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CB12-213

Contact:  Brian Lavin
Public Information Office
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  THURSDAY, NOV. 15, 2012

Census Bureau Reports Increase of 13.2 Percent for State and Local Government Pension Funds in 2011

The nation's state and local public-employee retirement systems had $3.0 trillion in total cash and investment holdings in 2011, a $351.9 billion or 13.2 percent increase from $2.7 trillion in 2010, according to new statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau. This follows a $288.7 billion gain from 2009 to 2010.

These statistics come from the 2011 Annual Survey of Public Pensions: State- and Locally-Administered Defined Benefit Data, which provides an annual look at the financial activity and membership information of the nation's state and local public-employee retirement systems, including revenues, expenditures, investment holdings, membership and beneficiaries.

Cash and Investment Holdings

Most investment categories showed increases, with decreases only in federal agency securities, funds held in trust and corporate bonds.

Other highlights for cash and investment holdings:

  • Corporate stocks rose by 12.5 percent, from $930.2 billion in 2010 to $1.1 trillion in 2011. Corporate stocks comprised 34.6 percent of total holdings.
  • Corporate bonds decreased by 0.2 percent, from $424.9 billion in 2010 to $424.0 billion in 2011. Corporate bonds comprised 14.0 percent of total holdings.
  • Foreign and international securities increased by 24.0 percent, from $421.9 billion in 2010 to $523.0 billion in 2011. Foreign and international securities comprised 17.3 percent of total holdings.
  • Government securities (which include U.S. Treasury) increased by 3.8 percent, from $232.0 billion in 2010 to $240.9 billion in 2011. Governmental securities comprised 8.0 percent of total holdings.

See Table 4 for individual state statistics.

Receipts

Total revenue increased 30.6 percent, from $471.6 billion in 2010 to $616.1 billion in 2011. The increase was driven by the rise of earnings on investments, which increased to $479.6 billion in 2011. Earnings on investments comprised 77.8 percent of total revenue, government contributions comprised 15.6 percent, and employee contributions accounted for the remaining 6.5 percent of total revenue in 2011. Government contributions increased 11.3 percent, from $86.4 billion in 2010 to $96.2 billion in 2011. Employee contributions increased 3.0 percent, from $39.1 billion in 2010 to $40.3 billion in 2011. (See Table 2 for individual state statistics.)

Payments

Total payments increased by 8.5 percent, from $213.8 billion in 2010 to $232.0 billion in 2011. Payments consist of benefits, withdrawals and other payments. Benefits increased by 7.6 percent, from $201.0 billion in 2010 to $216.3 billion in 2011. Benefit payments comprised 93.3 percent of total payments. (See Table 3 for individual state statistics.)

Statistics are shown for revenues, expenditures, cash and investments, and membership information by national, state and local levels, in addition to a national summary table. 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.

For more information, go to <http://www.census.gov/govs/retire/>.

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The estimates in this report are subject to sampling error. All comparisons in the report have been tested and found to be statistically significant at the 90 percent confidence level.

The Internet tables are from the Annual Survey of Public Pensions: State- and Locally-Administered Defined Benefit Data for fiscal year 2011. The statistics in these tables are from a sample of public-employee retirement systems and are subject to sampling variability. Additionally, the data 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/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/>.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: February 10, 2014