National Association of State Retirement Administrators

Fast Fact

Public pension assets at new high

The Federal Reserve reported that as of Q1 2014, state and local defined benefit assets are $3.66 trillion, which is held in trust for 15 million working and 8 million retired employees of state and local government. The pre-recession high was $3.2 trillion. (Economic Indicator News)

Many states have lowered their investment return assumption

Among the largest 126 public retirement plans, more than one-half have reduced their investment return assumption since fiscal year 2008. The average return assumption is 7.72%. (Issue Brief, April 2014)

More public employees are contributing

Since 2009, 36 states have increased required employee contribution rates. (Issue Brief, Jan. 2014)


Research Center

Public Fund Survey More than 85 percent of all state and local government pension assets and members in the U.S. are represented in the Public Fund Survey. Survey data is taken primarily from retirement system annual financial reports, and also comes from actuarial valuations, benefits guides, and interviews with retirement system staff members. It is intended to promote sound public retirement system policies and administration by increasing transparency and understanding of the public retirement system community. Public Fund Survey is a joint venture of NASRA and the National Council on Teacher Retirement. The database requires separate login; the Summary of Findings is available here.

Roll Call Capturing notable events and developments in public retirement systems from reports since 2005, Roll Call is a perennial highlight of the annual conference. Members can view the most recent report as well as see previous years; login and then access it here.

What's New

Shared Risk Issue Brief Although most states offer a defined benefit (DB) plan, the typical DB plan also places some level of financial responsibility and risk on both the employer and the employee. The use of shared-financing and shared-risk have grown in recent years as states have modified required employer and employee contributions, restructured benefits, or both, and some states also established so-called “hybrid” plans that combine elements of traditional pensions and individual account plans. Read more.