Are public pension funds to blame for the collapse of state and local government finances? Public pension systems are not being portrayed in a very favorable light in the media these days. But beyond the extreme cases of mismanagement, do public pension funds deserve all the bad rap?

The National Council of State Legislatures, in conjunction with the National League of Cities, National Association of Counties, Government Finance Officers Association, and several other government organizations, has released a timely counter piece to the current concerns about public pensions.

This industry snapshot, entitled  entitled The Facts on State and Local Government Pensions, summarizes the current state of public pension funds in the U.S. Рsuccinctly, yet with enough detail to clearly depict the condition of these systems, and their potential impact on state and local government finance.

Highlights include:

  • Retirement systems remain a small portion of state and local government budgets.
  • Public pension plans are not in crisis.
  • Pension dollars help the economy of every jurisdiction.
  • State and local government retirement systems do not require Federal financial assistance.

While pension and other post-employment benefits (OPEB) expenditures are a growing percentage of state and local budgets, this NCSL Fact Sheet lends a counter perspective for those with concerns about state and local public pension systems.