The Public Plans Database (PPD) has been expanded to include data from nearly 50 public sector defined contribution (DC) retirement plans. This represents nearly $140 billion in retirement assets and 2.5 million members. Additional DC plans and data will be added on an ongoing basis.

This comprehensive database is developed and maintained through the collaborative efforts of MissionSquare Research Institute, the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College (CRR), the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), and the National Association of State Retirement Administrators (NASRA).

The enhanced PPD now offers information on DC assets, membership, investment options, contributions, plan type and provisions. It includes 401(a), 457, 401(k), and cash balance plans, along with mandatory, optional, supplemental, and primary DC plans.

This database also contains detailed information on the largest state and local defined benefit (DB) pension plans in the U.S. The pension data spans fiscal years 2001 to 2020, and it includes 210 DB plans (119 state-run and 91 locally-run) that account for 95% of U.S. public pension assets and members.

“Adding defined contribution data is a strategic expansion of the PPD,” said Joshua Franzel, Ph.D., Managing Director at MissionSquare Research Institute. “Now, users have a better picture of public sector retirement plan assets. This is increasingly important as plan sponsors continue to look at innovative approaches for increasing contributions to DC plans.”

The PPD is updated quarterly, and access is available at no cost. It allows users to:

  • Browse key statistics on individual plans and in the aggregate
  • Search data in real-time
  • Produce customized tables with specific variables
  • Download raw data for in-depth analysis

MissionSquare Research Institute (formerly the Center for State and Local Government Excellence at ICMA-RC) promotes excellence in state and local government and other public service organizations so they can attract and retain talented employees. The organization identifies leading practices and conducts research on retirement plans, health and wellness benefits, workforce demographics and skill set needs, labor force development, and topics facing the not-for-profit industry and the education sector. MissionSquare Research Institute brings leaders together with respected researchers. For more information and to access research and publications, visit and follow on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Media Contact: 

MissionSquare Research Institute| Kelly Kenneally | 202.256.1445 | [email protected]