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Survey of Public Pensions: State & Local Data

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About the Survey

SPONSOR

U.S. Census Bureau as authorized by Title 13, United States Code, Section 161.


PURPOSE

The 2012 Census of Governments: Finance - Survey of Public Pensions: State- and Locally-Administered Defined Benefit Data provides revenues, expenditures, financial assets, and membership information for the defined benefit public pension systems.


CONTENT

This survey covers only those pension systems that meet two criteria: (1) they are sponsored by a recognized unit of government as defined by the Census Bureau; and (2) their membership must be comprised of public employees compensated with public funds. In addition to state governments, the Census Bureau defines five types of local governments: county, municipal, township, school district, and special district. Each pension system is considered an agency of one of these larger government units, but the information in this publication reflects only the retirement system portion of revenues, expenditures, and assets.


FREQUENCY

Data have been collected annually since 1957. A census is conducted every five years (years ending in '2' and '7'). A sample of state and local governments is used to collect data in the intervening years. A new sample is selected every five years (starting in 2004). Prior to 2004, there was a nonprobability sample.


PRODUCTS

A viewable national summary table and five viewable tables that present revenues, expenditures, cash and investments, and membership data by state and local government. There are also downloadable tables that include an individual unit file.


HOW THE DATA ARE USED

The U.S. Congress, federal agencies, state and local governments, educational and research organizations, and the general public use these results.


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


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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | State & Local Public-Employee Retirement Systems | 1 (888) 529-1963 | govs.pensions@census.gov |  Last Revised: April 29, 2014