U.S. Pension Tracker

Joe Nation, Ph.D.

Project Director
Stanford Institute for
Economic Policy Research

The Bottom 25% (Lowest quartile) indicates relatively lower unfunded liabilities. The Top 25% (Highest quartile) indicates relatively higher unfunded liabilities. Metrics reflect the Fiscal Year selected. Agencies reported as NA or agencies for which we do not have geographic locations are excluded from calculations. See Glossary for additional information.

Data reflect Fiscal Year (FY) , the most recent available.

 

Glossary

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A

Actuarial Basis

Funding liabilities and funded ratios using using discount rates reported by pension systems, typically about 7.5%

Actuarial Liability

Present Value of future benefits for current members, using discount rates reported by pension systems, typically 7.5%.
Source

Actuarial Pension Debt

Actuarial Liability minus Value of Assets.
Source

Assumed Rate of Return

Assumed investment rate of return. Also known as the discount rate.
Source

H

Households

Number of households in a state.
Source : U.S. Bureau of the Census, Fact-finder.

M

Market Basis

Funding liabilities and funded ratios using using discount rates equal to 20-year Treasury yields rounded to the nearest one-quarter percentage point. The use of this discount rate is intended, as most financial economists agree, to more closely represent market realities and system liabilities.

Market Discount Rate

A discount rate equal to 20-year Treasury yields rounded to the nearly one-quarter percentage; these ranged from 2.50% to 4.25% between 2008 and 2015.
Source : U.S. Department of the Treasury, Resource Center.

Market Liability

Present Value of future benefits for current members, discounted using 20-year Treasury yields rounded to the nearest one-quarter percentage point.
Source

Market Pension Debt

Market Liability minus Value of Assets.
Source

P

Pension Debt

Actuarial Liabilities or Market Liabilities minus Value of Assets. Also known as Unfunded Actuarial Liability, Unfunded Market Liability, or net pension debt. Example: Liabilities = $200; Assets = $100; Pension Debt = $100.

Population

Number of persons in a state.
Source : U.S. Bureau of the Census, Fact-finder.

S

State General Fund Expenditures ($)

Annual expenditures from a state's general fund.
Source : National Association of State Budget Officers, State Expenditure Reports.

State Total Expenditures ($)

Total expenditures from a state's general and all other funds.
Source : National Association of State Budget Officers, State Expenditure Reports

State Total General Fund Revenues ($)

Revenues to a state's general fund. District of Columbia includes tax revenues only.
Source : National Association of State Budget Officers, State Expenditure Reports.

U

United States

50 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia
Source

V

Value of Assets

Market or fair value of assets.
Source

Pension Tracker

Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research
366 Galvez Street
Stanford, CA  94305-6050
admin@pensiontracker.org