The Monroe City Ambulance District Board recently voted for the ambulance district to improve the retirement of its employees by offering Missouri LAGERS as a retirement option. MO LAGERS is the largest public pension system in Missouri serving local government employees. We believe a dignified retirement is for everyone and strive toward a secure retirement for all every day. LAGERS membership is made up of thousands of firefighters, police officers, utility workers, EMTs, public works personnel, and librarians, to name a few.
Ambulance Administrator Blair Joiner explained, “This is a safe retirement program that employees are fortunate to be a part of all around the State of Missouri.” Not only will this give the district a competitive package, it will allow anyone interested in working for the district who already have MO LAGERS at another place of employment the option to obtain employment here and transferring their retirement. Joiner added, “We chose to offer LAGERS to our employees in hopes to keep employees long-term.”
For over 50 years, MO LAGERS has helped middle-class workers transition into middle-class retirees. Dependable monthly income is essential for people to exit the workforce with dignity and helps them maintain their standard of living throughout retirement. Joiner explained it is a retirement they can trust, adding, “LAGERS offers both contributory and non-contributory plans, the Ambulance District choose to do Contributory meaning the employees pay a percent and the Ambulance district pays a percent. This assisted with the initial startup cost, and by not placing a financial burden on the Ambulance District.”
LAGERS exist solely for the benefit of their members and the people who are dependent upon them. They take responsibility seriously and strive to ensure the people who keep communities going can depend on the benefit of a secure pension. The security, flexibility, and portability of the benefits make LAGERS the preferred retirement plan for Missouri’s local governments.
Retirement planning is difficult for the average American. Financial products are confusing; investing in the markets is risky; and education is lacking. Investing for retirement is not easy, and low-to-middle income workers are affected the most because they may not have the means to set aside enough to support themselves during retirement. In fact, 87 percent of Americans say retirees don’t know enough about managing investments to make their savings last.
Defined benefit plans help take some of the guesswork out of retirement planning by providing a stable lifetime income base. Retirees don’t have to worry about running out of money because benefits from a defined benefit plan are paid for life, and studies show that defined benefit plans help keep older Americans out of poverty and off of public assistance programs.
That’s not to say defined benefit plans are a silver bullet for retirement. Workers participating in these plans still must plan appropriately for the future in order to ensure they will be able to maintain their standard of living during retirement. MO LAGERS’ defined benefit plan provides a modest monthly benefit that must be combined with other sources of income to safeguard participants’ financial independence.