A new research report finds that retiree spending of pension benefits in 2014 generated $1.2 trillion in total economic output, supporting some 7.1 million jobs across the U.S.
Pensionomics 2016: Measuring the Economic Impact of Defined Benefit Pension Expendituresreports the national economic impacts of public and private pension plans, as well as the impact of state and local plans on a state-by-state basis.
The study finds that in 2014:
Nearly $519.7 billion in pension benefits were paid to 24.3 million retired Americans including:
- $253 billion paid to some 9.6 million retired employees of state and local governments and their beneficiaries (typically surviving spouses;
- $78.8 billion paid to some 2.6 million federal government retirees and beneficiaries; and
- $187.9 billion paid to some 12.1 million private sector retirees and beneficiaries.
Expenditures from these payments collectively supported:
- 7.1 million American jobs that paid $354.8 billion in labor income;
- $1.2 trillion in total economic output nationwide; and
- $627.4 billion in value added (GDP); and $189.7 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenue.
Pension expenditures have large multiplier effects:
- Each dollar paid out in pension benefits supported $2.21 in total economic output nationally.
- Each taxpayer dollar contributed to state and local pensions supported $9.19 in total output nationally. This represents the financial value of long- term investment returns and the shared funding responsibility by employers and employees.
The study is authored by Jennifer Brown, NIRS manager of research. It was conducted using the most current data available from the U.S. Census Bureau and IMPLAN, an input-output modeling software widely used by industry and governments analysts.