State, Local Govt Retirement Assets Reach $2.2 Trillion

October 10, 2001( - Assets in state and local government employee retirement funds reached a record $2.2 trillion last year, boosted by stellar stock market returns, according to the Census Bureau.

The total, the latest data available, represents an increase of $263 billion from the 1999 figure. Of last year?s total:

More than $1.6 trillion was invested in nongovernmental securities, including:

  • about $788 billion in corporate stocks, and
  • some $343 billion in corporate bonds

In addition:

  • foreign and international securities accounted for $286 billion, and
  • mortgages and other securities accounted for $186 billion,
  • some $174 billion was invested in real property and other investments,
  • while $121 billion was held in cash and deposits

Over $270 billion was held in government securities, $267 billion of which was invested in federal government securities.

There were over 2,200 state and local public employee retirement systems in the country, covering more than 16.8 million people, with Illinois having the most systems, 377, with $88.1 billion in cash and investment holdings, according to the Census Bureau.