U.S. Department of Commerce

State and Local Public-Employee Retirement System Survey

Skip top of page navigation
You are here: About the SurveyGovernments Programs › State and Local Public-Employee Retirement System Survey

PURPOSE

To provide current data on state and local government public-employee retirement systems. The United States Code, Title 13, authorizes this survey and provides for voluntary responses.

COVERAGE

All state and local government employee-retirement systems providing defined benefit plans in the U.S. Local governments include counties, cities, townships, special districts, and school districts.

CONTENT

Data are obtained on contributions from employees and employers, benefit and other payments, total assets and investment holdings, membership, and monthly beneficiary payments.

FREQUENCY

Data collection and processing begin in mid-October and continue for about 8 months. Reported data are for each public-employee retirement system’s annual accounting period that ends on or before June 30 of the survey year. Data for individual retirement systems were first collected in the 1957 Census and have been collected annually since 1959. Prior to 1957 some retirement variables were collected as a part of the State and Local Government Finance Survey.

METHODS

Compilation of data from an enumeration of all state government retirement systems and a survey of selected local government retirement systems (or of all 2,435 local retirement systems for census years, years ending in “2” and “7”).

A new sample is usually selected every 5 years, the most recent one being a probability proportional to size sample selected in fiscal year 2004. It was designed to produce estimates for Local as well as State and Local Retirement systems with a relative standard error of 3 percent or less on the following categories: receipts by source, payments, financial holdings, membership, and benefit payments.

PRODUCTS

State and local government public-employee retirement reports and data files are available about 10 months after the survey year. Tables provide summary data on financial activities covering state and local, state-only, and local-only governments. Retirement reports include receipts by source, payments, financial holdings, membership, and benefit payments. In addition, downloadable files provide data in more detail for individual governments.

USES

The Bureau of Economic Analysis uses the data as a primary source for updating its measures of the government sector of the National Income and Product Accounts. The Federal Reserve Board uses the data as a primary source for its Flow of Funds Accounts. State and local governments use the data to assess their financial condition and to make peer-government comparisons.

SPECIAL FEATURES

Provides the most current data about investment decisions by public-employee retirement systems, which are among the largest types of institutional investors in U.S. financial markets.

RELATED PROGRAMS

Quarterly Public-Employee Retirement Systems Survey

Annual Public Employment Survey

Annual Survey of State and Local Government Finances


EXPLORE INFORMATION

CONTINUE OVERVIEW

Governments

Next Program

U.S. Economy

Economy Overview