Chart: Distribution of Assumed Rates of Return

discount rate distribution

The Los Angeles City Employee Retirement System (LACERS) announced this week it was lowering its assumed rate of return from 7.75 percent to 7.5 percent. For some context, here’s a graphic that charts the discount rates of 150 public pension funds as of 2013.

Two District of Columbia funds use among the lowest rates in the country: the Police and Fire fund and the Teachers’ fund both assume a 6.5 percent rate of return on investments.

On the other end of the spectrum are funds like the Houston Firefighters’ fund and the Connecticut Teachers’ system. Those funds assume an 8.5 percent rate of return.


Chart credit: The Center for Retirement Research

Video: Funding Shortfalls and the Politics of Pensions


Here’s a short segment that dives into public pensions with Adrian Moore, vice president of policy at the Reason Foundation.

The video touches on assumed rates of return, New Jersey’s funding shortfall and the politics of pension payments.

The Reason Foundation is a libertarian-leaning think tank based in California.