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.
When planning for your financial future, there are many different factors that you must consider to ensure you can achieve financial independence. I am constantly thinking about retirement, of course, because I work for a retirement system. But, for Millennials like me, we have a hard time thinking about retirement because it’s 20 or more years away. So, how do we set ourselves up to ensure we can reach a point in our life where we can do what we want, when we want to? Here’s idea to get you started, set a budget and stick to it.
We spend a lot of time talking about the savings crisis in the United States. We’ve written about the unfunded liabilities in 401(k) plans, we’ve written about the lack of financial literacy, and the dangerously low retirement account balances across the country. And while all of this might lead to the conclusions that having a defined benefit plan, like LAGERS, is an important cornerstone to retirement security in America, pension reform debates still often favor the significant reduction or elimination of defined benefit plans altogether.
In 2013, the City of Webster Groves joined the Missouri Local Government Employees Retirement System (LAGERS), a statewide public defined benefit retirement plan covering local government workers from all across Missouri. This is our story of why and how we made this giant leap forward in providing retirement benefits to our employees, and, we believe, in ultimately enhancing service to our citizens.
Recently I asked Brian Collett, our CIO, to give me an update on our most recent investment numbers. He shared lots of information with me on our most recent numbers, but also talked about our Asset study that we just completed, and how that shapes our investment strategy.
Tagged Investment Return, Investments, Contribution Rates, Investments; Return; LAGERS Portfolio, Pension Health, LAGERS performance, Quarterly Update, Retirement, Retire, inflation, stock market, equities, Brian Collett, Sound Funding, Asset Study
What is myLAGERS, and why do I need a myLAGERS account?
I recently spoke with a former colleague who told me she was not even 30 years old yet and she has absolutely no interest in talking about or thinking about retirement or planning for her financial future. She did know when she would be vested in her current pension, but she had no idea how a pension works and couldn't tell me anything about her specific employer's plan. "I'll worry about that in a few years." Bottom line, she sounded exactly like me when I was her age, and my current-age self would love to have a "welcome to reality" talk with my younger self. Unfortunately, I was not convincing enough to make my former colleague take action to support her financial future, but she is now, at least, THINKING about it.
LAGERS retirees contribute to the economies of cities and counties all across our great state. Just take a look at this snapshot of the economic impact created by the retirees of Northwest Missouri. In 2017, over $15 million was paid to our retirees, who then in turn spent money in our communities with their LAGERS benefits.
When you think about your LAGERS benefit, probably the first words that come to mind are ‘retirement benefit.’ After all, Retirement System is in our name. But don’t forget that there is more to your benefit than the name may suggest; LAGERS also provides our members with disability and survivor’s benefits.
Don’t think your employer elected these benefits? Think again. Every LAGERS member is automatically covered by both disability and survivor’s benefits. Here’s what you need to know about this important benefit:
I recently sat down with Bob Wilson, LAGERS Director, to hear about our new funding level and how it matters to our employers and our members.