JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The struggling Missouri pension system is offering lump-sum payments to about 17,000 former state employees.

The Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System (MOSERS) announced in a news release Wednesday that letters will be sent offering the former employees the chance to cash out their future retirement annuity as a lump-sum payment now, rather than wait for retirement eligibility. The program is voluntary.

The Springfield News-Leader reports current state workers and retirees are not eligible. A state law that took effect in late August allows MOSERS to offer the buyouts.

Any buyouts taken by former Missouri employees will be 60 percent of the amount required to fund their future benefits as of Oct. 1, an average of $18,450.

The former employees have until Nov. 30 to decide on the offer.

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