Goodness gracious, we’ve bid farewell to yet another year. I can’t believe I’ve become one of those, but time truly does go by so fast. This summer marked my 25th year serving LAGERS and our members. Wow. Seems like just yesterday I was learning the ropes myself and so eager to start my career. I burned up the roadways traveling the state to meet members, employers and others. Flip a switch and here we are 25 years later – and I think I love what we do more than ever.
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.
Whether it’s your first day on the job, or you’re a seasoned local government pro, you may feel a little overwhelmed when it comes to understanding your LAGERS benefit. While there a many facets to how your benefit works, here are five simple themes every LAGERS member should know.
1. Your Hard Work Pays Off
LAGERS benefit calculation is pretty simple: work longer, earn more income in retirement. That’s easy enough, but because you accrue service, and not an account balance, it can sometimes be difficult to visualize the true value of your LAGERS benefit. LAGERS offers many different tools to help you estimate your future benefit, but know that each month you work, your future financial security grows - and that future monthly income will add up over a lifetime!
I recently attended a National Public Pension Funding Forum hosted by the National Conference of Public Employee Retirement Systems, and had the opportunity to hear from many pension fund administrators and experts about the pension funding successes and challenges in the United States. As funds from across the county continue to work to ensure long term financial stability, one of my biggest takeaways from the event was that even though there are often no easy answers when it comes to pension funding, LAGERS is getting a lot of things right.
This post was originally posted in August of 2017, and has been updated to reflect this year's COLA numbers.
This year LAGERS retirees will receive a COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) of around 2.87%. This increase will be reflected on October 1st and it means much more than just a slight increase to your monthly benefit. It shows the strength and overall financial security of your LAGERS pension system.
I recently sat down with Bob Wilson, LAGERS Director, to hear about our new funding level and how it matters to our employers and our members.
I recently had the chance to speak with the board of a prospective employer, and a common question came up about the relationship between investment performance and contribution rates. Coincidentally, I planned to share this blog post and video explaining the relationship between LAGERS investment performance and employer contribution rates.
Goals are important. Every person and organization should set goals so they are constantly seeking to get better. This time of year people are thinking about their goals; some refer to these as New Year's Resolutions. It's a time to reset, recharge and prepare to run head first back into the fire of life.