Public Employee Pension Contributions on the Rise: Report

Public employees are paying more into their public pension plan, and that trend is expected to continue, according to a report on pension reforms from NASRA.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch summarizes:

To combat increasing employer pension costs, U.S. states enacted pension plan reforms that mainly reduced benefits for new hires and increased employee contribution rates for new hires and current workers.

After nearly a decade at 5 percent, the median employee contribution rate increased to 5.7 percent in 2012 and further to 6 percent in 2014, according to a March 2016 National Association of State Retirement Administrators report.

The U.S. Census Bureau will release its quarterly report on state and local government public pensions on Thursday.

“For many years in (NASRA’s) data set, the median employee contribution rate held constant despite a number of states passing increases to their employee contribution rates,” said Alex Brown, a research manager at NASRA.

Nearly all states have made pension reforms since 2009. More than 35 states have passed increases to required employee contribution rates, Brown said.

Quarterly employee contributions averaged about $10.8 billion in 2015, the highest amount ever, and an increase of 1.39 percent from the 2014 average and 7.69 percent from the 2013 average, according to data taken from the U.S. Census Bureau.

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