Regarding the variation in returns from 2001–2016, from 6.3 percent for the top quartile to 4.6 percent for the bottom, CRR researchers investigated whether the variation could be due to differences in asset allocation and/or to the returns by asset class. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Returns on public pensions have varied pretty widely between 2001–2016, and the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College analyzed the data to find the reason.

According to the brief “What Explains Differences in Public Pension Returns Since 2001?” the funded status of public pensions depends on two major factors—the payment of plan sponsors’ annual required contribution and the investment return earned on pension fund assets.

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Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.

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