History of Public Pensions
The federal government lagged behind the states, which in turn lagged behind a number of cities, in establishing pension plans for its workers. Decades before the states or the federal government provided civilian workers with a pension plan, several large American cities established plans for at least some of their employees. Until the first decades of the twentieth century, however, these plans were generally limited to three groups of employees: police officers, firefighters, and teachers. 
After World War I the first states began to offer pension plans to civilian state employees. In 1911, Massachusetts became the first state to offer a pension plan to general state employees . It took some time however for pensions to become available in most states, with just six offering any form of a civil service pension plan as of 1929 .
Retirement systems for public employees have gone through a number of reforms over the years. As conditions continue to change, states have enacted public pension reforms that modify benefit calculations, contribution rates, plan structures, and many other retirement plan provisions.
Membership in Public Employee Retirement Systems
According to data provided by the U.S. Census the number of annuitants receiving benefits from state and local public employee retirement systems rose by 3.2% from FY09 to FY10. The number of active members of these systems fell by 1.2% during the same time period. The number of annuitants has risen in each year since 2001, while the number of active members has fluctuated over the measured time period.
History of State Retirement Systems
- A Brief History of the Missouri Local Government Employees Retirement System
- The Public School Retirement System of Missouri: A chronological review of legislation and development, 1945 - 2008
- The Public Education Employee Retirement System of Missouri: A chronological review of legislation and development, 1945 - 2008