Local pension plans' funding ratios, which have long lagged behind those of state plans, are inching upward because of better investment returns and larger contributions than plans on the state level, according to a brief from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.
The aggregate funding ratios for 2015 for state plans and local plans (which include municipal and county plans) were 73.9% and 69.9%, respectively, the most recent data available. While state plans' aggregate funding ratio rose from 73.3% in 2013, that 60-basis-point increase fell behind local plans' increase of 290 basis points from an aggregate funding ratio of 67% in 2013.
The brief says while both state and local plans have received more than 90% of their reported actuarially required contributions since 2000, local plans have received slightly more since then. In 2000, state plans received 96% while local plans received 90%. In 2015, local plans received 94% and state plans received 92%.