Board Resolution 2017-08-09

Meeting room

Topic: IMRF Staff
Subtopic: Travel Policy
Date: 8/18/2017
Status: Active

Objectives

The objectives of these policies are to:

  1. Ensure that expenditures for staff travel and expenses are reasonable and necessary.
  2. Fairly reimburse employees or vendors for business expenses incurred on the job.
  3. Avoid, to the extent possible, having reimbursements be taxable income to the employee.

For Employees Other Than Field Representatives

I. General Principles

  1. When traveling on IMRF business, employees should use good judgment with expenses. As a guideline, expenses should be such that public disclosure of them would not reflect badly on either the employee or IMRF.
  2. Business expenses are to be charged to IMRF credit cards, if one is provided.
  3. The instructions appearing on the IMRF Expense Report (Form A-65) and IMRF Credit Card Voucher (Form A-69) are incorporated into these policies. Business expenses are to be charged on IMRF credit cards to ensure timely payment for goods and services.
  4. Receipts for expense reports are to be turned into Accounts Payable, including itemized credit card receipts. IMRF business expenses are subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and IMRF must have proper documentation.
  5. The Executive Director may, when he believes it serves the best interests of IMRF, authorize exceptions to these policies.

II. Overnight Travel

  1. Overnight travel must be approved in advance by a Director or the Executive Director.
  2. Transportation
    Employees should always use the least expensive, reasonable* means of transportation for the trip. IMRF will reimburse:
    1. Airfare, when necessary, which must be the least expensive of at least 3 competing flights for a direct flight to the destination and will be limited to the cost of an Economy Plus ticket. The maximum reimbursement, in all cases, will be limited to the cost of an unrestricted two-week advance purchase Economy Plus coach airfare.
      (*Red-eye or other extreme-time flights are not considered reasonable.)
    2. If an employee drives his or her own car, the IRS business mileage rate will be used to calculate reimbursement.
    3. If an employee uses a staff car, the actual expenses for gasoline, emergency repairs, or required maintenance will be paid for by IMRF (these should be charged to an IMRF credit card, if available).
    4. Actual transportation costs to and from the airport or rail station.
    5. Actual transportation costs to and from the hotel to the conference/meeting/work site.
    6. Cost of parking.
    7. IMRF will reimburse the cost of a rental car when required. A rental car is allowable if there is no other reasonable means of travel and a rental car is the most economical means of transportation. The use of a rental car generally must be approved in advance, by the employee’s Manager or Director.
  3. Hotel
    1. IMRF will pay the actual cost of lodging for the employee. If the employee brings a companion, IMRF will pay no more than if the employee were alone; the employee must make up any difference in the hotel rate.
    2. IMRF will pay hotel costs at the conference or meeting location for the period one day prior to the meeting through one day after the meeting. IMRF will pay for additional days when an employee arranges to stay over Saturday to get a lower airfare. The cost of the additional hotel and per diem may not exceed the savings in airfare.
    3. IMRF employees residing within 50 miles of a meeting place will receive no reimbursement for lodging for a one-day meeting. An exception exists for those employees that are attending early morning or late evening meetings. In this case lodging for one night will be reimbursable with prior approval by Director or Executive Director for the overnight stay.
  4. Registration Fees
    1. IMRF will pay the cost of the employee’s conference registration. Employees should follow established procedures for obtaining approval and requesting payment. Please refer to the personnel and procurement policies.
  5. Per Diem
    1. IMRF will pay actual expenses up to $60 per day for travel in Illinois, outside of the City of Chicago. For out-of-state-travel and travel to Chicago, IMRF will pay actual expenses up to $75 per day. For investment staff travel outside of the United States, IMRF will pay actual expenses up to $125 per day.
    2. The per diem covers tips, meals, and reasonable personal phone calls. Business phone calls are not included in the per diem. Travel to and from airports or railway stations and to and from the hotel to the conference/meeting/work site is not included in the per diem.
    3. The per diem will be paid for the same period as hotel costs are paid and for one travel day occurring before or after the conference.
    4. IMRF does not pay for meals for non-employees accompanying the employee, nor does IMRF pay for purely recreational expenses such as movies, sporting events, etc.
    5. IMRF will pay for conference related banquet tickets and similar type events, as long as doing so will not reflect unfavorably on the Fund.
  6. An employee may combine personal travel with a business trip. IMRF will not pay for meals and lodging during the personal travel period, except when necessary to take advantage of reduced airfare available with a stay over Saturday night under the rules as described in C.2.above.

