When the stock market is in flux like it has been recently, having a defined benefit that grows as you continue to work regardless of market performance can be very reassuring. Additionally, many of our retirees during this time have expressed their monthly check has been a stabilizing force for their financial security. So, rest assured your LAGERS defined benefit provides you with financial security both today and when you retire.
It's always nice to be thanked for a job well done. Everyone needs an "atta boy" once in awhile. And the team at LAGERS is no exception. We love when our members send appreciation our way for protecting their retirement money.
LAGERS understands that the benefits we offer help tens of thousands of Missourians gain financial independence. We take our responsibility as caretakers of your money very seriously. LAGERS' Board of Trustees and staff are considered fiduciaries. This means we are legally obligated to act and make decisions that are in the best interest of our members and their beneficiaries. There are many specific things we do on a daily basis to help protect your money. Here are a few.
- 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.
This post was originally posted in August of 2017, and has been updated to reflect this year's COLA numbers.
This year LAGERS retirees will receive a COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) of around 2.87%. This increase will be reflected on October 1st and it means much more than just a slight increase to your monthly benefit. It shows the strength and overall financial security of your LAGERS pension system.
I recently attended the National Association of State Retirement Administrators annual training conference. It’s very helpful to get together with peers and share successes and what’s working best with others across the country. It serves both as an affirmation of some things we’re doing very well and an inspiration of other practices we can employ to be even better. (At this point I’m sure you’re thinking, “Wow, I bet THAT’S a giant gathering of retirement nerds...and you would be right. But we're hard working, caring nerds, so it’s all good.) My desk now includes 4 pages of notes ranging from cybersecurity ideas for discussion, team/leadership development, to membership surveys. The information is only as good as the user, so my task is to explore each item to see how it might make our system even better.
My colleague Penny and I recently spent some time in Rolla to honor one of our long-standing members, Rolla Municipal Utilities employee Rosalie Spencer, who was celebrating 50 years with the organization with a lunch reception. Around 70 of Rosalie's friends, family and coworkers present and past were on hand to celebrate her accomplishment. "When I started here, I told them if they hired me I wanted to stay until I retire. And I am." Rosalie plans to retire at the end of April of this year, and because she has stayed for 50 years should be able to replace a sizable amount of her salary with her LAGERS benefit.
It's almost Valentine's Day, and we thought it would be fitting to re-post one of our favorite blogs from 2015 by Elizabeth Althoff, "5 Reasons to Love Your LAGERS Benefit." There are so many reasons to love a secure retirement, and LAGERS checks all the boxes. So while you're thinking of candy and flowers and heaarts, now that LAGERS is thinking about your financial future.