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Help Us Protect MA State Pensions

Pioneer has scored and ranked systems on their funding deadline. Rather than the absolute date of the expected full funding, we will be grading systems on a rolling basis from the year of record of each data point.

We consider systems with less than four years on their liability amortizations essentially fully funded (right column). On the other end of the spectrum are systems with more than 20 years remaining, which includes the state and teachers’ retirement boards with a 2036 target.


Scoring Funding deadlines

     Remaining Years to Full Funding

Score

     Less than 4

A

     4-9

B

     10-15

C

     16-20

D

     More

F

Pioneer’s research on Massachusetts’ 104 public pension systems seeks to advance reforms that provide fair and sustainable retirement support. The state’s current public pension systems have staggering unfunded liabilities and offer retirement benefits above most of the private sector.

A reformed pension system would limit unfunded liabilities and provide retirement funding more consistent with private sector plans, while offering the incentives needed to attract a qualified state workforce.

As an introduction to MassPensions, please view the tables below that provide a compelling insight into the current state of Massachusetts’ pension system.

Table One: Retirement Boards that are Most Funded as of the 2020 Annual Report

Retirement Boards

Funded Ratio

Leominster

100.9%

Mass Housing Finance Agency

94.8%

Shrewsbury

93.4%

Watertown

91.7%

Massport

90.2%

Table Two: Retirement Boards that are Least Funded as of the 2020 Annual Report

Retirement Boards

Funded Ratio

Springfield

28.9%

Boston Teachers

41.5%

Fall River

41.8%

Quincy

45.9%

Worcester Regional

46.4%

Table Three: Most Commonly Utilized Actuaries for Massachusetts Retirement Boards (2020)

Actuaries

Number of Retirement Boards Represented

PERAC

40

Segal

19

Stone Consulting

18

Table Four: The Retirement Boards with the Most Active Members (2020)

Retirement Boards

Number of Active Members

Mass Teachers (MTRS)*

94,103

State Retirement Board*

87,969

Boston City*

14,709

Middlesex County*

9,282

Worcester Regional

7,024

* Indicates that these retirement boards have both the most active members and the most number of retired members across all retirement boards.

Table Five: The Retirement Boards with the Top Ten Highest Returns (2020)

Retirement Boards

Return

Somerville

27.59%

North Adams

18.62%

Northampton

18.39%

Greater Lawrence Sanitary District

18.28%

West Springfield

18.19%

Malden

18.02%

MassPort

16.78%

Attleboro

16.51%

Holyoke

16.42%

Weymouth

15.65%

 Please reach out to Pioneer with any questions.
  Contact:
       Liv Leone
       Research Associate
       Pioneer Institute
       Email: lleone@pioneerinstitute.org