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The Funding of State and Local Pensions: 2009-2013

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  • Alicia H. Munnell
  • Jean-Pierre Aubry
  • Laura Quinby

Abstract

The financial crisis reduced the value of equities in state and local defined benefit pensions and hurt the funding status of these plans. The impact will become evident only over time, however, because actuaries in the public sector tend to smooth both gains and losses, typically over a five–year period. The first year for which the crisis will have a meaningful impact on reported funding status is fiscal 2009, since in most cases the fiscal 2008 books were closed before the market collapsed. After 2009, the funding picture will continue to deteriorate to the extent that years of low equity values replace earlier years of high values. The current and future funding status of state and local pensions is crucially important, as state and local governments are facing a perfect storm: the decline in funding has occurred just as the recession has cut into state and local tax revenues and increased the demand for government services. Finding additional funds to make up for market losses will be extremely difficult...

Suggested Citation

  • Alicia H. Munnell & Jean-Pierre Aubry & Laura Quinby, 2010. "The Funding of State and Local Pensions: 2009-2013," Issues in Brief slp10, Center for Retirement Research, revised Apr 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:crr:issbrf:slp10
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    File URL: http://crr.bc.edu/briefs/the-funding-of-state-and-local-pensions-2009-2013/
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    Cited by:

    1. Munnell, Alicia H. & Aubry, Jean-Pierre & Quinby, Laura, 2011. "Public pension funding in practice," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(02), pages 247-268, April.

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    Keywords

    state and local pensions;

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