75 Years of Serving You

75th Anniversary

IMRF Executive Director Louis W. Kosiba

From Executive Director Louis Kosiba

A Leap into the Unknown

It is difficult, if not impossible, to envision IMRF at its very beginning. Success was not assured. America was just coming out of a devastating depression and about to enter a world war where all the military victories were achieved by future enemies. Employer participation in IMRF was voluntary.

The idea of "retirement" was relatively new, dating back to arguably 1935 with the advent of Social Security. Normally people worked until they were physically unable to do so. Then they would stop working—living just a few years before they would die. The idea we recognize today as "retirement" (with years of life left and an opportunity for indulging our passions) just didn’t exist for the vast majority of Americans.

Unimaginable Success

Fast forward to 2016—I believe it is safe to say, no one in 1941 could have envisioned the growth and success of IMRF: 175,000 active members; 117,000 retirees; nearly 3,000 units of government; assets of approximately $34 billion; and an annual payout of about $1.7 billion. Today the average member retires at age 63 and can be expected to live another 15-20 years. We are the 2nd largest public pension plan in Illinois, and the 50th largest in the nation.

Protecting Your Future

I can only speculate on what IMRF will look like when it celebrates its 100th anniversary. However, I am confident it will continue to strive to fulfill its mission: "To efficiently and impartially develop, implement, and administer programs that provide income protection to members and their beneficiaries on behalf of participating employers, in a prudent manner." The success of IMRF is based on your trust and the dedication and hard work of past and present Trustees and staff. Without you and them, nothing could have been achieved. With you and them, IMRF’s success is a foregone conclusion. Indeed, we have a proud legacy and a bright future.