Dates of Collection: The following are important dates in the data collection process.
Mailout: November, 2011
Follow-up Mailout: February, 2012
Data in these files are based on information obtained from the Annual Survey of Public Pensions. Forms were mailed to the 222 state-administered pension systems in the public pension system universe. In addition, forms were mailed to a sample of 1,576 local retirement systems. Staff contacted non-respondents through a follow-up mailout and follow-up telephone calls. When systems returned their Comprehensive Annual Financial Report instead of completing the form, staff compiled the data using their report. Staff used Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports available on the Internet to compile data for non-respondents. All respondents had the option of returning their survey form or reporting their data on the Census Bureau Retirement website. Approximately 24.8% of the state and local retirement respondents chose to submit their data via the web.
Data for the 2011 survey year encompasses fiscal years that ended between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011 (FY2011), and does not reflect data for the entire calendar year of 2011. There are exceptions to the fiscal year rule for the state pension systems in Alabama, Michigan, and Texas. For these systems, the fiscal year moves beyond the June 30 cutoff. The data for survey year 2011 covers the fiscal year ending August 31, 2011 for Texas and September 30, 2011 for Alabama and Michigan. These exceptions are made to better align the data with the State Finance Survey. In addition, there are also exceptions for local pension systems in Alabama, Nebraska, and Texas. The local school pension system data coincide with the start of the traditional school year. For more information, please refer to the 2006 Classification Manual. [PDF, 2.78MB]
The Census Bureau collects these data by law under Title 13, U.S. Code, Sections 161.
For further information, please refer to the 2011 Annual Survey of Public Pensions: State- and Locally-Administered Defined Benefit 2011 Survey Methodology.[PDF, 124KB]