Public Pensions Guidelines
Follow the guidelines below and add the required documentation to your entity's website to qualify for a Public Pensions Transparency Star. To be eligible for this Transparency Star, your entity must first receive the Traditional Finances Transparency Star. Due to limited independent decision-making, entities participating in statewide or other non-single employer defined benefit plans are ineligible for the Public Pensions Transparency Star, as noted in our awardees table.
Efforts to enhance public pension transparency have been gaining momentum in recent years amid concerns regarding actuarial practices and plan solvency. HB 3310, passed in the 84th Legislative session, for example, increases accountability among public pension plans exceeding $100 million in asset value.
Public Pensions Summary
This summary should include the following from the most recent actuarial valuation, as well as a narrative section with explanations (or links to explanations) of terminology for each and comparisons with GASB, Pension Review Board or other applicable benchmark as appropriate:
- Funded ratio
- Amortization period
- One-, three- and 10-year rates (if available) of return, with basic explanation (or link to basic explanation) of methodology employed
- Assumed rate of return
- Actuarially Determined Contribution (ADC) Rate (if plan has UAAL), with comparison to current Total Contribution Rates
- Unfunded Actuarial Accrued Liability (UAAL) as percent of covered payroll
Note that you may wish to include additional pieces of data that provide context reflective of standards or conventions particular to your entity type. See the sidebar for an optional form you may use to complete the Summary section.
Post data visualizations to your website showing the following:
- Time trend going back five years showing actuarial value of assets versus actuarial accrued liability
- Time trend going back five years comparing the ADC to the actual total contribution rate
Note that you may wish to include explanations or subsets of these trends in the visualizations, or post additional visualizations that provide context reflective of standards or conventions particular to your entity type. See the sidebar for Excel templates you may choose to use to create required visualizations. The visualizations must be posted on the page itself and must be — like all the required information on the transparency page or section — easy to view and to interpret.
Post the following documents separately from the plan's audits and annual financial reports:
- Five most recent actuarial valuations
- Five most recent audits or annual reports, including:
- statements of fiduciary net position
- statements of changes in fiduciary net position
Make the following data available for download to aid in researching your entity:
- Actuarial value of assets versus actuarial accrued liability over time going back at least five years
- Dataset(s) containing the following for the last five years:
- Total additions for the most recent valuation period by source, such as investment income, other income, employer, employee and other contributions
- Total deductions for the most recent valuation period by use such as benefit payments, withdrawals, administrative expenses and investment related expenses
Your transparency site should also include the following:
- Link to Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts public pension search tool