Changing Benefit Elections
There are four employer elections that CANNOT be changed:
- Amount of Prior Service Covered: Elected when an employer joins LAGERS. The employer may elect to cover all or a portion of the previous service of those employed on the date they joined.
- Annual Hours Required For Coverage: Elected when an employer joins LAGERS and is how the employer classifies covered positions. Covered employees will be employees working either 1,500, 1,250 or 1,000 hours annually.
- Election to Become a LAGERS Employer: Elected when an employer joins LAGERS. There is not an exit provision once an employer joins LAGERS.
- Coverage of Actuarial Department(s): Elected when an employer joins, but can be added later. An employer must cover their General Department. However, an employer can also cover Police, Fire and Public Safety actuarial departments. Once a department is covered, coverage cannot be terminated. Click here to learn more about adding new departments.
LAGERS offers many different combinations of benefit options. Each employer chooses the benefits it wishes to provide for its employees and may change some portions benefits once every two years.
These options may be changed once every two years by an employer’s governing body:
Benefit changes apply only to those employed in LAGERS covered positions on or after the effective date of the change. Retirees and those that have left employment would not be eligible unless they would re-employ after the effective date of the change.
If an employer elects to increase its benefit program, the upgrade will apply to all past and future service credit for all active employees. If an employer elects to decrease their benefit program, the downgrade will only apply to future service credit for all active employees. Past service earned at the higher benefit program will still be calculated at the higher level.
Process for Changing Benefit Elections:
Step 1: Request a supplemental actuarial valuation
The valuation determines what the employer’s contribution rate would be if it were to adopt the change. Each LAGERS’ employer may receive one free valuation from the actuary each year (July 1- June 30). LAGERS’ actuary will bill the employer for additional requests made within the same year. Receiving this valuation does not obligate the employer to make the change, but is the first step required by Missouri State law.
Step 2: Supplemental Actuarial Valuation must be made public information for at least 45 calendar days
The valuation must be made available for public inspection for at least 45 calendar days before the employer’s governing body can adopt the change in benefits. Most employers utilize board minutes to satisfy this requirement.
Step 3: Prior to changing LAGERS benefits, an employer should contact the Office of Administration to verify whether or not they need a Section 218 Agreement to continue Social Security coverage.
A Section 218 agreement is an agreement allowing an employer to participate in both Social Security and certain LAGERS plans. While many employers already have 218 Agreements, upgrading benefits may make it necessary for an employer who does not have an Agreement to establish one if they desire to continue participating in both Social Security and LAGERS. If you do not have a 218 Agreement, the Office of Administration can provide assistance in establishing one. To verify the status of your employer’s Section 218 agreement, contact the State Social Security Administrator by phone or email:
Step 4: An Ordinance / Resolution is passed to adopt the change
After the 45 day public information period has passed, the governing body of the employer may pass an ordinance/resolution to adopt the change in benefits. The effective date of the change will be the first of some future month chosen by the governing body. A signed, certified copy of the ordinance/resolution must be received at the LAGERS office before the effective date and within 10 days of the election to adopt the change.