There is a retirees association affiliated with each UM System university and all work to serve the interests of their retiree communities and actively promote the welfare of their institution. Associations offer membership options for retirees and some may extend invitations to pre-retirees, spouses and partners, as well as for retirees from other campuses. Select your university below to learn more about the affiliated retirees association.
Click on a header to expand the selection and uncover additional information.
UM Retiree Association Offerings
Retirees association offerings include:
- Advocacy for retirees
- University town halls on health care benefits and pensions
- Social programs and events
- Volunteer opportunities
- Educational programs and other learning opportunities
- Organizational meetings
- Communications with university news
- And more!
Spring 2021 Retiree Town Hall (May 12, 2021)
Trouble with the video? View the video on YouTube.
When can we expect to receive raises in our pensions (COLA)?
Ad hoc cost of living adjustments are evaluated annually and are based on the performance of the retirement fund. They’re considered only if the retirement trust fund performance exceeds certain actuarial assumptions and provides excess assets that can be used for such adjustments.
Can we receive the annual actuary reports for the pension fund?
Yes, you can access the 2020 actuary report online.
According to the quarterly update of December 31, 2020, the funded status of the retirement plan decreased by 5.5% from 2019 to 2020. Is the decrease in funded status repairable?
Our plan year (September of 2020) ended with a return of 5.2%. That’s only 2% less than our 7.2% return assumption. At six months into the new plan year (March 31, 2021), the investment portfolio has already returned 13.5% - 6.3% above our 7.2% annual return assumption.
Are there planned pension annuity reductions for 2021 and 2022?
No, there are no pension annuity reductions planned for 2021 and 2022. The pension benefits to current and retired employees are important to the university and the university is required to pay those benefits. Retirees are protected to the extent the current laws surrounding public pensions remain in effect. If any changes were to occur for retirees, they would likely be part of broader changes at the state or national level.
What is the funding level and the unfunded liability of the Retirement Plan and how is the university working to improve funding and unfunded liability?
As of FY19, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and the financial crisis, the university’s pension plan was 82% funded. As of FY2020, our plan is funded at 80%. That’s better funded than the national average for a public pension, which is only 70% funded as reported by Pew.
The university’s Retirement Trust is invested for long-term growth. We’ve reduced risk with broadly diversified investments, and we use a total return approach with an emphasis on balanced growth and a diversified investment portfolio. Our investments recovered from steep losses in March 2020, ending our plan year (September of 2020) with a return of 5.2%. That’s only 2% less than our 7.2% return assumption. At six months into the new plan year (March 31, 2021), the investment portfolio has already returned 13.5% - 6.3% above our 7.2% annual return assumption.
How are we doing with investment returns, compared to our peers?
As approved by the Board of Curators, our investment strategy has been tailored to the specific needs and risk characteristics of both the Retirement Plan and the University itself. As such, comparison of investment returns with peers is not particularly meaningful. In terms of our performance relative to the policy benchmark established by the Board, through March 31, 2021, our five year annualized return has been 9.65% as compared to our policy benchmark return of 9.27%.
Health insurance and other benefits
Why are my prescription costs still so high?
The cost of prescriptions is typically determined by the manufacturer of the prescriptions, and often prescription drug costs are the primary driver in health care costs. To help keep prescription prices as low as possible for the university and plan members, our administrator, Express Scripts, negotiates guaranteed discounts with retail pharmacies and provides discounts through their own mail order process. If you’re a non-Medicare retiree, you may choose to sign up to receive a 90-day fill/refill through Express Scripts mail-order services or through a Mizzou pharmacy to receive the discount. To estimate 90-day prescription costs, visit Express Script's prescription cost estimator tool for UM System medical plans.
Will there be any unexpected changes for our health care coverage and benefits?
In order to provide high-quality plans at a manageable cost, we conduct regular, competitive bids—and we evaluate our plans with our existing administrators annually. So, while there are no unexpected changes, our routine bidding and review processes has the potential to result in some level of change regularly.
