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Cost-of-Living Adjustments
Publication Date: June 2020
This brief presents a discussion about the purpose of COLAs, the different types of COLAs provided by government pension plans, and an overview of recent state changes to COLA provisions.

Employee Contributions to Public Pension Plans
Publisher: NASRA
Publication Date: September 2021
This NASRA Issue Brief examines employee contribution plan designs, policies and recent trends.

Model Code of Conduct and Ethics Policy
Publisher: APPFA
Publication Date: 2013
The following Model Code of Conduct & Ethics Policy (Ethics Policy) captures many of the best practices used at the present time, February 2013. This Ethics Policy does not encompass all items that might be appropriate to a particular public pension fund, nor will all items identified in this Ethics Policy be relevant to every public pension fund. Accordingly, this Ethics Policy may be tailored to each public pension fund’s needs.

Operational Risks of Defined Benefit and Related Plans and Controls to Mitigate those Risks
Publication Date: 2013
Public pension funds (Funds) face a large number of risks on the administrative and benefits side of the business. Some inherent risks do not change much over time. However, other risks and the mitigating controls for all risks are often affected by the constant changes in technology and the environment in which the Funds operate. This publication lists some of the risks that Funds face and some of the controls that may be put in place to mitigate these risks.

Overview of Public Pension Plan Amortization Policies
Publisher: NASRA
Publication Date: April 2022
A pension plan’s amortization policy is a central feature of its funding policy, and the effectiveness of the amortization policy can have significant effects on a pension plan’s long-term cost. This paper looks at the amortization policies of 124 public pension plans.

Overview of Public Pension Plan Governance
Publication Date: November 2019
This overview is intended to summarize the laws and rules that govern public plans, and the range of entities typically responsible for them.

Public Pension Plan Investment Return Assumptions (updated February 2020)
Publisher: NASRA
Publication Date: February 2020
Updated NASRA issue brief showing investment return assumptions for public pension plans.

Public Pension Plan Investment Return Assumptions (updated February 2021)
Publication Date: February 2021
NASRA issue brief showing investment return assumptions for public pension plans, updated in 2021.

Public Pensions Are a Good Deal for Taxpayers
Publication Date: August 2017
The prevailing practice of dismantling pensions is a bad deal for taxpayers according to this NCPERS research paper.

Public Retirement Systems Study 2019
Publisher: NCPERS
Publication Date: January 2020
From September to December 2019, the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS) undertook a comprehensive study exploring retirement practices of the public sector.

State and Local Government Spending on Public Employee Retirement Systems
Publisher: NASRA
Publication Date: February 2022
This update provides figures for public pension contributions as a percentage of state and local government direct general spending for FY 2019, and projects a rate of spending on pensions on an aggregate basis for FY 2020.

State Retirement Hybrid Plans
Publication Date: June 2020
Although hybrid retirement plans take many forms, this brief examines two types in use in the public sector: the cash balance plan, and the "DC & DB Plan."

Statements of Key Investment Risks and Common Practices to Address Those Risks
Publication Date: 2000
After large investment losses in 2000, several organizations developed various investment risk management guidelines or standards. Most of those standards and guidelines, however, were not specifically oriented to the unique perspective of public pension systems. Because of this, public pension plan CIOs and the Association of Public Pension Fund Auditors (APPFA) participated in a joint project to develop a risk document specifically with the intent of identifying common risks faced by public pension systems and the practices being utilized to address those risks.

Unintended Consequences: How Scaling Back Pensions Puts Government Revenues at Risk
Publisher: NCPERS
Publication Date: May 2018
This is the first study of its kind that examines the impact of investment of pension fund assets and spending of pension checks by retirees on state and local economies and revenues.

Unintended Consequences: How Scaling Back Pensions Puts Government Revenues at Risk 2020 Update
Publisher: NCPERS
Publication Date: May 2020
2020 Update to the original NCPERS research study.


The Public Pension Financial Forum is organized for education, pension advocacy and networking purposes. To support the ongoing education of our membership, we prepare quarterly newsletters, hold member facilitated conference calls and webinars, and host an annual conference.  We also have a Member Forum that allows members to ask questions and receive answers from each other.  To participate in P2F2, follow the member enrollment link above.