Public pensions funded ratio climbs to 72.6% in Q3 2020, up from 70.7%

Milliman today released the third quarter (Q3) 2020 results of its Public Pension Funding Index (PPFI), which consists of the nation’s 100 largest public defined benefit pension plans.

During Q3 2020, the upward trend in asset returns continued for public pensions, reflecting continued strong growth in markets following the initial COVID-19-induced economic impact in Q1. Third-quarter investment gains propelled the estimated funded status of the 100 largest U.S. public pension plans from 70.7% at the end of June 2020 to 72.6% at the end of September 2020. The plans gained market value of approximately $155 billion, which was offset by approximately $25 billion flowing out, as benefits paid out exceeded contributions coming in from employers and plan members.

Overall for Q3 there are now 15 plans above the 90% funded mark; 12 plans stood above this benchmark at the end of Q2 2020. Meanwhile, at the lower end of the spectrum, two plans moved above 60% funded, bringing the total number of plans under this mark to 26, down from 28 at Q2 2020.

To view the Milliman 100 Public Pension Funding Index, click here.

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