To accommodate changing needs and fiscal realities, modifications to retirement plan designs and financing structures have a history in state and local government retirement plans. Since 2009, every state has made meaningful changes to their pension plan benefit structures, financing arrangements, or both. These changes are tracked and compiled by NASRA staff; these compilations are accessible on the right-hand side of this page. A key factor in evaluating changes is the extent to which they retain the core elements known to best meet human resource and retirement policy objectives of state and local governments: mandatory participation, shared financing, pooled investments, benefit adequacy, and lifetime benefit payouts.
In addition to the NASRA compilations posted on the right-hand side of this page, through 2013, NASRA also compiled state pension reforms chronicled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Although this listing is not up-to-date, these compilations present an abundance of information regarding the type and magnitude of pension reforms enacted in each state in prior years.
Effects of Pension Plan Changes on Retirement Security, NASRA and the Center for State and Local Government Excellence, April 2014
Resolution 2010-01, Guiding Principles for Retirement Security and Plan Sustainability
NCSL Pensions, including pension legislation database, enacted legislation, and more (search for legislative action by state, year, and topic)
Recent U.S. State Pension Reform: Balancing Long-Term Strategy And Budget Reality, S&P Global, February 2018
State and Local Pension Reform Since the Financial Crisis, Center for Retirement Research, January 2017
Making Informed Changes to Public Sector Pension Plans, National League of Cities, March 2017
Comparative Study of Major Public Employee Retirement Systems, Wisconsin Legislative Council, December 2016
Retirement Benefits and Teacher Retention, RAND, May 2016
Understanding Cuts to Public Pensions, Economic Policy Institute, June 2014
State and Local Pension Costs: Pre-Crisis, Post-Crisis, and Post-Reform, Center for Retirement Research, March 2013
Strengthening State and Local Finances: Lessons of Negotiating Public Pension Reforms, Center for State and Local Government Excellence, September 2011