Have you ever wondered why so many employers provide retirement benefits to their employees, or perhaps wondered how LAGERS adds 10-15 brand new employers every year to our system? Well, I could write an entire blog about that, or probably even several blogs about the value of a good retirement plan like LAGERS. I could go on and on about how these benefits provide valuable tools for local governments to attract and retain high quality workers into public service and about how these benefits ensure that employees can actually retire someday with dignity and true retirement security. But I thought instead this week, in celebration of National Employees Benefits day, I’d look back at what some of our newest employers told us about why they chose to add or switch to LAGERS for their employee’s retirement benefit.
One of our newest members couldn’t have put it any better. Bill Florea with Nodaway County Ambulance says when talking about why they looked to add LAGERS, “as a governmental body, retirement options [are] very limited for us. We wanted a better retirement plan for employees, one that offered more financial security that was not directly tied to the market. One that prevented employees from getting into their funds before they retire. We want something there for them when they retire!”
It is easy to forget that often the greatest threat to our own retirement security is ourselves! Whether employees are simply not saving enough, or making withdrawals too early from their retirement accounts, the results can be devastating and often result in employees not having enough money set aside when they need to retire. A good retirement plan, like LAGERS protects benefits so that when a member is ready to retire, they know their benefit will always be there for them! Bill follows with, “Providing a great retirement plan should [also] improve the district's employee recruitment and retention goals and possibly provide some added financial comfort in light of the increasing uncertainty in the Social Security system and its increasing retirement ages.” Well said, Bill!
It always amazes me that regardless of how diverse our members are, their reasons for adding LAGERS are often similar, whether they are in a small rural area looking for ways to entice folks into public service or a larger urban area competing with many surrounding municipalities for employees, or any size and shape in between looking to provide a little security for their employees down the road.
“It was something the employees had asked the City to look into and the Board also been discussing ways to keep employees” says Karen Girondo from Wright City.
We were looking for a way “to provide a benefit to help retain and recruit employees and to give our employees a benefit that will help protect their future,” adds Barb Shupe from Grand River Ambulance.
“We were unhappy with the fees associated with the retirement plan with which we were participating. In looking at other retirement plan options, several employees asked that we look into LAGERS. Employees have expressed the opinion that the defined benefit plan offered through LAGERS will provide them with a better retirement than the previous plan that was a defined contribution plan” recalls Mary Beth Revels of St. Joseph Public Library.
Steve Roth with the City of New Haven adds “I think it will aid in retention and recruitment. Likely it will be a particular selling point as we recruit new police officers. I think it gives employees a clear retirement goal to shoot for and a greater stake and interest in the total employee package. Finally the disability benefit is a new coverage that we were not able to offer previously.”
We couldn’t agree more with Bill and Karen and Barb and Mary Beth and Steve, and are so proud of the fact that regardless of an individual employer’s goals when they look at adding LAGERS to their benefit package, LAGERS employers understand the value of having the best, most dedicated employees work in their communities. Our employers believe that LAGERS is a great tool to help them attract those servants and keep them serving through their most productive years. And the best part is, when those dedicated public servants are ready to retire, they actually can, and they can do it with the peace of mind in knowing their benefit is secure.