WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems is recognizing 164 public pension plans for their contributions to enhancing public understanding of retirement systems.
NCPERS said today it is awarding Certificates of Transparency to 164 plans that participated in the 2017 NCPERS Public Retirement Systems Study, which was released in January. The sweeping study takes stock of efforts by pension trustees, managers, and administrators to improve their finances and operations.
“State and local pension plans are committed to effective governance, fiscal practices, and disclosure,” said Hank H. Kim, executive director and chief counsel of NCPERS. “The plans that contributed to our study are going an extra mile by helping to improve transparency and enhance open discussion between public pension plans and the public at large.”
The data gathered for the 2017 NCPERS Public Retirement Systems Study provides insights into how public pension systems adapt in the face of constant change, including legislative and regulatory developments and ups and downs in financial markets.
Study participants completed a five-page study instrument covering 22 topics. The instrument included detailed sections on plan statistics, current and target asset allocation and investment returns, retirement benefits offered or planned, business practices, and oversight practices, among other topics.
“The business intelligence provided by the 164 study participants supports efforts by the public pension community as a whole to comprehend and analyze challenges and find opportunities for steady improvement,” Kim said. Pension plans can access the study in “dashboard” format, enabling them to build models and evaluate their own data against the study’s findings, he noted.
The 2017 study drew on responses from 62 state and 102 local government pension funds with more than 15.5 million active and retired memberships and market assets totaling $1.8 trillion. (The number of state plans exceeds 50 because some states have multiple plans.) NCPERS conducted the seventh annual study in September through December 2017 in partnership with Cobalt Community Research.
The National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS) is the largest trade association for public sector pension funds, representing more than 500 funds throughout the United States and Canada. It is a unique non-profit network of public trustees, administrators, public officials and investment professionals who collectively manage more than $3 trillion in pension assets. Founded in 1941, NCPERS is the principal trade association working to promote and protect pensions by focusing on advocacy, research and education for the benefit of public sector pension stakeholders.