State, Local Retirement Assets Hit Record

October 25, 2000 ( - Buoyed by strong markets, retirement assets of state and local government employees hit a record high of $1.9 trillion in 1999, up more than 11% from the year before, according to the Census Bureau.

Over the same period, total membership in those retirement systems went down 7,500 to 16.2 million.

More than $1.4 trillion was invested in nongovernmental securities, including:

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  • $708 billion in corporate stocks
  • $295 billion in corporate bonds
  • $226 billion in foreign and international securities
  • $182 billion in mortgages and other securities

Some $273 billion was invested in government securities, mostly federal government securities ($270 billion).  Just $101 billion was left in cash and deposits.

Of the 2,211 public employee retirement systems in the US last year:

  • Illinois led the list with 377 systems
  • Pennsylvania was second with 360
  • Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota and Colorado all had 100 or more systems

Twenty-one states had fewer than 10 systems, including Maine and Hawaii – which had only a single system that covered all state and local government employees in those states.

California had the most members and the greatest amount of assets  – 1.7 million, and $323.2 billion, respectively.