Supreme Court rejects survivors’ MOSERS claim

Because Laurel Beard of Moberly — a 26-year state Corrections department employee — died two days before she was to begin her retirement, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled last week that two women she had named as beneficiaries of her MOSERS retirement plan are not entitled to get those benefits.

The high court’s unanimous, seven-page decision — written by Judge George W. Draper III — upheld Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem’s Oct. 24, 2011, ruling that the Missouri State Employees Retirement System didn’t owe Beard’s beneficiaries any money.

Theresa Beard and Beth Carll sued MOSERS on April 15, 2010, after the MOSERS Board ruled in January 2010 that Beard and Carll — in Draper’s words — “were not entitled to retirement or survivor benefits because (Laurel) Beard died prior to her annuity starting date and did not have a surviving spouse or dependent children.”

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