National Association of State Retirement Administrators

Fast Fact

Most states met pension fund obligations over last 13 years

Of 112 state-wide and state-sponsored public pension plans in the U.S., all but six states paid at least 75% of their annual required contribution (ARC); the average plan received 89.3% of its ARC. (Spotlight, March 2015)

Most pension funds have a negative cash flow

Nearly all public pension funds have a negative cash flow, meaning they pay out in benefits each year more than they receive in contributions. For all public pension funds, the negative cash flow is approximately 3% of assets, which means an average fund needs to produce an annual return of 3% to maintain a stable asset value. (Pension Assets Update)

Average investment return assumption for public plans is 7.69%

Among the 126 plans measured in the Public Fund Survey, more than one-half have reduced their investment return assumption since fiscal year 2008. (Issue Brief, May 2015)


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, which is maintained by NASRA. 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. The database requires separate login; the Summary of Findings for fiscal year 2013 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.

Public Plans Data Individual and aggregated data on 150 state and local pension plans. Joint venture of The Center for State and Local Government Excellence, the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, and NASRA. Read the press release; access the database.

What's New

The PPCC award application is now available. The Public Pension Coordinating Council (NASRA, NCTR and NCPERS) established the Public Pension Standards to reflect minimum expectations for public retirement system management, administration, and funding. The Standards serve as a benchmark by which to measure public defined benefit plans. All public retirement systems and the state and local governments that sponsor them are encouraged to meet the standards. Click here for more information or visit the NASRA store for the application.