National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems

The Voice for Public Pensions

PPCC Standards Awards Application Process is Now Open

October 19, 2015

The Public Pension Coordinating Council (PPCC) is a coalition of three associations that represent public pension funds who cover the vast majority of public employees in the US.  The associations are:
  • National Association of State Retirement Administrators (NASRA)
  • National Council on Teacher Retirement (NCTR)
  • National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS)
The Public Pension Standards are intended to reflect minimum expectations for public retirement system management and administration, as well as serve as a benchmark by which all defined benefit public plans should be measured. The retirement systems and the state and local governments that sponsor them are encouraged to meet these standards. 
  • The Standards are separated into the Administrative Standards and Funding Standard. A system may qualify and receive a Recognition Certificate for either the Administrative or Funding Standard.  A system that qualifies for both certificates will be awarded the Public Pension Coordinating Council Standards Award.
  • In keeping with a change made to last year's Standards, the requirement for having an actuarial review conducted once again permits either a full-scope actuarial audit, a sampling audit, or an audit that reviews the methods and assumptions for reasonableness and consistency.
  • The funding adequacy requirement was modified last year to reflect changes in accounting standards, by referring to an Actuarially Determined Contribution, per GASB Statement 67, rather than an Annual Required Contribution.
  • The system may, at time of a member's employment, either provide members a hardcopy handbook or a written notice, by a "Welcome Letter" or similar notification, of the availability of a complete handbook on the system Web site. Updates to the handbook can be provided regularly on the system's website as long the member is made aware of the updates and may request a hard copy.
  • The deadline for submitting an application is Friday, November 13, 2015.

Questions regarding whether or not your systems meets the standards can be referred to the Administrator at any time (e-mail:  The Administrator is available to help ensure all applicants understand the Standards and how they apply to particular situations.   

A fee of $100.00 is required to defray the costs of administering the program. The online award application is accessible by first visiting the PPCC application page to make payment. Once you have completed this process, you will be able to download a Word-based application which contains a link to the online survey.
Step 1 - Click on this link to select a payment method (credit card or invoice to pay by check). Upon confirmation, you will receive a Word-based application that contains a link to the online survey. Applicants are encouraged to first complete the Word-based application, then to transpose their responses online, as the online survey limits users' ability to move backward or to return to the survey.
Step 2 - Compile the responses from the latest information available to you. We have timed the application period so information available June 30, 2015, can be reported.  Provide an Explanation when a No response is made and when additional information is required to explain a Yes response. The Administrator will review the explanation to determine if the answers are appropriate. There must be "Yes" answers to all questions (or sufficient explanation) in order to meet the Standards.
Step 3 - Within two weeks you will receive a certificate via e-mail demonstrating your system has met one or both of the PPCC Standards. The certificate can be used in your CAFR and/or made into a plaque to be displayed appropriately. If you do not qualify, you will receive an email detailing the reasons you did not meet the standards. 
Please complete the application by Friday, November 13, 2015. This will allow time to process the applications and have the certificates available for your CAFR. The application web site will be disabled after that date. The earlier you send in your application the earlier you will receive your certificate. 
If you have any questions through this process concerning the operations of the website invoice or the application link, contact Alex Brown at or 202-624-8461. If you have questions concerning the application questions, contact Alan Winkle at or 208-345-7469.