The release of the Louisiana State Employees’ Retirement System (LASERS) 2014 Economic Impact Study reveals the significance of the System’s impact on the State of Louisiana. Key findings show the retirement system paid over $1.16 billion to LASERS retirees and beneficiaries in fiscal year 2014, which in turn supported $2 billion in economic activity or output in the state. Over 92 percent of LASERS retirees live in Louisiana.
LASERS retirement benefits create economic security for tens of thousands of retired state employees, who do not participate in Social Security. LASERS provides a modest guaranteed benefit, which averages $24,204 per year for rank-and-file retirees.
“Our economic impact in the state reaches every parish,” said LASERS Executive Director Cindy Rougeou. “Over 43,000 retirees depend on LASERS for their pensions, and we are committed to providing economic security to those individuals who have devoted a career to public service. LASERS Benefits Louisiana and we are proud of that fact.”
According to the study, LASERS invested over $115 million in Louisiana companies via publicly traded securities and private investments. These investments help support thousands of jobs in Louisiana, providing additional fuel for the economy. One-third of LASERS investments are managed internally, saving millions of dollars per year in professional management fees. LASERS has been recognized as one of the ten best state pension plans in the nation over the last decade. The market value of LASERS assets as of June 30, 2014 was $11.624 billion with a fiscal year market return of 18.8 percent.