Who is covered by East Lansing’s retirement plans?

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Sunday, April 29, 2018, 12:11 pm
Chris Root

Who is covered by East Lansing's retirement plans? As of December 2016, there were 717 participants in East Lansing pension plans. They included  three groups of people:

  1. Currently working (“active”) East Lansing employees eligible for retirement benefits – 268 people (as of December 2016)
  2. Retirees who are receiving benefits from the City’s pension system – 373 people
  3. Individuals who have retired from work for the City and have earned a pension but are not yet drawing benefits because they aren’t yet old enough to do so – 76 people

Current employees account for fewer than 40% of the people in the pension plans. 52% of the participants are already retired and are receiving benefits, and another 10% are “vested” – they worked for the City long enough to earn a pension but are not yet age-eligible to start receiving their pension.

Overall, this makes East Lansing’s a “mature” pension system; more people have retired than are still working. Mature pension systems are more likely to be financially challenged than less mature ones, as there are larger amounts being paid out in retirement benefits under this condition. And life expectancies have gone up significantly over the last several decades, according to the Society of Actuaries, increasing the estimated number of years of retirement.

This article is part of a larger investigation of East Lansing's pension plans; click here to read the lead article for that investigation.

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