When plans change, those changes are implemented at the beginning of a new calendar year and they’ll be communicated to you prior to the Retiree Annual Enrollment period. That means you’ll have the opportunity to review plan details and get to know your options so you can select the plan that’s best for you.
<Are there plans to improve or change retiree dental and vision coverage?
Our university always strives to provide high-quality plans and we regularly take competitive bids to help support this goal. Our next competitive bid will evaluate our options for dental and vision coverage. That process will be conducted in 2022 and could potentially result in a new provider effective January 1, 2023, depending on who offers the most competitive plans.
Is the university considering a custom network plan for retirees to help with cost?
The university does not have plans to explore a narrow-network option for pre-65 retirees at this time. However, we’re always exploring options that will provide high-quality and affordable benefits for our faculty, staff and retirees. While there are no current plans for a custom network plan option for retirees, we’ve heard interest in such a program and will continue to explore solutions that will best support our community.
How do retirees approaching age 65 enroll in one of the Medicare insurance plans, and are supplemental insurance options or Part D coverage available?
Retirees enrolled in a university insurance plan will receive a packet around 90 days before they become Medicare-eligible. The retiree’s share of premiums is determined by a formula that considers age and years of service at retirement. The packet will include details about the transition to a Medicare Advantage plan, premium amounts and information for any dependents that will continue coverage. Both the Medicare Advantage Base and Enhanced plans include Part D coverage. Supplemental insurance is available outside of the university.
Retirees can get an estimate of their premiums with our Retiree Insurance Premiums Estimator. We encourage you to reach out to our support professionals at the HR Service Center for one-on-one guidance if you need additional help at that time.
What are the spending limits with United Healthcare? Is it per person or per family?
Out-of-pocket limits depend on the insurance plan you’ve selected and whether you’ve elected coverage for yourself or for a family. The Retiree Healthy Savings Plan has one out-of-pocket limit that combines both medical and prescription drug costs and the Retiree Health PPO Plan has two annual out-of-pocket limits: one for medical and a second for prescription drug costs. Access specific information on out-of-pocket limits for these plans on the Retiree Healthy Savings and the Retiree Health PPO webpages.
Please note, considerations for “self” and “family” are different for the Healthy Savings Plan than for the Retiree Health PPO Plan. Visit the glossary
Who is the best advocate for retirees to work with to better understand and coordinate with United Healthcare?
The university contracts with various companies to help administer our benefit and retirement plans. You can reach out to your plan administrator for support regarding your plan and covered care by calling the number on the back of your card or learn more about other methods of contacting administrators on our benefit plan administrators webpage. You can also connect with our HR Service Center for guidance and support.
How does the university work to control the cost of health care for active employees and retirees?
The university evaluates plans and works with our providers each year to keep premium increases lower than they otherwise would be. In addition, we conduct regular, competitive bids to ensure we’re providing high-quality plans at manageable costs. For example, this year we’re taking bids for our Medicare Advantage plans to help ensure the most competitive plans.
What should I do if my provider is no longer in-network?
If your provider is no longer covered, we encourage you to review your in-network options. For pre-65 retirees, United Healthcare provides a nationwide network of providers, all of whom can be browsed on the myUHC website. If you’re Medicare-eligible, our plan states you can see any provider (in-network or out-of-network) at the same cost share to you as long as that provider accepts Medicare and agrees to UHC’s payment schedule—which is the same as Medicare. If the provider will not submit your claim to UHC, you can choose to submit the claim for reimbursement directly. Access additional information and support on your plan through www.UHCRetiree.com/umsystem
How committed is the university to continuing to subsidize insurance for pre-2017 retirees?
