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CB12-19

Contact:  Brian Lavin
Public Information Office
301-763-3030

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  THURSDAY, JAN. 26, 2012

Census Bureau Reports State Retirement Systems Assets Rise $214 Billion in 2010 and Show First Increase in Investment Earnings Since 2007

     The nation's state retirement systems totaled $2.2 trillion in cash and investment holdings in 2010, an increase of $213.9 billion (10.7 percent) from $2.0 trillion in 2009, according to new statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau. This follows a $610.8 billion loss the previous year. (See Table 1 [XLS].)

     In 2010, investment earnings were $289.6 billion, up from a loss of $511.5 billion in 2009. This is the first year of investment gains since 2007, when earnings totaled $402.3 billion. Investment earnings for 2010 were $112.7 billion below the 2007 level. (See Table 2 [XLS].)

     These statistics come from the 2010 Annual Survey of Public-Employee Retirement Systems: State-Administered Pensions, which reports the annual membership information and financial activity for the nation's 222 state-administered public-employee retirement systems, including cash and security investments holdings, receipts, and payments. Statistics are shown for the nation and individual states. This information includes actuarial liability statistics, which project the total obligation required to cover costs for providing pensions to former and present employees.

Cash and Security Investment Holdings

     “Investments that had the largest increases include corporate stocks, which increased 14.0 percent, from $673.5 billion in 2009 to $767.7 billion in 2010 (and comprised 34.6 percent of total holdings in 2010). Corporate bonds increased 3.3 percent, from $339.4 billion in 2009 to $350.6 billion in 2010 (and comprised 15.8 percent of total holdings in 2010).

     Among the cash and security holdings for public pensions, foreign and international securities increased 14.1 percent, from $317.3 billion in 2009 to $362.0 billion in 2010 (and comprised 16.3 percent of total holdings in 2010). Federal government securities increased by 4.7 percent, from $181.5 billion in 2009 to $189.9 billion in 2010 (and comprised 8.6 percent of total holdings in 2010). (See Table 4 [XLS].)

    There were decreases in cash and short-term investments, mortgages and real property. These investments comprised 8.0 percent of total holdings in 2010. The most notable of these decreases was mortgages, which declined 14.5 percent from $11.1 billion in 2009 to $9.5 billion in 2010 (and comprised 0.4 percent of total holdings in 2010).

     Nongovernmental securities (e.g., corporate stocks and bonds, foreign and international securities, funds held in trust and mortgages) were $1.6 trillion in 2010, an 11.5 percent increase from 2009. Nongovernmental securities comprised 73.4 percent of total cash and security holdings.

Receipts

     Total contributions increased 0.8 percent, from $96.9 billion in 2009 to $97.7 billion in 2010. Government contributions increased 1.8 percent, from $63.5 billion in 2009 to $64.7 billion in 2010. Employee contributions decreased 1.0 percent, from $33.4 billion in 2009 to $33.0 billion in 2010. Government contributions comprised 66.2 percent and employee contributions comprised 33.8 percent of total contributions in 2010.

Payments

     Covered payroll — payments made to active employees on which contributions to a pension plan are based — increased by 2.2 percent from $579.5 billion in 2009 to $592.3 billion in 2010. Pension obligations saw an increase of 5.4 percent from $3.1 trillion in 2009 to $3.2 trillion in 2010. (See Table 6 [XLS].)

     Total payments in 2010 were $173.5 billion, a 5.6 percent increase from 2009. The increase in total payments was driven by an increase in benefit payments, which comprised 94.3 percent of total payments in 2010. Benefit payments increased by 6.2 percent, from $154.0 billion in 2009 to $163.5 billion in 2010. (See Table 3 [XLS].)

     Statistics are shown for individual retirement systems and for aggregate national and state levels. The structure of retirement systems varies widely among states. In some jurisdictions, state and local government employees are vested in a small number of statewide systems.

     Additional statistics on local government systems from the Annual Survey of Public-Employee Retirement Systems for fiscal year 2010 is scheduled for release in late spring.

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The Internet tables are from the Annual Survey of Public-Employee Retirement Systems: State-Administered Pensions for fiscal year 2010. The statistics in these tables are from all state-administered public-employee retirement systems and as such are not subject to sampling variability. The statistics are subject to coverage, response, and processing errors as well as errors of nonresponse. For more information on the data limitations, definitions, and methodology, see <http://www.census.gov/govs/retire/state_how_data_collected.html>. For more information on realized and unrealized gains/losses, see Section 7.2.2, Measurement Issues: Valuation, of the 2006 Government Finance and Employment Classification Manual at <http://www.census.gov/govs/classification/>.
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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: September 01, 2014