The Federal Reserve publishes data on state and local defined benefit assets on a quarterly basis. In the first quarter of 2013, assets grew from $3.2 trillion to $3.4 trillion. $3.4 trillion is the highest figure reported by the Federal Reserve, exceeding the pre-recession high of $3.2 trillion. The next release is scheduled for September 2013.
Assets for Calendar Years Ended
The Federal Reserve reported in March that the combined value of defined benefit plan assets held by state and local governments as of Q4 2012, increased to $3.05 trillion, from $2.82 trillion as of Q4 2011. The data is reported in the Flow of Funds report for March 2013.
Most public pension funds distribute more in benefits than they collect in contributions; such negative cash flows typically are two to three percent of assets. Thus, in a given year with zero investment gains, a typical public pension fund’s assets will decline by two to three percent.