The Total Rewards Advisory Committee, in reviewing retiree health insurance and subsidies, recognized that then-current retirees, spouses and covered dependents participating in UM-sponsored retiree insurance plans had a limited ability to accommodate changes in coverage that were being recommended at the time. Ultimately, the university determined it would continue to provide access and subsidy levels for pre-2017 retirees and covered dependents. The university is not exploring and has no plans to make additional changes that would affect subsidy levels for pre-2017 retirees.
Recognizing the market is likely to continue to evolve and mature, the university will continue to monitor and explore opportunities to improve choice and reduce costs for current (as well as future) pre-Medicare-eligible UM retirees.
Why can’t retirees carry their university life insurance until death or the retiree elects termination?
For most retirees with basic life insurance through the university, coverage continues until the end of the year in which they reach the age of 70. The November before the retiree reaches 70, Unum will reach out about converting term life policies through the university into personal whole life policies or another type of permanent life insurance. You can reach out to Unum at 1-800-343-5406 to talk about your options. We’ll drop that phone number in the chat.
Please explain the difference between the two out of pocket maximums in the Part D drug plan?
University Medicare Advantage plans do not have two out of pocket maximums for Part D drugs. Instead, these plans have one out of pocket amount of $4,130. Once you reach this out-of-pocket amount, you will pay $0 for your covered prescription drugs for the remainder of the plan year. If the total cost of your drugs, including what the plan pays, exceeds $6,550, you will pay the greater of 5% coinsurance or $3.70 copay for covered generic drugs and $9.20 copay for all other covered drugs.
I retired 4 years ago. Do I still have life insurance with the University?
This usually depends on your elections at retirement, but you can get specific information on your specific enrollments by reaching out to the HR Service Center
Please explain the difference between the Optum RX and Express Scripts Benefit for Retiree Medicare Enhanced Plan. The cost of certain diabetic supplies are free with Optum RX but are charged a fee with Express RX?
University retirees do not have access to Optum Rx. However, each pharmacy administrator has different formularies and levels of coverage associated with covered drugs.
IT and Email Updates
Is UM doing away with retiree emails?
No. Retirees with active university email accounts will continue to have access to those accounts. Our new email policy, UM 12006, outlines eligibility for university email—and that includes all current retirees who have maintained their university accounts.
Future retirees may also be able to retain university email accounts to support academic work and research endeavors or facilitate university business or volunteer activities. Future retirees will need to be sponsored by leadership in their school/college, division or recognized UM committee, organization or associations and submit a request upon retirement.
What are the reasons for restricting emails for retiring UM employees?
Phishing and similar attacks are becoming common and sophisticated, and we’ve had some email-related security incidents over the past several years. Historically, we haven’t had a formal email policy, but new regulations and legal responsibilities require it. In general, new policies and procedures—including email eligibility—are meant to provide consistency and reduce risk by increasing security, reducing our footprint and addressing or eliminating the presence of sensitive data.
Can the university send information to my preferred email account, or will non-university emails be excluded from receiving informational updates from the university?
Currently, retirees who maintain a university email address receive all communications through that email, since myHR requires the university email become the default email. However, staff in Human Resources and Information Technology are exploring ways that myHR can be adjusted to allow for retirees to select a preferred email that is not their university address, with plans to implement that email solution as is possible. At this time, no action is required on your part. As the team begins to implement solutions, we’ll let you know how and when you can use a preferred email address.
If I want to transition off UM email, is it okay to set my UM account to forward to a new Gmail account to facilitate the transition?
It does go against IT policies to forward university email to an outside email address, but you can help facilitate a transition from university email to personal email by updating your email in personal online accounts and setting an auto or out-of-office response that will direct those who reach out to you to connect with you via your new email address.
What security requirements are required to use the Outlook desktop app or a mobile app instead of the web interface?
Retirees using an outdated email client to connect to the UM email system are no longer able to access university email because outdated clients endanger our university’s information infrastructure. If you are having issues, you can use an updated mobile client or an updated Outlook app on your desktop. In most cases, older devices, like an older phone, will work fine to access university email as long as you’re not using outdated email clients. As always, you can also check email on the web from any web browser securely. For support in using approved clients to access email, reach out to your campus help desk.
