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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  • Making State Pension Investments More Transparent

    The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), the nation’s largest public retirement plan,recently raised the bar on investment fee transparency by disclosing the full amount it pays to invest in privateequity, which may bring greater rewards but also greater risk and higher management costs. CalPERS, like mostpublic retirement systems, pays performance-based fees,... Read More

  • The Transparency That Public Pensions Need

    The stock market's recent volatility is a continuation of the bumpy ride investors have experienced since the Great Recession. Such swings used to have little direct effect on public pension plans, but that has changed.That's because over the past four decades public pensions, in hopes of boosting investment returns, have shifted funds away from fixed-income investments such as government and... Read More

  • 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

Media Contact

Ken Willis

Officer, Communications

202-540-6933