Recovery summer: State, local pension funds on the mend

The assets for the nation’s 100-largest public-employee pensions systems rose more than 1 percent during the second quarter, to $2.8 trillion, the Census Bureau said. The increase contributed to a nearly 18 percent gain in holdings over the previous year.

The recent retirement fund growth resulted from overall investment gains as well as pension reforms enacted in more than 40 states and many local governments since 2009.

The reforms have required state and local governments and workers to pay more into the pension funds while trimming promised benefits to employees and, in a few cases, current retirees. In many places, the changes have sparked controversy and protests.

The pension gains reported by the bureau did not account for the recent turmoil in the stock market, which has resulted in the Dow Jones industrial average, a key market indicator, declining by more than 10 percent since July.