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Teachers opposee Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's budget cuts and new pension plan, 2009. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

State and local government retirement systems surged by 35 percent over their last quarterly low point in 2009 to total $2.93 trillion as of the end of 2010. The National Association of State Retirement Administrators and the National Council on Teacher Retirement reported the findings in a recent brief.

The organizations say recent plan redesign efforts underway in virtually every state, as well as median returns of 13.1 percent for 2010, help explain the dramatic improvement.

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