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2021 Update: Public Plan Funding
Publisher: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College
Publication Date: June 2021
The funding status for public pension plans improved during the pandemic (from 2020 to 2021) but contribution rates also rose, largely because payroll for state and local governments declined as employment levels fell.

403(b) Pension Plans: Overview and Legislative Developments
Publisher: Congressional Research Service
Publication Date: October 24, 2023
Despite distinct legislative histories, there has been a move toward harmonizing rules for 401(k) and 403(b) plans. This In Focus provides background on 403(b) plans, highlights areas in which they differ from 401(k) plans, and discusses current legislative developments surrounding 403(b) plans.

An Introduction to Police and Fire Pensions
Publisher: CRR
Publication Date: February 2020
This brief provides a careful examination of the retirement benefits that public safety retirees receive and the fiscal stress these commitments put upon local governments.

ASOP No. 4 Changes Affecting Public Plan Actuarial Valuations
Publisher: GRS
Publication Date: February 2023
The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the changes included in the revised ASOP No. 4 (issued by the Actuarial Standards Board in December 2021), as well as assisting public plan sponsors in considering how these changes may affect their public pension plans.

Asset Allocation and the Investment Return Assumption
Publication Date: July 2020
This issue brief discusses why the investment return assumption should be determined based on the asset allocation, not the other way around

Benefits of State and Local Government Employees
Publisher: MissionSquare Research Institute
Publication Date: February 2022
This Issue Brief details the benefits provided to these public servants, primarily using recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ National Compensation Survey: Employee Benefits in the United States, March 20213, unless otherwise noted.

Compliance Checklist for Governmental Plans 2020
Publisher: Prudential
Publication Date: February 2020
Prudential issued this document showing reporting and disclosure requirements for governmental plans and non-ERISA plans.

Cybersecurity Program Best Practices
Publication Date: 2020
The Employee Benefits Security Administration has prepared the following best practices for use by recordkeepers and other service providers responsible for plan-related IT systems and data, and for plan fiduciaries making prudent decisions on the service providers they should hire.

Do Public Workers Without Social Security Get Comparable Benefits?
Publication Date: April 2021
One-quarter of state and local government employees – approximately 6.5 million workers – are not covered by Social Security on their current job. To remain outside of Social Security, federal law requires that these employees be covered by an employer pension of sufficient generosity. Since many public pensions have grown less generous in recent years and a few plans could exhaust their assets, the question is whether state and local plans currently satisfy the federal standards. This brief, which is based on a recent study, attempts to answer that question.

Do Smaller Public Employer Pensions Spur More Saving?
Publication Date: March 2021
To see whether public workers are likely to augment their pensions with outside savings, this brief, based on a recent study, explores the relationship between participation in a supplemental defined contribution plan and three factors that could impact the need to save: low wealth accumulation in a defined benefit plan, low plan funded levels, and lack of Social Security coverage.

Effectiveness of Amortization Methods
Publisher: Milliman
Publication Date: June 1, 2021
One of the most important decisions made for public sector pension plans is adopting a funding policy that balances the needs of all stakeholders. In general, larger benefits require larger contributions. For a given benefit level, the purpose of a funding policy is to balance the level and volatility of contributions with the funded status of the plan. In this article, we explore, compare, and contrast various methods of amortizing liabilities and their impact on the contribution rates allocated to employers.

Fiscal Responsibility and 401(k)s
Publisher: NPPC
Publication Date: January 2021
Why converting public employees to Defined-Contribution Retirement Plans is wrong for your state

Forensic Analysis of Pension Funding: A Tool for Policymakers
Publisher: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College
Publication Date: April 2022
State and local policymakers face increasing pressure to manage pension costs, as unfunded liabilities continue to grow relative to budgets. However, policymakers often lack a historical perspective on the root causes of pension underfunding, which is an obstacle to developing effective solutions.

GASB Project Page: Investment Fees
Publisher: GASB
Publication Date: Constantly Updated
This link will take you to GASB's project page on their Investment Fees project, which is updated on a regular basis.

GASB Statement No. 95
Publisher: GASB
Publication Date: May 2020
Statement No. 95 spells out the postponement of the effective dates of certain Authoritative Guidance.

