Public pension plans continued to improve and strengthen their funded status last year. That is the takeaway from a new report by the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS). With many plans earning double-digit investment returns, pension plans took the opportunity to fortify their funded position for the long term.
The annual survey of state and local pensions by NCPERS found that most plans met or exceeded their investment return assumptions. On average, the surveyed pension plans reported 1 year returns of 7.8%, 5 year returns of 8.4%, and 20 year returns of 7.4%. As we’ve noted before on this blog, many public pension plans earned double-digit investment returns during 2017. Just this week, Oregon PERS reported earning 15.3%, more than double their expectations.