Take a Stroll Down Memory Lane…
Watch our documentary on the 75-year history of LASERS. Take a stroll down memory lane and experience LASERS progression into the modern, essential agency we are today.
History of LASERS
In July 1946, Louisiana Governor Jimmie Davis and his administration sponsored legislation to create a retirement system that would provide retirement allowances and other benefits for state officers, employees, and their beneficiaries. LASERS was established by Act 126 that year and was appropriated $725,000 to create and administer the plan. The first members joined the System in 1947.
Since then, LASERS has experienced tremendous growth in plan assets. Our number of active and retired members has changed substantially, and LASERS continues to provide a modest average retirement benefit to our members.
Through the years, the LASERS Board of Trustees and staff have worked with the Legislature to implement numerous reforms, further enhancing the future sustainability of our plan and security of our members.
Our significant achievements and continued dedication to the preservation of the retirement system have played a vital role in building LASERS into the modern, essential agency it is today.
Below you will find notable highlights from our history.
Additional in-depth historical information can be found on the Legislative History, Board History, Investment History, Tech History, and Who’s Who sections.
The Retirement System began with 13 employees at the Pentagon Court Barracks.
Act 126 created a Board of Trustees of seven members.
The first members joined the System on July 1, 1947 with 12 retirees.
LASERS had approximately $1.1 million in investments.
LASERS first membership newsletter, Retirement Topics, was published.
LASERS investments rose from $169 million to $192 million to $220 million.
Act 85 provided for the first Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) to be paid to eligible retirees.
Moved to United Plaza
LASERS moved to our current location at 8401 United Plaza Blvd, Baton Rouge, 70809.
The Beam Newsletter
The Beam membership newsletter was introduced in the Spring of 1990 on a quarterly basis, and replaced the annual Retirement Topics.
Pre-Retirement Education Presentation (PREP) Seminars were developed to educate members on the system and their future retirement benefits.
Act 863 authorized the use of “LASERS” as a shortened name for the system.
Experience Account Established
Act 572 created the Experience Account to fund cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) with system investment earnings.
First Phone System
LASERS introduced its first phone system in 1993, the Direct-Talk by IBM.
LASERS assets reached $4 Billion.
LASERS is Online
LASERS first website went live on July 1, 1998.
Direct Deposit became mandatory for members retiring on or after December 31, 1999.
The State of Louisiana Retirement Information System (SOLARIS) and Member Self-Service were deployed. Self-Service allowed members to view their LASERS account information online for the first time.
LASERS assets reached $8.68 Billion.
You’ve Got Mail
The first Member Connection email was sent to over 30,000 members on March 1, 2013.
LASERS launched the current website on January 4, 2017.
LASERS new imaging system, Optimus, fully launched in 2018.
myLASERS Replaced Member Self-Service
myLASERS was introduced as the new online account management tool for LASERS members and benefit recipients.
LASERS operations performed nearly 100% with staff working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
LASERS assets reached $12.3 Billion.
Highest Investment Return
LASERS reported a 35.6% investment return for the 12-month period that ended June 30, 2021, the highest return in the history of the System.
Total market value of assets stand in excess of $14.7 billion.
One-Time Supplemental Payment
Governor John Bel Edwards signed Act 656 (SB 5), which authorized a one-time supplemental payment to over 45,000 eligible LASERS retirees and beneficiaries.
LASERS by the Numbers
LASERS Average Annual Benefit