Louisiana Budget Project: Public Pension Income Drives Local, Parish Economies

Louisiana’s defined-benefit pension plans are more than just retirement security for teachers and state workers. They also represent a key economic driver that support households and businesses in every city, town and parish of the state. 

Pensions for state and local government retirees account for 1 in every 10 dollars of retirement income in the state. In some rural parishes, pension payments make up nearly 1 in 6 retirement dol- lars. 

Altogether, Louisiana’s 13 pension systems pay out more than $3 billion in benefits to 150,000 retirees and their families every year—an amount equivalent to 1.7 percent of all personal income 

in the state. These dollars don’t just sit in savings accounts, but are spent and pumped back into local economies, where they pack a big economic impact, supporting everything from car dealers and restaurants to grocers and hospitals. 

The economic impact of Louisiana’s pension systems compares favorably with the payrolls of some of the state’s largest and best-known industries. For example, total compensation for all workers in the chemical manufacturing industry was $2.9 billion in 2012, while hospital employees were paid around $4 billion in salaries, wages and benefits that year. Nursing home employees made $1.3 billion, while employees of car dealers and auto part stores earned a collective $1.4 billion. Altogether, restaurant and other food service workers made around $3 billion.

For more info, check out the whole study on public pension income by parish conducted by the Louisiana Budget Project by clicking the source link below.