The survey coverage includes defined benefit plans of public-employee retirement systems administered by state and local governments throughout the nation. Retirement systems were only included if they met the following two criteria: (1) they were sponsored by a recognized unit of government as defined by the Census Bureau and (2) their membership was comprised of public employees compensated with public funds.
The sampling frame is the 2007 Census of Governments file updated with births, deaths, and mergers since fiscal year 2007. There were 3,418 governments in the sampling frame, of which 1,798 governments were selected for the sample.
For further information, please refer to the 2011 Annual Survey of Public Pensions: State- and Locally-Administered Defined Benefit 2011 Survey Methodology.[PDF, 124KB]