How Best to Annuitize Defined Contribution Assets
Publisher: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College
Publication Date: January 2021
This brief compares three ways to ensure a higher level of lifetime income, reduce the likelihood that people will outlive their resources, and alleviate some of the anxiety associated with post-retirement investing for those whose retirement consists of 401(k) plans and IRAs rather than defined benefit plans.

How Do DI Benefits for Uncovered Workers Compare to SSDI
Publication Date: August 2020
Roughly one in four state and local government workers are not covered by Social Security and, unless they have a sufficient work history in the private sector, will rely solely on their employer for pensions and disability insurance. An important question is how these employer-provided benefits compare to the benefits that these workers might have received through Social Security

How Many Public Workers Without Social Security Could Fall Short?
Publisher: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College
Publication Date: April 2022
This brief follows up on a CRR study that found that while all state and local plans currently satisfy the letter of the law, 43 percent do not provide Social Security-equivalent resources for some hypothetical new hires. Specifically, these plans shortchange workers who spend 6 to 20 years in noncovered employment before finishing their careers in a covered job.

Impact of COVID-19
Publication Date: May 15, 2020
This Society of Actuaries (SOA) Research Brief on the Impact of COVID-19 has been constructed to highlight some of the key continuing and new features of the pandemic all around the world and contemplate the risks for the actuarial profession to consider in their work.

Introduction to Service Purchases for Public Pension Plans
Publisher: American Academy of Actuaries
Publication Date: January 2024
This practice note was developed by a committee consisting of participants of the Public Plans Committee of the American Academy of Actuaries for the purpose of providing an overview of methodologies, considerations, and current practices related to service purchases for public pension plans in the United States.

Megatrends Impacting the Future of Retirement Plans
Publisher: Society of Actuaries Research Institute
Publication Date: April 2023
The Society of Actuaries Research Institute (SOA Research) has published a report that examines a series of megatrends that can impact the future of retirement and retirement plans, as well as the macro forces that will shape those trends.

Megatrends Impacting the Future of Retirement Plans
Publisher: Society of Actuaries Research Institute
Publication Date: April 2023
This report examines a series of megatrends that can impact the future of retirement and retirement plans, as well as the macro forces that will shape those trends. The first section of this forward-looking journey will set the context with a broader understanding of how the future is changing. Subsequent sections will then highlight sociocultural, economic, technological, health and long-term care, and environmental trends that can redefine the landscape and have a major impact on the future of retirement.

Proposed Revision of ASOP No. 4 (2nd Exposure Draft)
Publisher: ASB
Publication Date: December 2019
2nd Exposure Draft of the Actuarial Standards Board's recommended changes to ASOP No. 4.

Qualities of a Good Supervisor (Plus 8 Skills to Develop)
Publisher: Indeed
Publication Date: June 2022
Being a good supervisor is an important part of maintaining productivity and morale among staff. Individuals who are successful in this role often possess both interpersonal and management skills, plus an approachable, confident and supportive personality. A great supervisor is one who strives to continually learn, build upon their strengths and identify any areas of weakness in which to improve. In this article, we'll explore some of the qualities of a good supervisor, as well as the skills common of leaders and how you can become an effective supervisor yourself.

Secure 2.0 Highlights for Retirement Sponsors
Publisher: Ice Miller
Publication Date: January 10, 2023
Secure 2.0 contains several provisions that affect public pension plans. This publication contains a wonderful summary of some of the largest changes that either may or will need to be implemented and their effective dates.

SECURE 2.0 Retirement Reform Becomes Law
Publisher: Segal
Publication Date: January 4, 2023
The SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 (SECURE 2.0) was enacted as part of the 2023 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which was signed into law on December 29, 2022. It is the culmination of a multi-year, bicameral, bipartisan effort to follow up on the SECURE Act that was enacted on December 20, 2019. SECURE 2.0 contains roughly 90 separate provisions each with its own effective date.

Social Security Coverage of State and Local Government Employees
Publisher: Congressional Research Service
Publication Date: November 10, 2021
The focus of this report is Social Security coverage among state and local government employees under current law and issues surrounding proposals to make Social Security coverage mandatory for newly hired state and local government employees.

