The Funding of State and Local Pensions: 2015-2020


This 2016 report of state and local government pension funding finds that most public pension plans have shown modest improvement in their funded status.

Alicia H. Munnell, Jean-Pierre Aubry
Publication date:
Filed under:
Research Studies
Key findings:
  • The funded status of public pensions has increased from 73 percent in 2014 to 74 percent in 2015;
  • One reason for the improvement is that plan sponsors paid a greater share of their Actuarially Determined Employer Contribution (ADEC), even though that contribution has increased as a percentage of payroll;
  • Employers paid 91 percent of their required contribution in 2015 compared with 86 percent in 2014;
  • The growth in the rate of pension liabilities remains low, reflecting benefit cutbacks that have been made in recent years; and
  • While most pension plans are making slow, steady progress and 38 percent are more than 80 percent funded, 20 percent of the plans are under 60 percent funded.
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The Funding of State and Local Pensions 2015-2020