Employee contributions to US public pensions drop

News


06 Jul, 2016

Employee contributions to US public pensions drop

During the first quarter of 2016, employee contributions to US state pensions fell.

Employer contributions were also down although assets for the quarter increased marginally.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau indicated that, while employee contributions dropped in the first quarter of 2016 by 3.6% compared with the last quarter of 2015, from $11.5 billion to $11.1 billion, they were up year-to-year by 5.5%, from $10.5 billion in the first quarter of 2015.

Meanwhile, employer contributions were also lower. The ratio of government contributions to employee contributions was 2.6 to 1, as government contributions comprised 72.2% of total contributions.

However, while in the fourth quarter of 2015, employer contributions totalled $30.4 billion, in the first quarter of 2016 they amounted to $28.7 billion.

They were up, however, year over year from the first quarter of 2015’s $25.8 billion.

Total benefit payments were $63.9 billion for the first quarter of 2016, up 5.1% from $60.9 billion last quarter, and up 4.6% from $61.1 billion for the same quarter last year.

For the 100 largest public-employee pension systems in the country, assets (cash and investments) totalled $3,252.2 billion in the first quarter of 2016, increasing by 0.1% from the 2015 fourth-quarter level of $3,249.4 billion. Compared to the same quarter in 2015, assets for these major public pension systems fell 4.0% from $3,388.5 billion.

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