The Missouri government will pay nearly $330 million next year to pay for the State Worker Pensions. The governing board for the Missouri State Employees Retirement System approved a 20% increase which amounts to $55 million to help cover the cost for state workers’ retirement. The retirement system covers about 51,000 state workers and about 37,000 retirees. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the pension system lost $1.8 billion from the stock market’s downturn from 2008-2009 while retired workers are living longer and therefore receiving pension payments for longer. Missouri recently made changes to the State Workers Pension. Under a law passed in 2010, new workers hired must contribute 4% of their salaries into the retirement system, but employees hired before then pay nothing. Qualifying for the pension now requires spending a decade working for the state instead of the five years it used to require. The minimum retirement age was also raised from 62 to 67 years old.