Skip Main Navigation Skip To Navigation Content

Quarterly Survey of Public Pensions

Skip top of page navigation
You are here: Census.govBusiness & IndustryFederal, State, & Local GovernmentsQuarterly Survey of Public Pensions › About the Survey

About the Survey

SPONSOR

U.S. Census Bureau as authorized by Title 13, Section 182, U.S. Code.


PURPOSE

The Quarterly Survey of Public Pensions is a quarterly survey that provides national summary data on the revenues, expenditures, and composition of assets of the largest defined benefit public employee retirement systems for state and local governments. This survey currently consists of a panel of 100 retirement systems, which comprise 89.4 percent of financial activity among such entities, based on the 2007 Census of Governments.


CONTENT

Data are collected on the financial holdings and activities of the largest public-employee retirement systems. The financial holdings data show assets in various types of securities such as stocks, bonds, federal notes, and mortgages. Revenue data consist of earnings, as well as contributions from governments and employees. Expenditure data consist primarily of payments to beneficiaries and withdrawls.


FREQUENCY

Data have been collected on a quarterly basis since 1968. The collection starts at the beginning of each calendar quarter and continues for almost three months. Revenue collected, payments made, and asset amounts are as of the end of each calendar quarter (March, June, September, and December).


PRODUCTS

Quarterly Survey of Public Pensions are released three months after each calendar quarter as three summary tables that present national financial transactions for the largest 100 public-employee retirement systems and trends.


HOW THE DATA ARE USED

The Bureau of Economic Analysis uses these data to update the governments sectors of the Gross Domestic Product accounts. The Federal Reserve Board uses the data in developing the Flow of Funds Accounts. Investment bankers and analysts monitor the data to assess changes in the investment patterns of public-employee retirement systems. Public policy specialists and economists use the data in econometric models to assess general economic conditions and state and local government financial activities.


Additional information on our methodology - the population of interest, data collection, data processing, and data quality, are available at How the Data are Collected


[PDF] or PDF denotes a file in Adobe’s Portable Document Format. To view the file, you will need the Adobe® Reader® Off Site available free from Adobe.
[Excel] or the letters [xls] indicate a document is in the Microsoft® Excel® Spreadsheet Format (XLS). To view the file, you will need the Microsoft® Excel® Viewer Off Site available for free from Microsoft®.
This symbol Off Site indicates a link to a non-government web site. Our linking to these sites does not constitute an endorsement of any products, services or the information found on them. Once you link to another site you are subject to the policies of the new site.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Quarterly Survey of Public Pensions | 1 (888) 529-1963 | govs.pensions@census.gov |  Last Revised: March 27, 2014