III. Non-Overnight Travel

  1. Transportation
    1. Employees should use the most cost effective means of transportation to and from the meeting location. This often means the staff cars, if available.
    2. If an employee uses his/her personal car, IMRF will reimburse the current IRS mileage rate per mile plus tolls and parking. The mileage rate covers gas, maintenance, damage repairs, depreciation, and insurance. IMRF will not reimburse for traffic or parking tickets.
    3. If an employee uses a staff car, IMRF will reimburse out-of-pocket expenses for maintenance, tolls, and parking. Whenever possible, the IMRF gas credit card must be used to purchase gas and for vehicle maintenance. IMRF will not reimburse for traffic or parking tickets.
    4. If an employee uses taxis or public transportation, IMRF will reimburse actual costs.
    5. If an employee uses a rental car, IMRF will reimburse actual expenses, except traffic/parking tickets. Rental cars are acceptable if there is not another reasonable means of travel and a rental car is the most economical method of travel. Rental car use must be approved in advance, by Manager or Director
  2. Registration fees
    1. The same rules apply as for overnight travel. IMRF will pay the cost of the employee’s registration. Employees should follow established procedures for obtaining approval and requesting payment. Please refer to the personnel and procurement policies.
  3. Meals
    BREAKFAST/LUNCH
    1. Breakfast may be reimbursed at cost when a staff member leaves from home prior to 7 a.m. in order to attend an offsite IMRF meeting, not to exceed $20.
    2. When a staff member is required to be out of the office over lunchtime on Fund business, IMRF will reimburse actual lunch expenses, not to exceed $20 including tip. IMRF does not cover meals other than lunch unless breakfast expenses are permitted under this section.
  4. Expenses Incurred for Non-IMRF Staff
    1. Generally, only Managers and Directors are reimbursed for the cost of meals for non- IMRF personnel during business related meetings. Exceptions can be made with prior approval of a director or the Executive Director.

IV. Documentation

  1. Employees must submit documentation of expenses as required by IMRF policy and IRS regulations. Proof of payment is to be provided to Finance – Accounts Payable, form A-65.
  2. The following minimum guidelines should be met:
    1. For airline or railway fare, the ticket stub, or other receipt
    2. For rental cars, the invoice from rental agency
    3. For gasoline, the receipt
    4. For taxi fares, the receipt if the fare is over $10
    5. For the hotel, the hotel bill
    6. For registration fees, the invoice or copy of registration form
    7. For meals & other expenses, a receipt is required for all business related expenses. All expenses must be supported by either a receipt or disclosed on IMRF Expense Report A-65 of the funds spent.
    8. For meals for non-IMRF staff, the expense report must include names of guests and must describe the business purpose of the meeting.
    9. Lost receipts must be documented with authorization from a Manager or Director to verify the validity of the expenses on IMRF expense Report Form A-65. Failure to provide documentation on a timely basis is a violation of this policy.

V. How to Get Payment

  1. An employee is expected to submit a completed expense report to be reimbursed for travel expenses, to the Finance department in a timely manner—no more than 10 business days from the date they return to the office.
  2. IMRF will pay expenses either before or after they are incurred. Registrations, hotel deposits, and other actual expenses will be paid when the employee submits a check request and supporting documentation.
  3. If an advance for travel expenses is needed, the employee should complete a check request for the advance. The request must be signed by a Director. When the employee returns from the business trip, he/she will complete an expense report showing actual reimbursable expenses and attach the required documentation. If the expenses are more than the advance, the employee will be reimbursed. If the expenses are less than the advance, the employee must attach a check for the difference, within 10 business days of the event or return to the office.
  4. The employee’s Manager or Director must approve expense reports. Reimbursement will be included with the next payroll process, if the reports are received and approved at least two days before the payroll is processed.

