It's that time of year again when I get to reflect on all things for which I am thankful. This is, by far, one of my favorite activities, and I am excited to share some of my reflections with you.
My focus for this reflection is on LAGERS, of course. Though there are many reasons to be thankful for LAGERS (my awesome job comes to mind immediately), I believe more share-worthy reasons are as follows:
First, I am reminded of a saying that goes something like this: "There is nothing certain in life except death and taxes." Well, I would like to amend this saying and add "LAGERS benefits." Currently, LAGERS is 94.8% prefunded, which means LAGERS has approximately 95 cents in assets already in hand for every dollar of present and future liabilities in the system, and LAGERS is trending toward 100% by making steady progress in paying its liabilities. LAGERS is as secure and as certain as death and taxes, and I am thankful, knowing my benefits are guaranteed to me or my family for life.
Secondly, with the mention of my family, I am thankful LAGERS not only provides support for me in retirement, but LAGERS makes sure my family also receives support if I pass away. I feel a sense of relief that if I were to pass, LAGERS' pre-retirement survivor benefit is payable for the life of the surviving spouse or dependent children. No one likes to think about the possibility of passing away before retirement, but it happens, and thanks to LAGERS, if it happens to my family, they are guaranteed suppport from LAGERS.
Finally, I am thankful LAGERS is a driving force in the flourishing of my community. LAGERS supports Missouri communities in a few different ways. One notable way is by providing local fire fighters, police officers, utilities workers, EMTs, public works personnel, and librarians, among others, a secure and dignified retirement. These people work hard to make sure our communities are running smoothly and thriving. They deserve to know they will be provided for upon their retirement. By supporting my community's workers, LAGERS allows my community to flourish. However, LAGERS also allows my community to grow in a way you might not expect. LAGERS paid out $283 million to 21,845 benefit recipients last year. Of that $283 million, $263 million stayed in Missouri. Almost $5 million was paid out just to my county alone. This money is reinvested in the community through retirees, so again, LAGERS continually supports and allows for the growth of my community, and again, I am thankful.
I wish you the best this Thanksgiving, and I encourage you to take some time out of your busy days to reflect on the many reason for thanks you may have in your life. From the staff at LAGERS, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.