Ohio’s retirement spending below average

NASRA report highlights states’ contributions toward public pensions

By Michael Pramik, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System

April 13, 2023 – Ohio’s governmental entities spend much less as a whole on pensions than the national average, says a recent report by the National Association of State Retirement Administrators.

Ohio’s state and local government contributions to public pensions constitute 4.01 percent of the governments’ direct general spending, NASRA said. That’s 22.7 percent less than the national average of 5.19 percent.

NASRA posted the averages for all states during fiscal years 2011 and 2020 in its issue brief, “State and Local Government Spending on Public Employee Retirement Systems.”

Employers in fiscal year 2021 contributed nearly $186 billion to pension benefits, NASRA said. The amounts of spending can vary widely for many reasons, including “differing levels of public services, benefits, pension funding levels, employer efforts to pay required contributions, and the fiscal condition of states and their political subdivisions.”

As NASRA reports, pensions in most states do not represent a significant slice of total government spending. While Ohio’s total percentage contribution is below the average, other states pay more toward public pensions. They include Illinois, at 10.6 percent of total government spending, and Connecticut, California and Nevada, states in which pension spending as a portion of direct general spending tops 8 percent.

Members can find this data and more on the Pension Research Center page of our website. It’s a place to go to find online and print resources on the merits of defined benefit plans and other topics relevant to our stakeholders.

Michael Pramik

Michael Pramik is communication strategist for the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and editor of the PERSpective blog. As an experienced business journalist, he clarifies complex pension policies and helps members make smart choices to secure their retirement.

Michael Pramik

Communication Strategist

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