On May 23 LAGERS held our first Facebook LIVE event. Assistant Director Jeff Kempker answered the 5 most common questions we get from members on their LAGERS benefit, then answered your questions live. We had a great discussion about pensions and how they contribute to a secure retirement for many and how LAGERS is leading that effort.
Question 1: When can I retire? There are a few different options for you as to when you can retire, depending on what your benefits are and what your employer has elected for you.
- Normal retirement age - 60 for general employees, 55 for police and fire.
- Early retirement age - you can retire up to 5 years before your regular retirement age with a reduction in your benefit.
- Rule of 80 - if your employer has elected Rule of 80, you may retire early with an un-reduced benefit when your age + your service = 80
Question 2: How much will I get from LAGERS when I retire? Each person's benefit is designed to reflect that person's individual working career.
- Benefit formula - This formula is based on your specific career.
- Multiplier x how long you work x how much you make
- Replacement ratios - This is an easy way to ballpark the amount of income your benefit will replace at retirement.
- myLAGERS estimator - Can be found on the myLAGERS web portal, and is a great tool for retirement planning.
Question 3: How can I increase my LAGERS benefit?
- Work longer - Your pension rewards longevity of service. The longer you work, the bigger your benefit.
- Make more $ - Your Final Average Salary is also part of the formula that determines your benefit.
- Purchase Service - There are options to purchase two specific types of service to add to your LAGERS benefit.
- Employer upgrade - If your employer decides to upgrade your benefit multiplier, that upgrade will affect all your service with that employer; as it is retroactive.
Question 4: What if I leave my employer before I retire?
- Refund - There are options for you to request a refund of your contributions, but you will be forfeiting your service and a future benefit.
- Lump Sum - If eligible, you may be able to take a lump sum of your retirement benefit.
- Deferred Retirement - If you leave your covered employment before regular retirement age, you may still collect your benefit at retirement age, as you will be "deferring" your benefit.
Question 5: How do I prepare for retirement through LAGERS?
- Within 5 years - Attend a PRS -We have half-day and full-day, and evening options for you to attend one of our Pre-retirement seminars. See our events calendar for one near you.
- myLAGERS estimator - sign up for a myLAGERS account and track your benefit as you get closer to retirement. You can estimate how much your benefit will be based on how much longer you work so you can plan your retirement date.
- Apply 30 days before - We must receive your application 30-90 days before you want to receive your first benefit payment, and you can do this online on myLAGERS.
This was our first Facebook live event, but you can be sure we'll be doing these more often. Let us know what you'd like to see by contacting us.