How to Talk About Your Pension at Deer Camp

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The day before the 2016 firearms season at my deer camp in Cole County, MO.

Deer camp is a Missouri tradition that is ages old. I have been hunting and hanging out at deer camps since I was a kid, and if there is one thing I have learned over the years (other than becoming pretty good at frying catfish) is that this that this setting is perfect for lively and opinionated conversation. 

At my deer camp, someone always asks me how LAGERS is doing. It never fails. These annual conversations inspired me to write about this topic and share some highlights that you can keep in your back pocket if this topic comes up while sitting around the campfire.

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Frying catfish is a long-standing tradtion at my deer camp in Cole County, MO.

LAGERS provides modest retirement benefits. No one is getting rich off LAGERS benefits. The average retirement benefit is around $977 per month. For someone that works a career in local public service (26-30 years), the average benefit is about $2,000 per month.

Taxpayers do not foot the entire bill for pension benefits. About 60% of a LAGERS retirement benefit is funded by the investment returns of the system's portfolio.


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One of my favorite things about hunting is watching the sunrise and sunset.

LAGERS helps local governments hire and keep good people who provide services to the taxpayers. Taxpayers benefit from public employee pensions, like LAGERS, because they help government agencies hire and keep good workers to provide valuable services to the citizens.

Contributions for LAGERS benefits account for only about 2.9% (average) of the overall budget of the local government agency. Contributions to LAGERS from government agencies are stable and managable. 

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The reason I hunt. I love processing my own meat and cooking wild game for family and friends, especially those who say they don't like to eat deer!

LAGERS is one of the most financially secure pension funds in the U.S. LAGERS is about 95% funded. This is incredibly favorable because it means LAGERS is in a position to meet all its obligations now and into the future.

LAGERS investment returns consistently beat the expectations. LAGERS' five year average investment return is 9.27%; exceeding our expected return of 7.25%. 

 

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Jeff Kempker is a hunter and the Assistant Executive Director, Member Services for LAGERS.

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Tagged Defending Pensions, Value of pensions, deer camp

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