A consortium of public retirement system research and advocacy groups announced the launch of an enhanced public plans data website at www.publicplansdata.org.
The website was created as a joint effort of The Center for State and Local Government Excellence, the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College and the National Association of State Retirement Administrators. The main goal of the site is to aggregate data to provide policymakers and others a comprehensive view of public sector retirement plans, the groups suggest.
Available on the site are “Quick Facts” publications, covering asset allocations and funded ratios at the national, state, and plan levels, among other topics. Also provided are individual and aggregated datasets on more than 150 state and local pension plans, and an interactive browser that allows users to explore data from a variety of table formats.
“We know that retirement benefits are important in attracting and retaining talented state and local government workers,” says Elizabeth Kellar, president and CEO of the Center for State and Local Government Excellence. “Having access to reliable data about pension plans also helps inform state and local government leaders as they make decisions about those benefits. We hope these resources will promote an informed dialogue about workforce goals and retirement security issues.”
The groups say the website will be a comprehensive database of public retirement plan data on employee and employer contributions, benefits, investment income, plan membership and plan provisions. Users can access annual financial reports and actuarial valuations for every plan in the database. In addition, an application programming interface allows users to connect directly to the database and receive updates as they are made.
All the data underlying the website, which covers both defined benefit and defined contribution plans, is updated regularly from information available in the most recent comprehensive annual financial reports and actuarial valuations from the covered plans.
The National Association of State Retirement Administrators (NASRA), which has been collecting and sharing public plan data since 2001, supports the partnership by providing review and assistance on the development of data models, validation of data, and development and administration of surveys.