Pension Plan Funding Level

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Finance

FY2016-17
Target: 100% funded
Target Status: NEEDS IMPROVEMENT

The San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System (SFERS) administers the City’s pension plan, a cost-sharing multiple-employer defined benefit that is funded through employee and employer contributions and investment earnings.

The general financial health of retirement systems can be measured in many ways, but the most basic is through comparison of a given plan’s liabilities versus its assets, expressed as a percentage funding level. For pension plans, this measurement is conducted using both a market value of the system’s assets and an actuarial value. Values reported here are reflect the Unfunded Actuarial Liability based on the market value or assets and liabilities.

PENSION FUNDING LEVELS INCREASED IN RECENT YEARS, BUT DECLINED IN FY 2015-16 WITH GROWING COSTS AND LIABILITIES

How San Francisco is Performing

As of July 1, 2016, the most recently conducted valuation, the City’s SFERS pension plan was 82.6 percent funded, down from 88.9 percent as of July 1, 2015.

The market value of SFERS assets totaled $20.16 billion, a one percent decrease from the July 1, 2015 value of $20.43 billion. Total pension benefit obligations were $24.4 billion, more than 6 percent above the previous value of $23.0 billion.

The Unfunded Actuarial Liability (based on the Market Value) increased approximately $1.71 billion, up 67 percent over the July 1, 2015 value. This increase in unfunded liabilities is partly due to the adoption of retroactive Supplemental Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) benefits that apply to 2013 and 2014 for some retirees, which increases mandatory pension contributions by the City.

How Performance is Measured

SFERS conducts an annual actuarial valuation of its assets and liabilities in order to assess the funded status of the system and to determine appropriate levels of City contributions to the fund for the next fiscal year.

Additional Information

Data

Please click first on the chart above and then click the “Download” button in the bottom right corner of the visualization to view and download the data displayed in the chart.