California
Pension Tracker

Joe Nation, Ph.D.

Project Director
Stanford Institute for
Economic Policy Research

The Bottom 25% (Lowest quartile) indicates relatively lower unfunded liabilities. The Top 25% (Highest quartile) indicates relatively higher unfunded liabilities. Metrics reflect the Fiscal Year selected. Agencies reported as NA or agencies for which we do not have geographic locations are excluded from calculations. See Glossary for additional information.

Data reflect Fiscal Year (FY) , the most recent available.

 

Glossary

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A

Active Members

Current employee of a county, city, or special district agency.
Source

Actuarial Basis

Funding liabilities and funded ratios using discount rates reported by most systems, typically 7.5%

Actuarial Funded Ratio

Funded ratio using discount rates reported by most systems, typically 7.5%
Source

Actuarial Liability

Present Value of future benefits for current members, using discount rates reported by most systems, typically 7.5%.
Source

Average Annual Benefits, Retired Members and Beneficiaries ($)

Average annual benefit payment to Retired Members and beneficiaries.
Source

Average Annual Pay, Active Members ($)

Average annual pay to Active Members
Source

Average Attained Age, Retired Members and Beneficiaries

Average age of Retired Members and beneficiaries
Source

B

Benefit Formula

Determination of retirement benefits, typically expressed as a percent of salary at full retirement age, e.g., 2% at 55
Source

C

CalPERS

California Public Employees' Retirement System

CalSTRS

California State Teachers' Retirement System

COLA (%)

Cost of Living Adjustment.
Source

D

Discount Rate (%)

Assumed investment rate of return on assets and rate at which future liabilities are converted to today's dollars.
Source

Discount Rate for Market Liability (%)

Discount rate for terminating CalPERS agencies, based on 10- and 30-year Treasury yields, ranging from 2.82% to 4.82% between 2011 and 2015.
Source

E

Employee Contribution (%)

Contribution rate of employees, expressed as a percentage of payroll.
Source

Employee Contribution ($)

Contribution amount of employees.
Source

Employer Normal Cost Contribution (%)

Contribution rate of employers to cover on-going employee benefits, expressed as a percentage of payroll.
Source

Employer Normal Cost Contribution ($)

Contribution amount of employers to cover on-going employee benefits.
Source

Employer Other Contribution (%)

Contribution rate of employers to cover unfunded costs, side funds, and any other non-Normal cost contribution rates, expressed as a percentage of payroll.
Source

Employer Other Contribution ($)

Contribution amount of employers to cover cover unfunded liabilities.
Source

Employer Total Contribution (%)

Total contribution rate of employers, expressed as a percentage of payroll.
Source

Employer Total Pension Contribution ($)

Total contribution amount from employers.
Source

F

Final Compensation Period

Final average pay determination, typically a one- or three-year period.
Source

Fiscal Year

Generally July 1-June 30

H

Households

The number of housing unit occupied by people, related and unrelated.
Source : California Dept. of Finance

Hypothetical Termination Liability

Present Value of future benefits for current members, discounted at a market rate of return, ranging from 2.82% to 4.82% between 2011 and 2013 as determined by CalPERS. Also see Market Liability.

I

Independent Pension System

Non-CalPERS public pension system, including those in 20 counties that operate systems permitted by the County Employees Retirement Law of 1937 (CERL), and cities and special districts that operate their own pension systems .

M

Market Basis

Funding liabilities and funded ratios using CalPERS termination discount rates, which ranged from 2.82% to 4.82% between 2011 and 2015.

Market Funded Ratio

Funded ratio using discount rates reported by most systems using CalPERS termination discount rates, which ranged from 2.82% to 4.82% between 2011 and 2015.
Source

Market Liability

Present Value of future benefits for current members, discounted at a market rate of return, ranging from 2.82% to 4.82% between 2011 and 2015.
Source

Miscellaneous Plan

CalPERS retirement plan for non-safety members.

N

Nonpooled

CalPERS agencies in which pension assets and liabilities across employers are not combined.

O

Operating Expenditures ($)

By agency type:

Cities: As defined by the State Controller's Office. https://bythenumbers.sco.ca.gov/Raw-Data/Cities-Raw-Data-for-Fiscal-Years-2003-2015/qqwc-cejz. File CityEachDataSet.xlsx > CI_EXP_MAJOR_OBJ >Variable: Total_Operating Expenditures
Source : State Controller's Office

Counties: As defined by the State Controller's Office. https://bythenumbers.sco.ca.gov/Raw-Data/Counties-Raw-Data-for-Fiscal-Years-2003-2015/esdm-5xr2. File CountiesEachDataSet.xlsx > Deduct: Expenditures During Fiscal Year (from CO_STATISTICS_APPROP) minus Retirement of Long-Term Debt_Total minus Interest on Long-Term Debt_Total (from CO_EXP_DEBT_SERVICE)
Source : State Controller's Office

Special District: As defined by the State Controller's Office. https://bythenumbers.sco.ca.gov/Raw-Data/Special-Districts-Raw-Data-for-Fiscal-Years-2003-2/vi4x-fbus. SD_EachDataSet.xlsx > Various Tabs (according to Enterprise operation type) > Total Operating Expenses
Source : State Controller's Office

Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB)

Other retirement benefits, typically retiree health care.

