There already is a free database on public pensions.
Sheila Weinberg argued that Congress should mandate additional pension reporting because there is a need for a “readily accessible, searchable and viewable public database” (“Congress must address public pension plan unfunding,” Other Views, July 25). She obviously is not aware that just such a database exists.
Publicplansdata.org has accurate, up-to-date facts on public pensions. It is free, easy to use and provides quick facts on public pensions at the national, state, retirement system and plan level.
Comprehensive annual financial reports and actuarial valuations are already publicly available for all state and local government retirement plans. The PPD provides links to these for the 160 state and local pension plans in the database, as well as an interactive data browser that allows users to select the variables they want to examine. This searchable database includes data on the 115 plans administered at the state level as well as 45 locally administered plans, a sample that represents 90% of public plan membership nationwide.
With a free resource like this, there is no reason to impose a federal mandate on state and local governments to spend their scarce tax dollars on yet another pension reporting requirement. Publicplansdata.org has been developed and maintained through a partnership between the Center for State and Local Government Excellence, the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College and the National Association of Retirement Administrators.
ELIZABETH K. KELLAR
President and CEO
Center for State and Local