Unlike in the private sector, nearly all employees of state and local government are required to share in the cost of their retirement benefit. Employee contributions typically are set as a percentage of salary by statute or by the retirement board. Although investment earnings and employer contributions account for a larger portion of total public pension fund revenues (see Figure 1), by providing a consistent and predictable stream of revenue to public pension funds, contributions from employees fill a vital role in financing pension benefits. In the wake of the 2008-09 market decline, employee contribution rates in many states have increased. This issue brief examines employee contribution plan designs, policies and recent trends….