P

Payroll ($)

Pensionable payroll, or total earned salaries.
Source

Pension Obligation Bond (POB)

General agency bond obligation to fund all or part of a pension unfunded liability.

POB Liability

Annual POB balance outstanding at the end of the Fiscal Year.
Source : California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission, State Treasurer's Office

Pooled

CalPERS agencies in which assets and liabilities across employers are combined to produce large, risk-sharing pools.

Pension Debt

Actuarial Liabilities or Market Liabilities minus Value of Assets. Also known as Unfunded Actuarial Liability, Unfunded Market Liability, or net pension debt. Example: Liabilities = $200; Assets = $100; Pension Debt = $100.

R

Retired Members

Agency members no longer working who receive pension benefits.
Source

Retired/Active ratio

Ratio of Retired Members to Active Members.
Source

S

Safety Plan

CalPERS retirement plan for Safety members, such as Police and Firefighters.

Sick Leave Credit

Accrued days or months that may sometimes be used to purchase additional retirement service credit.

T

Tax Revenues ($)

By agency type:

Cities: As defined by the State Controller's Office. https://bythenumbers.sco.ca.gov/Raw-Data/Cities-Raw-Data-for-Fiscal-Years-2003-2013/qqwc-cejz. File CityEachDataSet.xlsx > CI_REV_TAXES; Variable: Total_Total Revenues.
Source : State Controller's Office

Counties: As defined by the State Controller's Office. https://bythenumbers.sco.ca.gov/Raw-Data/Counties-Raw-Data-for-Fiscal-Years-2003-2014/esdm-5xr2. File CountiesEachDataSet.xlsx > CO_REV_PROP_OTHR_TAXES > Total Tax Revenues.
Source : State Controller's Office

Special Districts: As defined by the State Controller's Office. https://bythenumbers.sco.ca.gov/Raw-Data/Special-Districts-Raw-Data-for-Fiscal-Years-2003-2/vi4x-fbus. SD_EachDataSet.xlsx > SD_NON_ENTERPRISE_REV_EXP > Current Secured and Unsecured (1%)_General and Special Revenue Funds.
Source : State Controller's Office

Total Expenditures ($)

By agency type:

Cities: As defined by the State Controller's Office. https://bythenumbers.sco.ca.gov/Raw-Data/Cities-Raw-Data-for-Fiscal-Years-2003-2015/qqwc-cejz. File CityEachDataSet.xlsx from; Tab CI_EXP_MAJOR_OBJ > Variable: Total _Total Expenditures;
Source : State Controller's Office

Counties: As defined by the State Controller's Office. https://bythenumbers.sco.ca.gov/Raw-Data/Counties-Raw-Data-for-Fiscal-Years-2003-2015/esdm-5xr2. CountiesEachDataSet.xlsx > CO_STATISTICS_APPROP > Deduct: Expenditures During Fiscal Year
Source : State Controller's Office

Special Districts: As defined by the State Controller's Office. https://bythenumbers.sco.ca.gov/Raw-Data/Special-Districts-Raw-Data-for-Fiscal-Years-2003-2/vi4x-fbus. SD_EachDataSet.xlsx > SD_NON_ENTERPRISE_REV_EXP > Total Expenditures_General and Special Revenue Funds
Source : State Controller's Office

Total Revenues ($)

By agency type:

Cities: As defined by the State Controller's Office. https://bythenumbers.sco.ca.gov/Raw-Data/Cities-Raw-Data-for-Fiscal-Years-2003-2015/qqwc-cejz. File CityEachDataSet.xlsx from; CI_REV_OTHR_FIN_SOURCE > Variable: Grand Total Functional and General Revenues_Total Revenues;
Source : State Controller's Office

Counties: As defined by the State Controller's Office. https://bythenumbers.sco.ca.gov/Raw-Data/Counties-Raw-Data-for-Fiscal-Years-2003-2015/esdm-5xr2. File CountiesEachDataSet.xlsx > CO_STATISTICS_APPROP > Add: Revenues During Fiscal Year
Source : State Controller's Office

Special Districts: As defined by the State Controller's Office. https://bythenumbers.sco.ca.gov/Raw-Data/Special-Districts-Raw-Data-for-Fiscal-Years-2003-2/vi4x-fbus. SD_EachDataSet.xlsx > SD_NON_ENTERPRISE_REV_EXP > Total Revenues_General and Special Revenue Funds
Source : State Controller's Office

U

Unfunded Actuarial Liability

Unfunded Liability using discount rates reported by most systems, typically 7.5%.
Source

Unfunded Market Liability

Unfunded Liability using CalPERS termination discount rates, which ranged from 2.82% to 4.82% between 2011 and 2015
Source

UCRS

University of California Retirement System.

V

Value of Assets

Market Value of Assets, as reflected by the current market price.
Source

Pension Tracker

Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research
366 Galvez Street
Stanford, CA  94305-6050
admin@pensiontracker.org