In November of 2018, LAGERS launched a new program called the Certified LAGERS Administrator (CLA). This program was designed specifically for employer contacts and administrators who want to know more about how LAGERS works and want to feel at ease talking about LAGERS benefits. Though CLAs cannot speak on behalf of LAGERS, they are a vital source of LAGERS knowledge employees can count on as well a source for employees to obtain LAGERS contact information if they need answers to harder, individualized questions.
In the inaugural year of the CLA, there were 8 members who completed their certification. Since then, we added another 32 to our ranks! The requirements to receive certification are neither difficult nor very time consuming. It's mainly a matter of choosing and attending 6 educational meetings or webinars LAGERS hosts throughout a period of two years. These include:
- Employer Rate Meeting or HResources Meeting
- Understanding Your LAGERS Benefit
- Communicating the Value of Your Pension Plan
- Leaving LAGERS Covered Employment
- Application Process & Payment Options
- Disability and Survivor Benefits
- Taxes, COLAs, and Working After Retirement
- New Hire Orientation
- The Value of LAGERS
However, we are currently revamping our requirements based on feedback from some of the first CLAs receiving certification. These changes are set to take place the beginning of 2021. If you are currently working toward your certification, you will continue on the current path of requirements. If you want to begin your certification process with the start of the new year, the requirements will include a short, self-guided assessment and mandatory attendance at each of the following, plus 2 additional educational webinars of your choice:
- Employer Rate Meeting or HResources Meeting (In-person meetings preferable)
- Monthly Reporting Webinar
- Understanding Your LAGERS Benefit Webinar
- How to Communicate Your LAGERS Benefit Webinar
Every person completing certification will receive a certificate of completion and a lapel pin. In order to maintain certification status, CLAs must be re-certified every two years. Current CLAs must re-certify by December 31, 2022. If you are certified in 2021, you will have until December 31, 2023. Re-certification will go by calendar year going forward, so if you are certified in 2022, you will have until December 31, 2024 to be re-certified. The process for re-certification will include an education module that will gauge mastery and will be completed online. You may be asked to attend an in-person meeting during that time as well. More about the re-certification process will be rolled out in January of 2021.
It is LAGERS' intention to develop more and more opportunities for our growing number of CLAs, including a possible master's level of CLAs, CLA gatherings for networking and sharing experiences and knowledge, and sneak peaks at our up and coming programs and/or special behind-the-scene looks into the day-to-day LAGERS experience.
We want to thank each and every one of our CLAs and we welcome all who wish to work toward their CLA. With your help, we are well on our way toward a better understanding of our government employees' retirement benefit system! Keep up the outstanding work!