The brief’s key findings are:
- At the outset of the pandemic recession, many feared it would undermine workers’ employer-sponsored retirement plans.
- State and local employees who are not covered by Social Security would have been particularly vulnerable, as they lack the buffer this program offers.
- Their employer defined benefit plans would have been hurt by a long recession with poor investment returns and reduced contributions due to tax shortfalls.
- Instead, these plans exceeded their return targets; tax revenues held up; and government sponsors got stimulus aid, so plan funded ratios actually improved.
- And long-term structural headwinds such as negative cash flows and aggressive return targets still pose little risk to their ability to pay future benefits.