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Sept 13 -- The Census Bureau invites the public to comment to OMB by October 13, 2021 on the proposed continuation of the Quarterly Survey of Public Pensions through 2024.
 
The Quarterly Survey of Public Pensions, provides a rich source of data on public retirement systems administered by state and local governments in the United States. Over 4.6 trillion dollars in public pension assets in the financial markets are controlled by a small number of large retirement systems. The frame for the 2012 Census of Governments identified 3,992 public retirement systems administered by state and local governments and 5,529 were identified in the 2017 Census of Governments. The 100 largest systems, as measured by the system assets, account for about 87.2 percent of the total assets of all systems, based on the 2012 Census of Governments. The Quarterly Survey of Public Pensions is used to collect data on the revenues, expenditures, and composition of assets of the 100 largest defined benefit public employee pension systems for state and local governments.

Currently, we are requesting approval to conduct the 2022, 2023 and 2024 Quarterly Survey of Public Pensions.

This survey was initiated in 1968 at the request of both the Council of Economic Advisers and the Federal Reserve Board. The most important information this survey provides is the quarterly change in composition of the securities holdings of the defined benefit public employee retirement systems component of the economy. The Federal Reserve Board uses these data to track the public sector portion of the Flow of Funds Accounts. Additionally, the data are used by a variety of government officials, academics, students, and non-profit organizations to analyze trends in public employee retirement and the impact of retirement obligations on the fiscal well-being of state and local governments.

The survey provides a focus on the asset composition of the largest systems. These data are already produced for existing internal and external needs, and most closely align with the needs of the Federal Reserve Board. Additionally, the related Annual Survey of Public Pensions (0607-0585) will continue to provide a robust collection of revenue and benefit data on a fiscal year basis. These data items are in demand on an annual basis and are already created for internal and external purposes by most systems as they are required items in Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFRs).

Summary tables of the information collected are released quarterly on the internet. Documentation and explanatory materials are also available on the internet site here: https://www.census.gov/​programs-surveys/​qspp.html.
 
Submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202109-0607-001  Click on IC List for data collection instruments, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Comments may be submitted through this site.
FR notice inviting public comment to OMB:  https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/09/13/2021-19665/agency-information-collection-activities-submission-to-the-office-of-management-and-budget-omb-for
 
Point of contact: Phillip Vidal, Chief, Pensions Statistics Branch, Economy-Wide Statistics Division, U.S. Census Bureau phillip.m.vidal@census.gov 301.763.1749
 
For AEA members wishing to submit comments, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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