Assets of State and Local Pensions Recover to Pre-Recession Levels

The Census Bureau's report on the status of state and local government pensions shows that pension assets have recovered to levels seen in 2007.  In 2011, the holdings and investments of these pensions totaled $2.5 trillion.  These pension systems maintain large investments in financial markets; consequently, the funds' successes and failures are largely dependent on market performance.  Thus, just as the stock market suffered a substantial setback from 2008 to 2009, state and local pension funds experienced a similar loss and bounceback.  In 2011, earnings on investments were $410.6 billion, 2.3% higher than in 2007, and much improved on the $71.7 billion and $511.5 billion losses in 2008 and 2009 respectively.  California's pension system is the largest of any state with over $433 billion in assets, over 8 times the holdings and investments of the average state's pension system.
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