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Census Bureau Reports Increase Of 13.2 Percent For State And Local Government Pension Funds In 2011

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The nation's state and local public-employee retirement systems had $3.0 trillion in total cash and investment holdings in 2011, a $351.9 billion or 13.2 percent increase from $2.7 trillion in 2010, according to new statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau. This follows a $288.7 billion gain from 2009 to 2010. 


These statistics come from the 2011 Annual Survey of Public Pensions: State- and Locally-Administered Defined Benefit Data , which provides an annual look at the financial activity and membership information of the nation's state and local public-employee retirement systems, including revenues, expenditures, investment holdings, membership and beneficiaries.

Cash and Investment Holdings

Most investment categories showed increases, with decreases only in federal agency securities, funds held in trust and corporate bonds.

Other highlights for cash and investment holdings:
  • Corporate stocks rose by 12.5 percent, from $930.2 billion in 2010 to $1.1 trillion in 2011. Corporate stocks comprised 34.6 percent of total holdings.
  • Corporate bonds decreased by 0.2 percent, from $424.9 billion in 2010 to $424.0 billion in 2011. Corporate bonds comprised 14.0 percent of total holdings.
  • Foreign and international securities increased by 24.0 percent, from $421.9 billion in 2010 to $523.0 billion in 2011.  Foreign and international securities comprised 17.3 percent of total holdings.
  • Government securities (which include U.S. Treasury) increased by 3.8 percent, from $232.0 billion in 2010 to $240.9 billion in 2011. Governmental securities comprised 8.0 percent of total holdings.

See Table 4 for individual state statistics.


Total revenue increased 30.6 percent, from $471.6 billion in 2010 to $616.1 billion in 2011. The increase was driven by the rise of earnings on investments, which increased to $479.6 billion in 2011. Earnings on investments comprised 77.8 percent of total revenue, government contributions comprised 15.6 percent, and employee contributions accounted for the remaining 6.5 percent of total revenue in 2011. Government contributions increased 11.3 percent, from $86.4 billion in 2010 to $96.2 billion in 2011. Employee contributions increased 3.0 percent, from $39.1 billion in 2010 to $40.3 billion in 2011. (See Table 2 for individual state statistics.)

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