Reports & Studies

Reports & Studies from some of the nation’s most credible institutions on pension and retirement related issues.

Closing the Gap: The Role of Public Pensions in Reducing Retirement Inequality (September 2023)
Closing the Gap: The Role of Public Pensions in Reducing Retirement Inequality finds that defined benefit pensions play a critical role in delivering adequate retirement income for older Americans while providing a key buffer against economic hardship for women, Blacks, Latinos, and those without a four-year college degree. The report also finds that the wealth value of lifetime pension income, particularly from public pensions, is distributed more equitably by race and gender than other private financial assets, thereby narrowing the wealth gap among older families.


NIRS: Examining the Experiences of Public Pension Plans Since the Great Recession (October 2022)
This report finds that state and local government retirement systems on the whole successfully navigated the 2007 to 2009 Global Financial Crisis. Moreover, public retirement systems across the nation have adapted in the years since the recession by taking actions to ensure continued long-term resiliency.

NIRS: Fortifying Main Street: The Economic Benefit of Public Pension Dollars in Small Towns and Rural America (July 2022)
A look at the impact of benefit dollars from public pension plans according to several different measures: as a percentage of GDP by county; as a percentage of total personal income by county; and by categorizing counties as metropolitan, small town (micropolitan), or rural.

NIRS: A Better Bang for the Buck 3.0 (January 2022)
This analysis finds that defined benefit (DB) pension plans offer substantial cost advantages over 401(k)-style defined contribution (DC) accounts. A typical pension has a 49 percent cost advantage as compared to a typical DC account, with the cost advantages stemming from longevity risk pooling, higher investment returns, and optimally balanced investment portfolios.

NIRS: Generational Views of Retirement in the U.S. (July 2021)
A national survey finds that Millennials and Generation X are more worried about retirement as compared to older generations.

NIRS: The Hybrid Handbook | Not All Hybrids Are Created Equal (May 2021)
Hybrid retirement plans for state and local employees are not new, but these plan designs have received increased attention in recent years as some jurisdictions have sought to modify workforce retirement benefits.

NIRS: Americans’ Views of State & Local Employee Retirement Plans (March 2021)
A new national survey finds that more than three-fourths of Americans agree that all workers, not just those working for state and local government, should have a pension.

NIRS: Retirement Insecurity 2021 | Americans’ Views of Retirement (February 2021)
A new report finds that across party lines, Americans are worried about concerns about their financial security in retirement. The vast majority of Democrats (70 percent), Independents (70 percent) and Republicans (62 percent) agree that the nation faces a retirement crisis.

NIRS: Pensionomics 2021 | Measuring the Economic Impact of DB Pension Expenditures (January 2021)
Economic gains attributable to defined benefit (DB) pensions in the U.S. are substantial. Retiree spending of pension benefits in 2018 generated $1.3 trillion in total economic output, supporting nearly seven million jobs across the nation. Pension spending also added nearly $192 billion to government coffers at the federal, state and local levels.