Your LAGERS retirement system annually holds more than 25 pre-retirement seminars across the state of Missouri and I get the opportunity to speak at 15 or more of those seminars every year. It never fails that several people in the crowd are surprised to learn one thing or another about their LAGERS system. I believe this shows how incredibly beneficial attending a pre-retirement seminar can be for you. Here are my top 4 topics that attendees to a pre-retirement seminar were surprised to find out.
- You may be able to purchase service under the LAGERS system before you retire. That’s right. Eligible members can purchase up to 4 years of military service and / or any amount of non-federal public employment for a political subdivision within the State of Missouri where you are not eligible to receive a benefit from another retirement plan similar to LAGERS. One question that always seems to come up when I discuss this at the seminars is, “how much does it cost?” The answer is not as clear cut, but you can get an estimate through the myLAGERS portal or by calling our office. Click Here for a recent blog about purchasing service.
- You can work part-time or full time after you retire and still receive your LAGERS benefit. In fact, you can work full-time for a different LAGERS employer and continue to receive your monthly benefit while also accruing a separate benefit with the new employer. Let me explain your options:
- You can work full-time for any non- LAGERS employer. There are no limitations on how much you can make or how many hours you can work.
- You can work part-time for any employer. This includes the employer from which you may be drawing a benefit. If you’re employing with the same employer, the position must be below the annual hours the employer elected as full-time to continue to receive your benefit.
- You may work full-time for a different LAGERS employer.
- You must have a one calendar month break between when you receive your first benefit payment or your termination date, whichever is later.
- You will begin accruing a separate LAGERS benefit.
- You will become vested on your second retirement after 12 consecutive months of employment with the different LAGERS employer.
- Upon second retirement, you will be eligible for an additional benefit to be added to what you are currently receiving.
- Check out this recent blog about re-employment after retirement.
- Your pension benefit may be tax exempt in the State of Missouri. I don’t claim to be an accountant by any means, but this is something we talk about at our seminars. It is called the Missouri Public Pension Exemption and depending on your marital status, adjusted gross income and the amount of public pension income you are receiving, you may qualify for 100% of your public pension benefits being tax exempt for your State of Missouri income taxes. Check out my taxes blog regarding the Missouri Public Pension Exemption.
- The ‘retire on October 1st or you’ll lose out on a COLA’ is a lie. This is something that we hear about quite a bit. We hear that if you don’t retire before or on October 1st that you are going to get gipped out of a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) and that simply isn’t true. Before you can receive your first COLA, you must be retired 12 full months including an October 1st. So, that sounds like if you retire after October 1st that you will miss out on that adjustment. Not true. Your cost of living adjustments are cumulative based on your retirement date. So, no matter when you retire, we are going to ensure that your retirement benefit is keeping pace with inflation. Click Here to see a blog about why retiring on October 1st is as important as you think.
These are just a few of the many revelations LAGERS members come away with after attending a Pre-Retirement Seminar. There are many more, but do yourself the favor and attend at least one Pre-Retirement Seminar before retiring. It will certainly help you through the retirement process and possibly reveal things you didn’t know. Click Here for a full list of our seminars!