The MissionSquare Research Institute (formerly the Center for State and Local Government Excellence) and the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College partnered to offer a series of webinars highlighting the key features of Public Plans Data, along with interactive demonstrations of how to use the site. These webinars can be used by a wide variety of audiences – including state and local lawmakers, plan administrators and staff, members of the media, and academic researchers – to understand how to use Public Plans Data to obtain data on state and local public pension plans and how to put that data into perspective.
Using Public Plans Data to Understand the Funding of State & Local Pensions
The MissionSquare Research Institute (formerly the Center for State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE)) and the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College (CRR) share their newest pension research and highlight “quick facts” from Public Plans Data. In addition to looking at pension funding trends and payments of the employer’s required contribution, CRR researchers share how new pension accounting standards affect the funded status of pension plans and what to expect in future years.
What’s New in PublicPlansData.org
On May 19, 2016, MissionSquare and the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College partnered to offer a free webinar showing users the new features and data sets that have been added to Public Plans Data, including: (1) a map showing which state retirement plans are covered by Social Security and which ones are not; (2) retirement system and plan data through 2014 (2015 data coming soon); (3) expanded local plan data (total of 35 local plans); (4) retirement system “Quick Facts”; and (5) governance data.
Speakers gave tips on how to navigate the database and review variables that can be accessed in the interactive database. They also explained how to create charts that can be exported into your own documents.
The Facts on Public Pensions
Public pensions continue to be a topic of great concern to state policymakers across the country. Struggling from years of insufficient contributions, combined with longer-living retiree populations, many states face mounting public pension liabilities. Understanding how your state’s plan compares to others around the country and having access to reliable data about pension plans are both essential to making evidence-based policy decisions. MissionSquare and CRR partnered with the Council of State Governments to offer a free eCademy session to offer background on the state of public pension systems and show how Public Plans Data be used to inform debates about retirement security issues.
Using Data to Guide Decisions and Tell Your Pension Plan’s Story
The MissionSquare Research Institute and its partners guide participants through Public Plans Data, a free, publicly accessible online database of financial, actuarial, and governance data for the nation’s largest public pensions plans, demonstrating how state and local governments local governments can use the tool to put pension data into context. Speakers show how Public Plans Data can be used by local government pension plan administrators, human resource officials, finance officers, managers and elected officials for benchmarking, making informed policy decisions, and comparing benefits across plans.