your years of service with PEERS at retirement

Other Advantages

  • The amount of your contributions and interest does not impact the amount of benefits you can receive.
  • Unlike defined contribution (DC) retirement plans such as IRAs, 403(b) or 401(k) plans, you don't have to make investment decisions. Investment decisions are handled by PEERS.
  • While DC plans are important, they can be less effective, because they provide benefits based on account balances in those plans at retirement.That means retirement income based on DC plan savings alone can run out and leave you without the income you need.

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