Public Pension Reporting and Disclosure: The Current State of Practice and Examples of What Works Well


Comprehensive and timely reporting and communication has become increasingly important as employees, policy makers, and other stakeholder groups attempt to navigate the changing public pension landscape. This report examines the reporting practices of eighty-three of the largest statewide pension plans and offers case studies of five pension systems that provide lessons learned for how to effectively communicate relevant information.

Joshua Franzel, Ph.D. and Elizabeth Kellar of the Center for State and Local Government Excellence and Paula Sanford, Ph.D. of the University of Georgia, with input and assistance from Keith Brainard and Alex Brown of the National Association of State Retirement Administrators.
Publication date:
April 2017
Filed under:
Research Studies
Key findings:
Key findings include:
  • A majority of systems follow GFOA reporting standards in producing their Comprehensive¬†Annual Financial Reports, with nearly half of the sample also developing a plain language annual financial report;
  • Virtually all of the systems develop an actuarial valuation (annually), an experience study (at an average of every five years), and have a funding policy produced by the system and/or established in state statute;
  • Active engagement with key stakeholders is a hallmark of systems with robust communications and reporting initiatives;
  • Leveraging social media and/or establishing advisory committees has helped systems garner detailed feedback from their stakeholders.
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Public Pension Reporting and Disclosure - 2017 Report