A new report released by the Missouri Local Government Employees Retirement System (LAGERS) shows the $8.1 billion pension fund paid over $333 million in benefits last year, with $309 million paid to recipients living in Missouri.
LAGERS retirees are former police officers, fire fighters, librarians, utilities workers, municipal administrators, and more. These retired public servants are receiving protected lifetime benefits based on their years on the job and salary earned during their career. Because LAGERS provides predictable monthly income, benefits paid from the pension fund help stimulate and stabilize the local economies where retirees live. More than nine-in-ten retirees stay in the communities they served while working and spend their pension payments on local goods and services. This provides a great economic reinvestment in Missouri.
“LAGERS provides a modest, but dependable, monthly benefit that helps our members avoid poverty in retirement and allows them to exit the workforce with dignity,” said LAGERS’ Executive Director, Robert Wilson. The average benefit paid to a LAGERS retiree in Missouri is around $14,000 per year.
The spending created by these pension payments creates an economic multiplier effect that produced an estimated $442 million of economic activity for Missouri, according to the National Institute for Retirement Security. As retirees spend money at local businesses throughout Missouri, those businesses are able to use the income to grow their business. This illustrates the cycle that starts with the pension contributions made by taxpayers to fund the benefits and those benefits being returned to the local communities when retirees spend the benefits they earned through their public service.
The report, that can be downloaded here, shows the benefit payments made to every county in Missouri. Download the latest Economic Impact Report