As an HR Specialist at the City of Joplin I'm responsible for Payroll and Benefits. The City of Joplin employees provide local services for a residential population of 50K with a daily commuter population of 250K. When I first started with the City, I did not have much experience with pension plans and struggled with the details of LAGERS. I contacted LAGERS and spoke to Penny who agreed to come to the City and make a presentation. I was amazed how easily she explained every aspect of our pension plan. She provided me with LAGERS literature, directed me to specific educational materials on the web site, and answered my million questions I had. She has since then always been extremely helpful each and every time I have called or emailed with questions (which is often).
I then attended a seminar for retirees in Joplin that was presented by Jeff Pabst. This gave me specific knowledge as to what our retirees would learn in such a seminar, and also helped me plan for my eventual retirement. Jeff was confident and it is obvious that he believes in the pension and cares greatly for the employees who benefit from it. Our second annual seminar was presented by Jeff, and we had an even larger turn out than before. Our employees know that if they attend this seminar they will not only learn a great deal about their pension but have the time and the opportunity to get answers to their specific and personal questions. LAGERS has always been knowledgeable and patient in each and every presentation I’ve attended.
One of the current initiatives we are working on is getting the younger generation involved. Many, if not most, of our employees wait until retirement is a near-future event before attending seminars or coming to me with questions. I believe it is extremely important for all employees, not only those with retirement looming, to be knowledgeable of their pension benefit and to understand the enormity and sheer awesomeness of it. LAGERS also believes in getting the younger generation involved. I’ve discussed this with Jeff and am extremely excited about some of the events and presentations that are coming in the near future. One of those events I’m excited about is the LAGERS Lunch Break. This is a fantastic way to get the younger generation educated and involved in their retirement.
The way it’s presented – as a lunch instead of a seminar – will be more attractive to those early to mid-career employees who may not think about their retirement situation yet. This is a win-win for the City and the employees. The City wins by showcasing one of, if not THE, best benefit to working here. The employees win because with this knowledge they will be able to successfully start working on retirement at an early age and understand exactly what the pension is and what it means for their financial future and freedom. We're so excited to get started with our LAGERS Lunch Break!