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Public Pension Plans

Decisions, Decisions: Retirement Plan Choices for Public Employees and Employers

Publication

A new study of the retirement plan choice in the public sector finds that defined benefit (DB) pensions are strongly preferred over 401(k)-type defined contribution (DC) individual accounts.

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The Origins and Severity of the Public Pension Crisis

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With many state governments facing budget shortfalls this year along with dwindling federal assistance, some policy-makers have begun to call for drastic reductions of public sector pensions as a way to ease state budget woes.

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Federal Employee Participation Patterns in the Thrift Savings Plan Calendar Year 2007

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The United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) analyzed participation in the Thrift Saving Plan (TSP) to identify employee participation rates and determine if the data suggests possible actions to be taken to improve the methods by which we educate Federal employees so they will be better able to plan for retirement.

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Out of Balance? Comparing Public and Private Sector Compensation Over 20 Years

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This report examines the extent to which state and local government compensation in the United States is comparable to compensation in the private sector.

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The Funding of State and Local Pensions: 2009-2013

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This brief reports state and local pension funding levels for fiscal 2009, a year for which stock market performance is known and for which actuarial valuations are available for roughly half of the 126 plans in our sample. It also reports projections for 2010-2013 under alternative assumptions about the performance of the stock market.

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Pensionomics: Measuring the Economic Impact of State and Local Pension Plans

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A new national economic impact study finds that the benefits provided by state and local government pension plans have a significant economic footprint: 2.5 million American jobs and $358 billion in economic impact.

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In it for the Long Haul: The Investment Behavior of Public Pensions

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A new analysis of public pension investment data indicates that public plans exhibit prudent investment behavior – even during volatile market conditions.

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Look Before You Leap: The Unintended Consequences of Pension Freezes

Publication

With the economy becoming weaker, many state and local governments will be facing fiscal challenges in the months and years ahead. These challenges will undoubtedly prompt governments to carefully examine all aspects of their budgets, including pension costs for state and local workforces.

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National Compensation Survey: Retirement Benefits in State and Local Governments in the United States, 2007

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This summary presents findings of the 2007 National Compensation Survey (NCS) regarding detailed provisions of retirement plans in State and local governments.

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Why Does Funding Status Vary Among State and Local Plans?

Publication

While state and local pensions as a group are about as well funded as plans in the private sector, significant variation exists. This brief aims to sort out why some plans are less well funded than others.

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