The Research Bureau’s expertise, objective analysis and credibility helps shape the direction of public policy over a wide range of city issues. Over the years, the Bureau’s research reports and recommendations have led to sound policies, new laws and important management improvements for Boston. Our current research topics include:

Boston’s Retiree Health Care Liability Increases 

The City of Boston’s unfunded actuarial liability for retiree health and life insurance (OPEB) recently grew to $2.365B, an increase of $102M or 4.5%. The increase is due primarily to the lowering of the expected return on assets from 7.0% to 6.75%. The OPEB funded ratio is 16.6% and the City is not expected to reach full funding of its OPEB liability until 2043. The City’s pension liability is $1.5B with a funded ratio of 74.9% and the expectation of reaching full funding by 2025.   Read more here>

Boston’s Abatement Applications at 28-Year Low

City and Unions Still Negotiating Employee Contracts

Proposals for CPA Funds Requested

What Keeps 115 U.S. Mayors Up at Night


BOSTON: A City in Transition
Managing Change and Retaining Stability in Boston

April 29, 2014 – The Research Bureau issued a Major Report, BOSTON: A City in Transition – Managing Change and Retaining Financial Stability in Boston.  This report is intended to be a practical resource to help guide the Walsh Administration in understanding the financial, management and development operations of the City and the organizational structure within which they operate.  This report consists of 13 sections – click on the links below to download a pdf of the full report or specific sections.