Shortly after I retired, I stopped receiving weekly MU Info emails. Why?
The membership list for some of our newsletters are built dynamically. That means the list filters based on active employees and they’re not always set to pick up retirees. There are discussions regarding the potential to implement an opt-in or subscription type membership for specific newsletters, but this effort will take technical investigation and additional support to implement it more broadly. In the meantime, you can access information through the MU Info webpage, which includes the same content: https://muinfo.missouri.edu/.
Can retirees use Microsoft Teams to help facilitate university business?
Based on our Microsoft license, retirees don’t typically have access to Teams through the Office desktop app. However, retirees do have the option to access Teams through the web-based app. If a retiree ends up needing the Teams Office desktop app for official business, their department can request an ad-hoc license be assigned to them.
I understand the university is migrating away from Box. What will happen to files currently stored/shared in Box? What is the timeline for this change?
The university is migrating from Box to OneDrive, a Microsoft product later in the summer. Any files you currently have saved in Box will be moved on the back end for you. Individual users will not have to drag and drop their files from Box to OneDrive and users will lose access to Box after the move has been completed. All members of our university community, including retirees, will receive additional information as that change approaches.
What storage systems are recommended to use for maintaining old emails to avoid having them swept?
If you have emails you’d like to retain that have business value but don’t include sensitive information, you can save them in existing subfolders in your email to retain them or. If the emails have business value and should be stored outside of email for security purposes, save them to OneDrive or an appropriate system of record (PeopleSoft, etc.). You can save older personal emails that don’t contain sensitive information to a third-party space like Google drive.
If I used an email other than my university email to contact former colleagues, my email often goes into junk mail.
This is challenging to answer because junk mail decisions are usually made on the recipient’s email system so there’s not a lot of control you can have on where that goes. If you’re using a personal email, those senders have good reputations so you’re less likely to have that occur. If you’re getting repeatedly miscategorized by a system, reach out to us and we’ll do our best to provide help on understanding why it’s happening and how you can solve it.
Will there be instructions on email changes and next steps for retiree users, and will the university provide Help Desk support?
Yes! Changes will continue to be implemented over a period of time, so the university will provide email communication so our community knows how and when to take action to follow information security guidance. We’ll also provide web-based information and guides on our website with step-by-step guidance for those in need. And, as always, one-on-one support is available through the campus Help Desks.
Will there be a maximum storage limit for One Drive?
What current engagement opportunities exist for retirees?
We encourage engagement in three ways—
- Get to know your legislators and then let your legislators get to know you in a meaningful way. Your legislators are interested—so have a genuine moment of connection and share how their support is valuable. The summer months are a great time to reach out to them when they are at home in their districts. Inviting them to city or county events, out for coffee are just a few ways for you to get to know them and for them to get to know you. They want to hear from their constituents.
- Learn about university efforts by attending events like our virtual Extension and Engagement week, which run October 18-22. Save the date to learn more about this year’s focus—health—and attend the grand opening of the NextGen precision health building, which will bring expert health researchers and clinicians together under one roof in search of solutions to the world’s greatest health challenges.
- Connect with your university’s retiree associations to advocate for the needs and interests of retirees and learn about the opportunities available to you. University retiree associations provide events, social programs, educational opportunities and more. Being part of your retiree association is a great way to stay up-to-date with university news.
Past UM Retiree Events
- October 2, 2020 - UM System Retiree Health Benefits Virtual Town Hall
- May 6, 2020 - Virtual Town Hall for Retirees (COVID-19)
UM Connection is produced quarterly for the retirees of the four-campus University of Missouri System. The publication is a partnership between the Office of Engagement, the Office of Human Resources and the UM Retirees Association Leaders.