…The primary source of Survey data is public retirement system annual financial reports. Data also is culled from actuarial valuations, benefits guides, system websites, and input from system representatives. The Survey is updated continuously as new information, particularly annual financial reports, becomes available. This report focuses on fiscal year 2012. Using graphs, this summary describes changes and trends in selected elements of the survey.
Figure A plots the aggregate actuarial funding level among plans in the Survey since its inception in FY 2001. The funding level in FY 12 declined to 73.5 percent, down from 75.8 percent the prior year. The aggregate actuarial value of assets increased to $2.67 trillion, an increase of 0.9 percent. This increase was outpaced by growth in the actuarial value of liabilities, from $3.49 trillion to $3.63 trillion, or 4.1 percent. Liabilities grow primarily as active (working) plan participants accrue retirement benefit service credits.
Most plans have completed, or are nearing completion, of recognition of the sharp investment losses incurred in 2008-09. Those losses are being offset by asset gains since the market decline….