Our top priority is what we affectionately call the “Local Plans Bill.” This legislation allows LAGERS-participating entities the opportunity to voluntarily transfer the administration of their closed pension plan to LAGERS. We first proposed this legislation during the 2014 session and it received wide support from LAGERS members, legislators, and even the media. In an opinion piece published in the Jefferson City News Tribune, a staffer wrote, “Rare is the proposal that presents no downside and attracts no opposition.”
Senate Bill 675 (the Local Plans Bill), which was not testified against in either chamber, passed the House with a 136-10 vote and the Senate unanimously in March 2014 but was vetoed by Governor Nixon in July. LAGERS board and staff, however, still believe that this legislation is good public policy and will propose slightly modified language during the upcoming session that we trust will be agreeable to all parties.
We do not have plans at this time to propose any other legislation, but will be monitoring all pension and retirement related bills, especially those that may affect LAGERS membership. You may track all public pension related legislation in Missouri here.
LAGERS staff will continue its education and outreach with the legislative community. LAGERS believes retirement security is an important issue for Missourians and secure, stable retirement plans that provide steady monthly income are the most efficient way to help middle class workers transition into middle class retirees. Our outreach, aimed specifically at policy makers, includes new videos and publications that convey the value of the public sector worker and the positive economic impact of LAGERS benefits. One such example is this video directed at all stakeholders, depicting the partnership of all working toward a common goal to grow communities better and stronger.
This education is vital as an attempt to negate the well organized and funded movement to abolish pension plans like LAGERS. If this movement succeeds, the retirement stability of countless Missourians would be in serious jeopardy. Not to mention how this would upset the economic fabric of the entire state.
Please visit molagers.org for updates during the 2015 legislative session and don’t be afraid to contact your state legislators to let them know how important your LAGERS benefit is to you and your community!