The Funding of State and Local Pensions: 2013-2017


This 2014 report of state and local government pension funding finds that many plans are still recovering from the effects of the economic downturn. (6/14)

Alicia H. Munnell, Jean-Pierre Aubry, and Mark Carafelli of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College
Publication date:
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Research Studies
Key findings:
  • Despite a strong stock market, the funded status of public plans in 2013 remained unchanged at 72 percent for two reasons: actuarial smoothed assets grew modestly, and CalPERS, one of the nation’s largest plans, significantly revised its reported funded ratio.
  • Funded levels among plans vary significantly.
  • An encouraging sign is that many sponsors appear to be paying a larger share of their annual required contribution.
  • There is slight improvement in 2013 at the top: 6 percent are 100 percent funded or better; 28 percent are more than 80 percent funded.
  • Going forward, the funded ratio is projected to gradually move above 80 percent, assuming expected stock market returns.
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Analysis surveyed 114 state and 36 local plans.