If you are considering a career with us, the State of Missouri offers a generous benefit package for employees in full-time, permanent positions. Benefits are available on a pro-rated basis for employees in permanent part-time positions budgeted to work 20 or more hours per week.

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Holidays and Leave

Annual Leave, Sick Leave, and Holidays

Full-time employees earn 5 hours of annual leave and 5 hours of sick leave per semi-monthly pay period, which equals three weeks per year. Annual leave accrual rates increase after 10 and 15 years of service. The sick leave accrual rate does not increase. There are 13 paid holidays per calendar year.

Professional Development

CLE Training

Public Defender attorneys earn continuing legal education credit through in-house training programs as well as training programs outside the system. Additional training opportunities are available through the Training Division.

Bar Dues

Public Defender attorneys employed on January 1 of each year are eligible to have their Missouri Bar dues paid by the Public Defender System.

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Insurance and Related Benefits

Health/dental/vision Insurance

The State of Missouri offers comprehensive health, dental, and vision insurance coverage for state employees. Plan options and premiums vary based on plan selected and level of coverage. You can learn more about insurance options available to state employees by visiting Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan.

Dental coverage is available statewide through Delta Dental, offering a nationwide network of participating providers.

Vision benefits are also available statewide and are administered by the National Vision Administrators, LLC (NVA).

Life Insurance

Basic Life Insurance

The state provides basic life insurance in the amount of one times an employee’s annual salary at no employee cost. The life insurance, long-term disability, and retirement plans are all administered by MOSERS, the Missouri State Employees Retirement System.

Optional Life Insurance

Employees may purchase additional term life insurance with premiums paid through payroll deduction. Coverage can be elected in a flat amount in multiples of $10,000. The coverage amount cannot exceed six times the employee’s annual salary.

Employees may also elect to purchase life insurance on a spouse (up to $100,000) and child(ren) ($10,000 per child).

Long Term Disability Insurance

The State of Missouri provides eligible employees with long term disability insurance at no cost to the employee. The long term disability benefits include a 90-day waiting period; continuation of creditable service toward retirement benefits for each month an employee receives disability benefits; and 60 percent replacement of pre-disability earnings less any deductible income.

Employee Assistance Program – strive Employee Life & Family (SELF)

The Strive Employee Life & Family (SELF) Program is a confidential counseling and referral service, offered through ComPsych, that can help state employees and their family members successfully deal with life’s challenges. It entitles an employee and any household member to receive up to six counseling sessions annually per episode. The SELF Program offers behavioral health counseling, help with money issues, legal issues, identity theft and every day issues such as child care, moving, vacation planning and much more.

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Financial and Other Related Benefits

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

MSPD is a qualifying employer for the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. This provides total federal loan forgiveness for all Direct Loans once an individual has made the equivalent of 120 qualifying payments while working full-time for a qualifying government or not-for-profit organization. Learn more about PSLF and all requirements by visiting the Federal Student Aid website.

Deferred Compensation

Employees can participate in the State of Missouri Deferred Compensation Plan by deferring a portion of their salary before or after state and federal income taxes are withheld. New employees are automatically enrolled in a Target Date Fund with a default contribution rate of 1% of gross pay per paycheck. Employees contributing at least $25 per month will receive a state match of contributions dollar-for-dollar up to a maximum contribution of $75 per month. ICMA-RC is the plan administrator for the deferred compensation plan.


The retirement plan is administered by MOSERS, the Missouri State Employees Retirement System. The retirement benefit is calculated using a formula based upon age at retirement, months of creditable service, salary, and benefit payment option selected.

Retirement plan enrollment is determined by an employee’s hire date. New state employees hired for the first time January 1, 2011 or later in a benefit-eligible position (with no prior benefit-eligible state service) are enrolled in the MSEP 2011 Plan. Employees contribute 4% of pay by payroll deduction to the MOSERS trust fund which is applied toward the future retirement benefit. Employees are vested after five years of creditable service.

Information for current or returning state employees (originally hired in a benefit-eligible position prior to January 1, 2011) can be found at the MOSERS website.

US Savings Bonds

Employees may invest in US Savings Bonds through an online TreasuryDirect account utilizing payroll deduction.

Missouri Credit Union

Public Defender employees may elect to join the Missouri Credit Union to take advantage of the checking, savings, loan services, and other services available through the convenience of payroll deduction.

Cafeteria Plan

Employees may elect to redirect pretax dollars to pay for eligible expenses including state-sponsored medical, dental, and vision premiums; medical expenses not covered by insurance; and child care or older dependent care expenses. Participation in the cafeteria plan lowers gross taxable income reported to the Internal Revenue Service. For more information, go to Missouri State Employees’ Cafeteria Plan.


This summary of benefits is provided for information purposes only. It is not to be construed as providing any contractual rights, expressly implied, or as providing financial or legal advice. Benefits are subject to change. Further information regarding benefits is available upon request.

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