Press Releases

LAGERS Seeks to Enhance Flexibility of Employee Contribution Options

 

LAGERS is seeking legislation to further enhance the flexibility of the retirement system. Currently under law, a member employer has many options to tailor a retirement benefit that will meet the goals and needs of its unique workforce. The options for employer election range from the benefit multiplier, final average salary, retirement ages, and employee contributions.

 

The proposed legislation will expand an employer’s options available for employee contributions. An employer can currently elect to require all eligible employees to contribute 4% of their gross wage to help pay for the retirement benefit. Or an employer may elect to cover the full cost of the benefit with no employee contribution. The proposed legislation would expand the available options from 0% and 4% to 0%, 2%, 4%, and 6%.

 

This proposal is the result of many years of conversation between LAGERS employers, members, and affiliate organizations. LAGERS recognizes that no two employers in the system are the same and the flexibility of LAGERS’ plan design is one of the greatest assets for the system and the members we serve.

 

If passed, the legislation would not automatically make any changes to an employer’s election, rather, it would simply add additional options for election in the future. LAGERS believes that with this added flexibility, employers will have even greater ability to create a retirement benefit for their workforce that helps attract and retain the highest quality public servants into local government service and ultimately helps prepare each employee for a secure and dignified retirement.

 

New Report Shows How Retiree Spending Benefits Every County in Missouri

 

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

System Portfolio Earns 7.1% for the Year

 

September 23, 2019 - The Missouri Local Government Employees Retirement System (LAGERS), the pension fund that covers over 60,000 Missouri local government employees and retirees, had a 7.1% total return (net of fees) for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019.

 

“For the year LAGERS’ portfolio performed well and within expectations. The Alpha and Equity allocations were hurt by the narrow breadth of outperformance in the equity market, specifically in US/Large Cap/Growth markets; while the Fixed Income and Real Assets allocations were helped by the shift down in interest rates and a renewed focus on cash-flowing asset based investments,” said Brian Collett, the Chief Investment Officer of the $8.1 billion LAGERS fund.

 

Additionally, as of June 30, LAGERS’ three, ten, and twenty year returns were 10.9%, 10.8% and 7.1%, respectively.

 

LAGERS’ is 94.9% funded on an actuarial value of assets and 95.5% funded using a market value of assets.

Gov. Parson Signs LAGERS’ Public Safety Personnel Bill

Five years in a row, Missouri LAGERS scores 4/4 on Annual Security Assessment

 

LAGERS participates in an annual security assessment of its core systems in an effort to keep members' and employers' information safe. For the fifth year in a row, LAGERS  scored a 4 out of 4 rating, meeting and exceeding industry best practices for information security during its annual information security assessment held in June, 2019.

 

The assessment was performed by project engineers at nGuard, an outside firm hired by LAGERS to identify vulnerabilities associated with LAGERS' key systems, networks and processes.

 

LAGERS continues to follow its Board of Trustees directive to make the security of all members' information a primary focus and priority, and LAGERS staff is committed to this initiative to maintain a high level of security for our members and employers.

 

New Report Shows LAGERS is a Good Investment for Local Governments in Missouri

From the LAGERS Annual Meeting: Strong Performance Updates, Educational Sessions, and Board Elections

October 26, 2018 - At the 2018 LAGERS Annual Meeting, updates were given about LAGERS strong performance, legislative updates, pension finance survey results, the important role of the LAGERS board, the new educational tools available and much more. As well, two current board members were re-elected to 4 year terms and another elected to fill the remainder of a term vacated by Kathy Barsczcak who retired from her LAGERS employer.

 

The meeting began with several educational breakout sessions that covered topics like How to Calculate LAGERS Benefits, LAGERS’ Disability & Survivor Benefits LAGERS’ payout options and much more. Each attendee had the opportunity to pick and choose which session they wanted to attend that best served their needs

 

After the breakout sessions were complete, the attendees had the opportunity to hear system performance updates from the LAGERS Board Chairperson, Arby Todd, LAGERS Executive Secretary, Bob Wilson, LAGERS Chief Investment Officer, Brian Collett and LAGERS Director of Investments, Megan Loehner. Overall, the reports showed the LAGERS system, as a whole, had a strong performance and continues to be one of the strongest funded pension plans in the country.

 

As well, Arby Todd announced the launching of a new Local Government Hero Award. This award is designed to recognize local government employees who are great example of what it means to be a public servant. Recipients can be anyone who is performing a public service and are a LAGERS member. For more information about the Local Government Hero Award, click here.

 

Finally, there were three Board of Trustee positions that were filled at the Annual Business Meeting. Barry McCullough, a current Employer Trustee from the City of Gladstone was elected to complete another 4 year term ending December 31, 2022. As well, Joan Jadali, a current Member Trustee from the City of Webster Groves was elected to complete another 4 year term ending December 31, 2022. Finally, Sandy Walker a new Member Trustee from the City of Poplar Bluff was elected to serve the remainder of a term ending December 31, 2020.

 

The  Annual Meeting had many opportunities for stakeholders to learn more about the LAGERS pension system, hear updates about the system’s performance, and have input on the future direction of the pension system by participating in the board elections.

LAGERS’ Chief Investment Officer Announced as a Finalist for Innovation Award

LAGERS' CIO Named Among Top 30 Chief Investment Officers

March 28, 2018 - The Chief Investment Officer of the Missouri Local Government Employees Retirement System (LAGERS), Brian Collett, has been named one of the Top 30 Public Pension Chief Investment Officers by Trusted Insight.

 According to their website, Trusted Insight is the world’s largest network of institutional investors and their top-30 list “features 30 industry thought-leaders that oversee stellar investment teams, expertly navigate the markets and are instilled with the compassion to serve the beneficiaries of US public pension systems.”

Brian was hired as LAGERS’ first CIO in 2005 and has transformed the System’s portfolio to be one of the top performing funds in the public universe. Under his leadership, LAGERS’ investments have produced a 9.45% annualized, net of fees, return over the last five years, which is 2.33% above the System’s policy benchmark and 2.2% above the System’s 7.25% assumed rate of return.

Brian holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation and is also a Charted Alternative Investment Analyst. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics from Marian University, a Master’s of Business Administration from Butler University, and currently serves on several advisory boards for numerous US and global investment funds.

Read Trusted Insight's news release here.

Missouri retirement system partners with UMass Medical School to enhance disability determination process

LAGERS Begins Administering First Legacy Plan

LAGERS' Megan Loehner named one of the Top 30 Women Rising Stars in Institutional Investing by to Trusted Insight magazine.

Missouri Local Government Employees Retirement System
Missouri Local Government Employees Retirement System
Missouri Local Government Employees Retirement System