Public Plans Database Has Been Expanded

Users can now find comprehensive data about public DC plans as well as public DB plans.

MissionSquare Research Institute (formerly the Center for State and Local Government Excellence) has announced that the Public Plans Database (PPD) has been expanded to include data from nearly 50 public sector defined contribution (DC) retirement plans.

This represents nearly $140 billion in retirement assets and 2.5 million members. Additional DC plans and data will be added on an ongoing basis, the firm notes.

The database already contains detailed information on the largest state and local defined benefit (DB) pension plans in the U.S. The public pension plan data spans fiscal years 2001 to 2020 and includes 210 DB plans (119 state-run and 91 locally-run) that account for 95% of U.S. public pension assets and members.

The PPD is updated quarterly and is free to access. It allows users to:

  • Browse key statistics on individual plans and in the aggregate;
  • Search data in real time;
  • Produce customized tables with specific variables; and
  • Download raw data for in-depth analysis.

The enhanced PPD now offers information on DC assets, membership, investment options, contributions, plan types and provisions. It includes 401(a), 457, 401(k) and cash balance plans, along with mandatory, optional, supplemental and primary DC plans.

The database is developed and maintained through the collaborative efforts of MissionSquare Research Institute, the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College (CRR), the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), and the National Association of State Retirement Administrators (NASRA).

“Now, users have a better picture of public sector retirement plan assets. This is increasingly important as plan sponsors continue to look at innovative approaches for increasing contributions to DC plans,” says Joshua Franzel, managing director at MissionSquare Research Institute.