In 2013, the City of Webster Groves joined the Missouri Local Government Employees Retirement System (LAGERS), a statewide public defined benefit retirement plan covering local government workers from all across Missouri. This is our story of why and how we made this giant leap forward in providing retirement benefits to our employees, and, we believe, in ultimately enhancing service to our citizens.
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.
Our guest blogger Katie Hunze from Jefferson County explains what is involved in a LAGERS on-site Pre-Retirement Seminar and how they can help employees understand their benefit.
Jefferson County hosted its first Pre-Retirement Seminar in April; open to all our employees. We were pleased to have 95 employees for our first attempt. Our vision is to ensure that whether retirement is five years or twenty-five years away, all employees should have a solid understanding of what they’re working towards every single day. We appreciate and value all of our public servants and want them to be able to enjoy the retirement that they have worked so hard for! Retirement benefits are covered during our new hire orientation but that can be somewhat overwhelming and this seminar allowed us to focus on the specific topic of retirement.
Let’s think about these two words for a moment…”covet” (to yearn to possess or have something) vs. “begrudge” (to envy or resent the good fortune of someone, to be unhappy or upset because someone has something you think they do not deserve).
Since the Great Recession in 2008, warnings of an impending pension crisis have been splashed across the business pages of newspapers across the country. Despite these boisterous decrees, America’s public pension funds are stable. We explore the roots behind the false pension crisis narrative and examine the facts.
My colleague Penny and I recently spent some time in Rolla to honor one of our long-standing members, Rolla Municipal Utilities employee Rosalie Spencer, who was celebrating 50 years with the organization with a lunch reception. Around 70 of Rosalie's friends, family and coworkers present and past were on hand to celebrate her accomplishment. "When I started here, I told them if they hired me I wanted to stay until I retire. And I am." Rosalie plans to retire at the end of April of this year, and because she has stayed for 50 years should be able to replace a sizable amount of her salary with her LAGERS benefit.
A utility worker from Rolla Municipal Utilities (above) clears debris.
Governments face many tough decisions when determining how to make the best use of taxpayer dollars. Citizens demand a certain level of service from public entities for protection, infrastructure, health, education, and more. Of course, in order to provide these services, governments need to be able to attract and retain qualified workers. The better the public workers you have working in your community, the better services you will enjoy as a taxpayer.
“I think ethics is the most exciting topic in the world to talk about,” said no one ever.
I know people who actually cringe when they discover a seminar or conference they will be attending has a session on ethics. Some professions require training in ethics—for example, those of us with a CPA license must obtain a whopping two hours of ethics training per year. (Thank you Enron, Arthur Anderson, etc…)
Tagged compliance, Defending Pensions, Defined Benefit, Getting it Right, Members, pensions, Retirement, retirement planning, Retirement Security, Secure, secure retirement, Security, Strategy, Goals, ethics
When will YOU be able to retire? This is often the first question many of our LAGERS members have for us. Determining when the best time to retire may be for you is a big decision. There are different answers for different types of LAGERS members:
Tagged firefighter, police, Retirement, retirement age, Retirement Options, retirement planning, Retirement Security, secure retirement, Financial security, rule of 80, early retirement, public safety
A recent report published by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) concludes that retirement security for Americans is on shaky ground and recommends Congress do something about it.