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Survey says public funds doing great financially

August 31, 2006

State and local retirement systems are financially sound, according to a survey of 102 public pension funds commissioned by the National Association of State Retirement Administrators and the National Council on Teacher Retirement. More than 86% of the plans studied had pre-funded 85% of their future liabilities in 2005. Earnings from investment income accounted for 63% of state and local pension system revenue for the 22 years ended Dec. 31, 2004, a major factor behind the funds' financial soundness, according to analysis by Keith Brainard, NASRA research director. Worker contributions represented 12% of revenue, and employer contributions accounted for 25%.

The retirement systems that participate in the annual survey collectively hold $2.3 trillion in assets and represent 85% of all state and local government pension assets in the U.S.