State, local governments step up pension plan changes

Forty-four percent of state and local governments made pension plan changes over a 12-month period, up from 37% in the previous 12 months, according to an annual survey released Wednesday by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence.

The survey found 29% of current employees saw increased contributions as a result of pension plan changes, while 34% of new hires did.

“I think the pressure for change will continue,” said Elizabeth Kellar, president and CEO of the Center for State and Local Government Excellence, in an interview. With many states already making changes for new hires, “I think there is more pressure to try more changes for current employees,” she said.

New hires also saw increased retirement age and service requirements among 26% of respondents. For retirement-eligible employees, 22% accelerated their retirement date so far in 2013, the same as during the same period in 2012.

The survey of 323 International Public Management Association for Human Resources members was conducted in March and April this year.