- About half of Americans age 55 and older have nothing saved for retirement. However, 20% of these do have access to a defined benefit pension plan.
- Defined benefit pensions are the preferred retirement plan for state and local government employers.
- 39 employers have chosen LAGERS defined benefit plan for their employees within the last year. Almost all switched from a 401(k)-type plan.
- Defined benefit plans, like LAGERS, help government employers attract and retain good workers to serve the community.
A new study by the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) shows that income retirees receive from public pension plans, like LAGERS, produce positive economic impacts across the nation. The study, using 2016 data, reports public pensions are responsible for $1.2 trillion in total economic output in the U.S. and added $202.6 billion in government revenue from retiree income taxes and spending.
We all want to live in communities that are safe, stable and vibrant. This means we need to create towns with solid infrastructure, strong police protection, responsive fire and EMS services, great schools, good parks, and successful businesses. But the essential ingredient to produce great communities is so often overlooked. People make it happen!
The recently released 2018 Economic Impact Report from Missouri LAGERS shows the pension fund paid $308 million to retired local government workers and their loved ones last year with ninety-three cents of every dollar ($286 million) staying in Missouri.
A recent article in Forbes, Workplace Retirement Coverage Drops And The System Continues To Fail, by Teresa Ghilarducci, provides some sobering statistics about retirement preparedness for Americans. It is no surprise Americans who have access to a retirement plan at work will be better prepared for retirement than those without a plan. However, according to Ghilarducci, only 40% of workers in the U.S. are covered by a retirement offered by their employer. This is a 4% decrease since 2014 and this number has declined in 14 of the 17 years since 2000.
There are so many reasons not to care about retirement. It's so far away. We have student loans to pay off. We are building a house. We just had a(nother) baby. We want to take a vacation. We want to buy a truck/boat/camper/iPhone, etc. It is so easy for the financial pressures of today to overshadow the financial necessities of tomorrow.
There are two paths to retirement, the traditional path and the non-traditional path. The traditional path is the one where you work your entire career and decide to retire to a life of leisure with no plans for a future job of any sort. The non-traditional path is a more of a gentle downward slope rather than a cliff into retirement. It is characterized by continuing some type of paid employment and gradually easing into the life of leisure when you sever ties with all employment for good. Which path will you take? If you're like most Americans, you will take the non-traditional path.
A few years ago, I was at a meeting where I was to give a presentation to a group of LAGERS retirees. Before I even started speaking at least three different people stopped me and asked, “So, when is the money going to run out?”
Interview re-printed with permission from Trusted Insight.Brian Collett is the chief investment officer of Missouri Local Government Employees Retirement System (MOLAGERS), a $7.5 billion system. Under his leadership, Missouri LAGERS performed among the top in the public fund universe, returning 9.45 percent annualized net of fees for the last five years.