Policymakers, journalists, academics and others who want a comprehensive view of state and local retirement plans can turn to publicplansdata.org.
The enhanced website — launched last month by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College and National Association of Retirement Administrators — is an enhanced and expanded version of a website launched in 2007.
The website contains information on more than 150 state and local defined benefit and defined contribution plans and includes asset allocation, funding ratios, employer contribution levels, benefits and investment income among other plan characteristics.
The data, formerly presented only on Excel spreadsheets, was “used heavily” by academic researchers, said Elizabeth Kellar, president and CEO of the Center for State and Local Government Excellence.
Now, Ms. Kellar expects the enhanced database to attract more people who want to learn about these plans as well as state and local leaders who are asked to make decisions on benefit levels.
The new website offers an interactive feature that allows users to select variables for a range of customized tables. For an individual and aggregate view of retirement plan data and explanation of terms, users can click on a section called “Quick facts.”
The data on the website go back to 2001 and were obtained from the funds' comprehensive annual financial reports and actuarial valuations, which are available for download. The website's Twitter handle, @public plansdata, will give Twitter users an alert whenever data are updated.