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Summary of the Quarterly Survey of Public Pensions for 2019: Q1

Report Number G19-QSPP1
Component ID: #ti43434412

ASSETS INCREASE IN FIRST QUARTER 2019

For the 100 largest public-employee pension systems in the country, assets (cash and investments) totaled $3,858.2 billion in the first quarter of 2019, increasing by 6.2 percent from the 2018 fourth quarter level of $3,634.5 billion. Compared to the same quarter in 2018, assets for these major public-pension systems increased 1.8 percent from $3,791.9 billion. The main driver of the increase in assets is gains on investments, which totaled $230.9 billion during the first quarter of 2019. Earnings on investments is a critical contributor to the sustainability of pension plans. In the first quarter of 2019, positive earnings on investments mitigated the deficit between contributions and benefits paid out (see Figure 1). The summary highlights the major asset categories (equities, debt instruments, and cash equivalents) and does not reflect all of the categories published for the Quarterly Survey of Public Pensions. Please see the complete data sets at <www.census.gov/programs-surveys /qspp.html> for further detail.

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