Last year, Missouri law was amended to expand LAGERS’ participating employers options for employee contribution to a 0%, 2%, 4%, or 6% election. Previously, an employer could only elect a 0% or 4% employee contribution amount. Since then, we have received a number of calls from members and employers about this new option. One common theme of these calls has been members wanting to increase their LAGERS' contribution amount. However, they are disappointed when they find out that paying more in employee contributions doesn’t always directly result in better benefits.
LAGERS employers will soon have more flexibility with their employee contribution election thanks to legislation signed by Governor Parson this week.
House Bill 1467, which the Governor signed on July 13, will extend LAGERS employers' options for the employee contribution election from the current 0% or 4% employee contribution to a 0%, 2%, 4%, or 6% employee contribution election.
“We are excited to be able to further enhance the flexibility of the LAGERS system so that every local government employer has the best tools possible to attract and retain the best public servants to serve in our communities,” says LAGERS Executive Director Bob Wilson.
The new law will also permit governing bodies to make a separate employee contribution election if their employer has non-social security-covered employees who are covered under a different multiplier than their social security-covered employees.
This year, LAGERS is seeking to expand the options available for employer election to provide more flexibility in the employee contribution election. Currently, an employer can elect to be either contributory or non-contributory. This year’s bills (House Bill 1467 and Senate Bill 768) seek to expand the options to 0, 2, 4, and 6% employee contribution. Over the past two years, LAGERS staff has traveled the state visiting with our members and employers about this proposal. While the feedback has been overwhelming positive, as with any legislative change, there are always questions. Here are a few of the most common questions we’ve received regarding this year’s proposal.
Public pension plans that are well-funded share some common characteristics, according to the National Association of State Retirement Administrators (NASRA). And since LAGERS ranks in the top ten in terms of funding among U.S. plans, you may guess that these characteristics would be found in our practices. And you would be right.
I spend a lot of time traveling the state and I get to hear a lot of great questions from our members. Some of you love to get into the details of your benefit and probably revel in the thought of reading a 1000 word blog on LAGERS’ funding policy; but I’ve found there are an equal number of you who’d rather skip over all those details for just a basic understanding of how your benefit works. We live in a world of information overload, so I am totally sympathetic to those of you out there who just want a quick answer. So this week, instead of looking at one topic in depth, I thought I’d hit briefly on the top five questions I get from members. Don’t see the question you want a quick answer to on my list? Leave a comment and I’ll be happy to respond! Make sure you stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 of this blog which will address top pre-retiree and retiree questions!