State and local pension investment earnings grew over 40 percent in 2014

The Census Bureau released data from its Annual Survey of Public Pensions today, which provides a financial overview of state- and locally-administered defined benefit pension systems. The report found that earnings on investments for those pension systems increased from $382.2 billion in 2013 to $537.5 billion in 2014 – a 38.6 percent jump. In 2012, earnings totaled just $96 billion.

Nationally, earnings on investments make up most – more than three-quarters – of the revenues for state- and locally-administered pension systems. The remaining revenues come from government (17 percent) and employee (6.5 percent) contributions. This breakdown varies significantly, however, across states.

Government contributions make up a third or more of pension system revenues in three states: New Jersey (36 percent), Louisiana (35 percent) and Connecticut (33 percent). On the other end of the scale, five states contribute less than 10 percent to pension revenues, with South Dakota contributing the least of any state – 6 percent.

Employees in New Jersey contribute nearly 29 percent of pension revenues – the most of any state – followed by North Dakota (14 percent) and Alabama (13 percent). Employees in Oregon and Utah, however, contribute less than 1 percent of pension revenues. Employees in another five states (Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Nevada and New York) contribute less than four percent to pension revenues.

Read more here: U.S. Census Bureau