California
Pension Tracker

Joe Nation, Ph.D.

Project Director
Stanford Institute for
Economic Policy Research

The Bottom 25% (Lowest quartile) indicates relatively lower unfunded liabilities. The Top 25% (Highest quartile) indicates relatively higher unfunded liabilities. Metrics reflect the Fiscal Year selected. Agencies reported as NA or agencies for which we do not have geographic locations are excluded from calculations. See Glossary for additional information.

Data reflect Fiscal Year (FY) , the most recent available.

What the Numbers Mean

Market Pension Debt


Market Pension Debt/Household

Reflects average pension debt per household for each county, city, or special district using a lower discount rate. A Market Pension Debt/Household of $10,000 indicates an average cost of $10,000 per household if the debt were allocated equally across all households. Lower debt per household is better than higher debt.


Market Pension Debt/Capita

Reflects average pension debt per person for each county, city, or special district using a lower discount rate. A Market Pension Debt/Capita of $10,000 indicates an average cost of $10,000 per person if the debt were allocated equally across all persons. Lower debt per person is better than higher debt.


Market Pension Debt/Total Expenditures

Reflects pension debt divided by total expenditures for each county, city, or special district using a lower discount rate. A Market Pension Debt/Total Expenditures ratio of 3 indicates that the Market Pension Debt is equal to 3 years of current total expenditures. A lower number is better than a higher number.


Market Pension Debt/Operating Expenditures

Reflects pension debt divided by operating expenditures for each county, city, or special district using a lower discount rate. A Market Pension Debt/Operating Expenditures ratio of 2 indicates that the Market Pension Debt is equal to a 2 years of current operating expenditures. A lower number is better than a higher number.


Market Pension Debt/Payroll

Reflects pension debt divided by payroll for each county, city, or special district using a lower discount rate. A Market Pension Debt/Payroll ratio of 10 indicates that the Market Pension Debt is equal to a 10 years of current payroll expenditures. A lower number is better than a higher number.


Market Pension Debt/Employer Total Pension Contributions

Reflects pension debt divided by employer total pension contributions for each county, city, or special district using a lower discount rate. A Market Pension Debt/Employer Total Pension Contributions ratio of 30 indicates that the Market Pension Debt is equal to a 30 years of employer total pension contributions. A lower number is better than a higher number.


Market Pension Debt/Total Revenues

Reflects pension debt divided by total revenues for each county, city, or special district using a lower discount rate. A Market Pension Debt/Total Revenues ratio of 2 indicates that the Market Pension Debt is equal to a 2 years of total revenues. A lower number is better than a higher number.


Market Pension Debt/Tax Revenues

Reflects pension debt divided by tax revenues for each county, city, or special district using a lower discount rate. A Market Pension Debt/Tax Revenues ratio of 5 indicates that the Market Pension Debt is equal to a 5 years of tax revenues. A lower number is better than a higher number.



Actuarial Pension Debt


Actuarial Pension Debt/Household

Reflects average pension debt per household for each county, city, or special district using the reported discount rate. An Actuarial Pension Debt/Household of $10,000 indicates an average cost of $10,000 per household if the debt were allocated equally across all households. Lower debt per household is better than higher debt.


Actuarial Pension Debt/Capita

Reflects average pension debt per person for each county, city, or special district using the reported discount rate. An Actuarial Pension Debt/Capita of $10,000 indicates an average cost of $10,000 per person if the debt were allocated equally across all persons. Lower debt per person is better than higher debt.


Actuarial Pension Debt/Total Expenditures

Reflects pension debt divided by total expenditures for each county, city, or special district using the reported discount rate. An Actuarial Pension Debt/Total Expenditures ratio of 3 indicates that the Actuarial Pension Debt is equal to 3 years of current total expenditures. A lower number is better than a higher number.


Actuarial Pension Debt/Operating Expenditures

Reflects pension debt divided by operating expenditures for each county, city, or special district using the reported discount rate. An Actuarial Pension Debt/Operating Expenditures ratio of 2 indicates that the Actuarial Pension Debt is equal to a 2 years of current operating expenditures. A lower number is better than a higher number.


Actuarial Pension Debt/Payroll

Reflects pension debt divided by payroll for each county, city, or special district using the reported discount rate. An Actuarial Pension Debt/Payroll ratio of 10 indicates that the Actuarial Pension Debt is equal to a 10 years of current payroll expenditures. A lower number is better than a higher number.


Actuarial Pension Debt/Employer Total Pension Contributions

Reflects pension debt divided by employer total pension contributions for each county, city, or special district using the reported discount rate. An Actuarial Pension Debt/Employer Total Pension Contributions ratio of 30 indicates that the Actuarial Pension Debt is equal to a 30 years of employer total pension contributions. A lower number is better than a higher number.


Actuarial Pension Debt/Total Revenues

Reflects pension debt divided by total revenues for each county, city, or special district using the reported discount rate. An Actuarial Pension Debt/Total Revenues ratio of 2 indicates that the Actuarial Pension Debt is equal to a 2 years of total revenues. A lower number is better than a higher number.


Actuarial Pension Debt/Tax Revenues

Reflects pension debt divided by tax revenues for each county, city, or special district using the reported discount rate. An Actuarial Pension Debt/Tax Revenues ratio of 5 indicates that the Actuarial Pension Debt is equal to a 5 years of tax revenues. A lower number is better than a higher number.



Employer Total Pension Contributions


Employer Total Pension Contribution ($)/Total Expenditures

Reflects county, city, or special district total pension contributions divided by total expenditures, expressed in percent. An Employer Total Pension Contribution/Total Expenditures ratio of 5% indicates that total pension contributions are 5% of total expenditures. Smaller numbers are not necessarily better as they may indicate an underfunding of pension obligations. Similarly, larger numbers may indicate an effort to more adequately fund pensions. An upward trend in this ratio over time indicates that total pension contributions for a county, city, or special district are increasing.


Employer Total Pension Contribution ($)/Operating Expenditures

Reflects county, city, or special district total pension contributions divided by operating expenditures, expressed in percent. An Employer Total Pension Contribution/Operating Expenditures ratio of 5% indicates that total pension contributions are 5% of operating expenditures. Smaller numbers are not necessarily better as they may indicate an underfunding of pension obligations. Similarly, larger numbers may indicate an effort to more adequately fund pensions. An upward trend in this ratio over time indicates that total pension contributions for a county, city, or special district are increasing.


Employer Total Pension Contribution ($)/Total Revenues

Reflects county, city, or special district total pension contributions divided by total revenues, expressed in percent. An Employer Total Pension Contribution/Total Revenues ratio of 10% indicates that total pension contributions are 10% of total revenues. Smaller numbers are not necessarily better as they may indicate an underfunding of pension obligations. Similarly, larger numbers may indicate an effort to more adequately fund pensions. An upward trend in this ratio over time indicates that total pension contributions for a county, city, or special district are increasing.


Employer Total Pension Contribution ($)/Tax Revenues

Reflects county, city, or special district total pension contributions divided by tax revenues, expressed in percent. An Employer Total Pension Contribution/Tax Revenues ratio of 20% indicates that total pension contributions are 20% of tax revenues. Smaller numbers are not necessarily better as they may indicate an underfunding of pension obligations. Similarly, larger numbers may indicate an effort to more adequately fund pensions. An upward trend in this ratio over time indicates that total pension contributions for a county, city, or special district are increasing.

Pension Tracker

Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research
366 Galvez Street
Stanford, CA  94305-6050
admin@pensiontracker.org