For state and local governments, employer-sponsored retirement plans remain important for attracting and retaining well-qualified public employees. They help to facilitate the effective and efficient delivery of public services by serving as a workforce management tool and providing employees with financial security in retirement. In the United States, nearly all state and local government employees have access to a retirement plan at work, and participation is typically mandated.

MissionSquare Research Institute (formerly the Center for State and Local Government Excellence at ICMA-RC) was the first organization to make state and local data pension plan data available to the public and to undertake research to compare retirement plans in the private sector with those in the public sector.

With its partners, the Institute has published research on such topics as pension funding levels, types of retirement savings plans, trends in funding practices, impacts and lessons learned from pension reforms undertaken in the wake of the Great Recession, as well as the role of defined contribution and hybrid plans in the public sector.

Retirement Resources

Infographic: How Employer Benefits Can Help Public Sector Worker Anxiety Over Current Economy

Survey infographic offers insights into the role employer retirement and other benefits can play in reducing workers’ anxiety and helping them achieve financial security.             […]

Retirement Savings Participant Decumulation Behavior

Nearly half of public sector employees are taking no action with their defined contribution plan funds once retired. Looking out ten years from general employees’ last contributions, 48% of plan […]

Public Plans Snapshot: Pension Funding Levels Again Tick Upward

Public Plans Database (PPD) analysis indicates that the funded status of state and local pension plans nationwide has improved to 75.4% in 2021, up from 72.2% in 2020. The funded […]