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

Research Report: Examining Financial Wellbeing in the U.S. Public Service Workforce

While many public service employees face financial struggles, state and local employers are well-positioned to strengthen the financial security of the public workforce via key benefit offerings.

Infographic: Examining the Financial Wellbeing of the U.S. Public Service Workforce

National data sources illustrate the current state of public service financial and retirement security and how that relates to state and local government compensation and benefits.

Public Plans Snapshot

The latest data from the Public Plans Database shows stability in 2021 funded ratios, as well as long-term trends in alternative investments, required contributions, and active participants.