Social Security: The Government Pension Offset (GPO)
Publisher: Congressional Research Service
Publication Date: February 13, 2023
The Social Security spousal or widow(er)’s benefit of a person who also receives a pension from government employment (federal, state, or local) that was based on work not covered by Social Security is reduced by a provision known as the Government Pension Offset (GPO). This report provides background information about the GPO and updates previously issued information about the GPO.

Social Security: The WEP and GPO
Publisher: Congressional Research Service
Publication Date: February 22, 2022
The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO) are two separate provisions that reduce regular Social Security benefits for workers and their eligible family members if the worker receives (or is entitled to) a pension based on earnings from employment not covered by Social Security.

Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision and the Government Pension Offset
Publisher: Congressional Research Service
Publication Date: February 2021
A good article about how the WEP and GPO are handled when social security benefits are calculated.

State & Local Govt. Employees Without Social Security Coverage
Publisher: Social Security and Boston College Center for Retirement Research
Publication Date: August 2022
Social Security is designed to provide a base of retirement income, to be supplemented in part by employer-sponsored retirement plans. However, approximately one-quarter of state and local government employees are not covered by Social Security, which federal law allows if their employer-provided plans provide comparable benefits. Yet many public pensions are less generous for recent hires, raising questions of whether those plans will still provide Social Security–equivalent benefits. The authors analyze 66 plans and project that a significant minority of them are likely to fall short of providing Social Security–equivalent benefits, potentially affecting 750,000 to 1 million noncovered workers annually.

State and Local Workforce
Publisher: MissionSquare Research Institute
Publication Date: June 2023
Recruiting and retaining public employees remains a challenge, but governments are finding success with creative outreach techniques, professional development to help employees to gain new skills, and ongoing employee engagement. This report discusses data from the 2023 state and local government workforce survey, along with related data from prior surveys in the series.

State Regulation of ESG Investment Decision-Making by Public Retirement Plans
Publisher: Ropes & Gray
Publication Date: August 2022
In 2021, Ropes & Gray published an alert that described the different approaches states were considering (or had implemented in several cases) regarding the regulation of ESG investments by state retirement systems. In this alert, we describe the state initiatives adopted to date, as well as other initiatives, including those implemented by the American Legislative Exchange Council, State Financial Officers Foundation and the U.S. Department of Labor.

The Great Resignation and COVID-19
Publisher: MissionSquare Research Institute
Publication Date: January 2022
This infographic shows that 52% of state and local government employees are considering leaving their jobs voluntarily due to COVID-19 to do any or all of the following: change jobs, retire, and/or leave the workforce entirely.

The Promise and Peril of ChatGPT
Publisher: Journal of Accountancy
Publication Date: May 1, 2023
Early experiments with ChatGPT have yielded timesaving tricks, intriguing avenues for exploration, and, for some, profound questions about the accounting profession’s future. However, users should proceed with caution: ChatGPT’s responses can contain errors and untruths, and the chatbot also poses security risks.

The State of Public Sector DC Plans: 2021
Publisher: Public Retirement Research Lab
Publication Date: September 28, 2023
In this brief, public-sector plan participants’ savings behaviors are analyzed. Specifically, balances, contributions, and asset allocation by participants’ age and tenure are studied.

Trends in Maturity Metrics, Asset Allocations and Expected Rates of Return
Publication Date: March 2021
As part of its work, the Society of Actuaries (SOA) seeks to inform public policy development and public understanding through research. In that context, this report considers trends in public defined benefit plan maturity metrics, asset allocations and assumed rates of return among 139 state-based and large local defined benefit pension systems or plans in the United States from 2001 to 2018.

Why Converting Public Employees to DC Retirement Plans is Wrong for Your State
Publisher: NPPC
Publication Date: January 2021
This report explores the potential impact states will face should lawmakers decide to convert new public employees from a defined-benefit pension plan to a defined-contribution 401(k) retirement plan as a budget-saving measure.

Why Younger Workers Enter and Why They Stay (or Don't)
Publisher: Mission Square Research Institute
Publication Date: September 26, 2023
A groundbreaking new report from MissionSquare Research Institute sheds light on the experiences of younger public service employees. The findings indicate that most individuals aged 35 and under have a positive morale about their job, but face high levels of job stress and have financial worries.


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.