Public Sector Retirement Systems

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Many state and local retirement plans are on an unsustainable course, having failed to set aside enough money to fund the promises they have made.  To inform state policymaking, Pew provides  research on the fiscal challenges state and cities face as a result of their pension and retiree health promises. With the understanding that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, the project also offers technical assistance to states and municipalities as they undertake pension and retiree health care reforms to ensure their public sector retirement systems are affordable and sustainable, provide a secure retirement for workers, and preserve governments' ability to recruit and retain a talented public-sector workforce.

Our Work

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  • Preparing For Retirement

    State and local pension systems have adopted significant reforms in recent years in an effort to become fiscally sustainable, and many policymakers are considering additional changes to public retirement benefits. The impact of these reforms on recruitment and retention of a talented workforce remains unclear, and there is a growing need to better understand workers’ thoughts and attitudes... Read More

  • Steps to Providing Support and Techical Assistance for Public Sector Retirement Systems

    The Pew Charitable Trusts’ public sector retirement systems project performs 50-state and major city research on all aspects of public pension systems, including fiscal health, investment practices, benefits design, and governance. We developed some of the first and most comprehensive studies of underfunded public pensions throughout the U.S. Read More

  • The Fiscal Health of State Pension Plans

    All figures presented are as reported in public documents. The main data sources used for this report were the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFRs) produced by each state and pension plan for fiscal year 2013, actuarial reports and valuations, and other state documents that disclose financial details about public employment retirement systems. Pew collected data for over 230 pension... Read More

Media Contact

Ken Willis

Officer, Communications