Active Member FAQs
How do I access my information online through myLASERS?
Click here to learn more about creating a myLASERS account.
How long do I have to work to begin earning pension benefits?
To apply for retirement, a member must meet the eligibility requirements specified in their particular plan. You cannot use unused annual and sick leave to reach eligibility for retirement. Also, certain service purchases may not be used to meet retirement eligibility.
For example, a rank-and-file member hired on or after after July 1, 2015, must have at least five years of service and be 62 years of age to be eligible for an unreduced retirement benefit.
LASERS administers more than 20 different retirement plans. You may find your specific plan type by:
- logging into myLASERS and accessing your account information;
- examining your printed Annual Statement or the electronic version in myLASERS; or
- calling LASERS for assistance.
Read the Retirement Eligibility and Final Average Compensation chapter in the Member’s Guide to Retirement for additional information.
What should I do when I am ready to retire?
You must contact your agency’s Human Resources Office to begin the actual retirement process. We strongly recommend that you obtain an estimate from LASERS 18 months prior to your anticipated retirement date. The estimate may be requested by mail or you may schedule an appointment with a Customer Service Representative to obtain the estimate.
View our Ready to Retire page for additional helpful information.
What resources are available to help with the retirement planning process?
You are encouraged to visit the Retirement Readiness page on our website to learn about financial security, happiness and engagement, and healthy living.
When you are ready to begin the retirement process, our Ready to Retire? webpage gives you the steps to follow once you are 18 months from retirement.
A Pre-Retirement Education Program (PREP) workshop is highly recommended at various points during your career to assist in your retirement journey.
How does annual and sick leave impact retirement?
Unused annual and sick leave benefits you at retirement.
If you retire in state service, or out of state service with at least 20 years of service credit, your unused leave can either be converted to service credit to increase your monthly benefit or be paid to you in a lump sum. The lump sum payment is at an actuarial rate, not your hourly rate.
For details, see the Unused Annual and Sick Leave chapter in the Member’s Guide to Retirement or watch the video Annual and Sick Leave: How it Affects Your Retirement.
What happens if I retire early?
If you retire early and meet the eligibility requirements according to your specific plan, you may take an actuarially reduced benefit. The actuarial reduction is based on the number of months you are away from Regular retirement eligibility. This reduction can be affected depending on whether you are in state service or out of state service at the time of your retirement.
How do I get a copy of my last annual statement?
You may view and print your annual statements from the previous five years in myLASERS or you may call our office to request a duplicate be mailed to you.
What does it mean to be vested?
You have a “vested right” to a benefit when you reach retirement eligibility. You must have the required age and years of service. Once you have the required years you may, however, “defer” your benefits until you reach the required age.
Can I put extra money in the retirement system?
No. Retirement contributions are specified by statute.
Can I borrow money from my LASERS account?
Am I allowed to take a one-time lump-sum payment from my regular LASERS account at the time of retirement?
No, unless you choose the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) or Initial Benefit Option (IBO) when you apply for retirement. More details on these options may be found in the Member’s Guide to Retirement.
When are pre-retirement seminars?
We offer a Pre-Retirement Education Program (PREP) which covers a variety of topics helpful to those who are members of LASERS. Attending a PREP is a great retirement planning tool. It is recommend that you take one at various stages of your career. See the schedule and register here.
What happens if I get divorced?
Retirement benefits, including DROP or IBO funds received or accumulated during marriage, are generally considered community property in Louisiana to be shared with your spouse. Any contributions to a retirement plan made during the marriage will also be viewed as community property by a Louisiana court, and may be subject to sharing with a spouse. An ex-spouse might be entitled to a portion of your retirement benefit according to that spouse’s community property interest.
What happens if I am called for active military service?
While on military leave, you may elect to pay contributions to LASERS. If this option is not exercised, according to the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act (USERRA), you can elect to purchase the leave after you have been re-employed for 90 days after the leave has expired. For specific details, consult the Purchases of Service Credit chapter in the Member’s Guide to Retirement.