National Association of State Retirement Administrators

Fast Fact

Investment income is the primary source of public pension revenue

For the 30-year period 1985-2014 investment returns accounted for over 60 percent of all state and local pension revenues. Employer contributions accounted for approximately 25 percent, and employee contributions were around 12 percent. (Contributions

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.

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