Milliman today released the results of its 2019 Public Pension Funding Study (PPFS), which analyzes funding levels of the nation’s 100 largest public pension plans, including an independent assessment on the expected real return of each plan’s investments.
For Milliman’s 2019 PPFS, the estimated aggregate funded ratio of the nation’s largest public pension plans is 73.4% as of June 30, 2019, with the estimated combined investment return at 7.34% in Q1 2019 and 2.66% in Q2, and aggregate plan assets reaching $3.84 trillion as of June 30. Total Pension Liabilities (TPL) for these plans crossed the $5 trillion mark for the first time, and as of June 30, 2019, Milliman estimates the PPFS aggregate TPL to be $5.23 trillion.
Thanks in large part to strong market performance in the first half of 2019, plan assets continue to keep pace with liability growth, buoying public pension funding. But we’re also seeing plan sponsors continue to inject conservatism into their interest rate assumptions, with nearly one-third of these plans lowering rates since the last study. While interest rate assumptions of 8.00% were once the norm, 85 of the public pensions in our study now have assumptions of 7.50% or below.
To view the full Milliman 100 Public Pension Funding Study, click here.
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