One of the most common questions members ask at Pre-Retirement Seminars is ‘what is the average cost of living adjustment LAGERS retirees receive each year?’
Public pension plans that are well-funded share some common characteristics, according to the National Association of State Retirement Administrators (NASRA). And since LAGERS ranks in the top ten in terms of funding among U.S. plans, you may guess that these characteristics would be found in our practices. And you would be right.
On Tuesday we held a Facebook Live event to explain the new LAGERS retirement eligibility options for certain public safety personnel. Elizabeth Althoff was instrumental in this project and explained how the new law works and answered the most common questions that we get about this new option.
Many people my age (mid 30s) can’t fathom what it’s going to be like in 30 years when we reach retirement. It’s a hard concept for us to understand because it is so far away from now. For some, you’re on the doorstep of retirement and others may be like me. Either way, we all need to understand the financial value LAGERS brings to our ability to achieve financial security in the future.
Local government service is for heroes. It takes employees and officials who care deeply about building quality of life for their city. Their accomplishments create what we all love about our communities, from parks and main streets, to clean sidewalks and safe neighborhoods.
Melvin Bockelman was recently celebrated by the Kansas City Police Department. Last year in September, the KCPD honored 50 years of innovation of the computer system that would become the lifeblood of the department. The designer of that system 50 years ago was Mr. Bockelman. The computer system implemented in Kansas City was revolutionary at the time, and is considered one the United States' most advanced computer-based information systems.
Mr. Bockelman was the manager of the computer systems division under the leadership of Chief Clarence Kelly of KCPD. Together, these two pioneers developed the system to make Kansas City a safer place for its citizens and the officers in the field. After he retired Mr. Bockelman went to work for LAGERS employer Lafayette County, where he implemented a similar system there.
The system was called Alert 1, short for Automated Law Enforcement Response Team 1. A former member of the Air Force as a computer systems manager, Mr. Bockelman used his skills in this emerging field to create this “thinking machine” to perform crime rate analysis and crime record searching at the same time. People came from all over the country to see the new computer and learn from the department about this new technology. Mr. Bockelman also traveled the world sharing the story of ALERT 1 to other departments.
After retiring, Mr. Bockelman didn’t stop sharing his expertise. He went on to work for Lafayette County Courthouse, implementing a computer system for them.
LAGERS' Executive Director and I attended the annual conference of the National Association of State Retirement Administrators (NASRA) last week. This conference gathers together the leaders of the largest public pension plans in America. Attending allows us to hear ideas about how to better serve our members and gain insight into best practices in the retirement industry.