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Survey of Public Pensions: State & Local Data

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Population of Interest: 2013

The survey coverage for the 2013 Survey of Public Pensions: State- and Locally-Administered Defined Benefit Data includes public pension systems administered by state and local governments throughout the nation. For Census Bureau statistical purposes, a public pension system is one that is financed by a separate accounting fund of the administering government, excluding pay-as-you-go insurance plans. It must have some type of assured revenue stream or dedicated revenue source other than appropriations from the administering government.

Other criteria exist for membership, such as funding and organization. A public pension system's members must consist of current or former public employees who are eligible for inclusion in the Employment component of the Census of Governments (CoG). A pension system must have at least one separate identifiable fund within a recognized government unit, and it must be funded completely or partially with public contributions. A pension system must also be recognized as a government unit (as defined by the Census Bureau) that provides revenues, expenditures, financial assets, and membership information for public pension systems.
Each state- and locally-administered pension system is considered an agency of the corresponding state government; however, the information in this publication reflects only the pension system portion of revenues, expenditures, and assets.

The sampling frame is the 2007 Census of Governments file updated with births, deaths, and mergers since fiscal year 2007. There were 227 state-administered and 3,771 locally-administered defined benefit public pension systems, all of which are represented here.

For further information, please refer to the 2013 Survey of Public Pensions: State-Administered Defined Benefit Data 2013 Survey Methodology [PDF, 26KB]


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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: February 03, 2015