For Field Representatives When Performing Duties

I. General Principles

  1. Business expenses are to be charged on IMRF credit cards for out-of-pocket expenses. ‘Business’ means IMRF related work
  2. Expense reports must include sufficient detail to document an IMRF business purpose.
    1. State who, what, where, when, why in explaining the business purpose.
    2. Descriptions such as "prospective account," "authorized agent," and "night meeting in area" are not adequate.
      1. The name of the individual being entertained as well as their position and nature of business discussed must be detailed on expense reports.
      2. For night meetings, include the name of the individual employer, number of IMRF employees attending, and the purpose/topic of the meeting.
      3. Receipts for expense reports are to be turned into Accounts Payable, including itemized credit card receipts. IMRF business expenses are subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), IMRF must have proper documentation, along with form A-65 and /or A-69.
  3. IMRF will reimburse reasonable business expenses for an IMRF employee only. If anyone is traveling with the field representative, IMRF will not cover the food or lodging costs of that person.
  4. IMRF will pay actual expenses up to $60 per day for travel in Illinois, outside of the City of Chicago. For travel to Chicago, IMRF will pay actual expenses up to $75 per day. The per diem covers taxis, tips, meals, and reasonable personal phone calls.
  5. “Business” means IMRF related work
  6. The instructions appearing on the IMRF Expense Report (Form A-65) and IMRF Credit Card Voucher (Form A-69) are incorporated into this policy. Business expenses are to be charged on IMRF credit cards to ensure timely payment for goods and services.
  7. Expense reports must be filed weekly. Reports for Monday through Friday are due by Friday noon the following week. If a field representative is late in submitting expense reports, the privilege to use IMRF credit cards may be revoked at the discretion of the Manager or Director. Business expenses are to be charged to IMRF credit cards to ensure timely payment for goods and services.

II. Meals

  1. Meals are reimbursed at cost, but not to exceed the per diem reimbursement limit of $60 per day, except when on Fund business in Chicago. The per diem reimbursement limit on Fund business in Chicago is $75.
  2. IMRF staff meeting meal expenses should be charged to an IMRF credit card. A personal credit card can only be used if an IMRF credit card is not available. Staff meetings are defined as regularly scheduled monthly meetings of the field representatives, supervisor and manager—as a group or training sessions in Oak Brook as a group.
    Note: discussing IMRF matters at lunch does not create a staff meeting.
  3. When charging meals, give the names of everyone included.
  4. Meals may be charged to hotel rooms, but must be reported separately on the Expense Report (Form A-65) or Credit Card Voucher (Form A-69).
  5. Food and/or beverage charges not part of breakfast, lunch, or dinner are not reimbursed.
  6. BREAKFAST
    Reimbursed at cost when:
    1. Attending conferences.
    2. Preceding an overnight stay.
    3. The field representative must depart from home office prior to 7 a.m. in order to attend a meeting.
    4. At staff meetings.
  7. LUNCH
    Reimbursed at cost when attending:
    1. Conferences
    2. Staff meetings
    3. Meetings outside the Field Representative’s territory (or for persons working out of Oak Brook, outside the Oak Brook area) NOTE: it is recognized that situations will arise wherein some field representatives will be reimbursed for lunch and others will not.
    4. Meetings with a supervisor or manager when the supervisor/manager is outside the Oak Brook area and he/she is meeting with the field representative in his/her territory.
  8. As a general rule, lunches to entertain prospective or current accounts are not permissible.

    1. An exception exists if lunch immediately precedes or follows a governing body meeting and the lunch acts as a preparatory meeting or a continuation of the meeting and IMRF business is the main purpose of the lunch.
    2. Another exception exists for a prospective account. One lunch meeting to introduce the field representative to the account and to explain IMRF is allowed.
  9. DINNER
    Reimbursed at cost when:
    1. Preceding an overnight stay
    2. Preceding a meeting that begins and ends after normal working hours (for example, a meeting held at 7:30 p.m.)
    3. The representative cannot reach home by 7:30 p.m.
    4. Attending conferences
    5. Attending staff meetings

III. Hotels

  1. Reimbursed for reasonable charges.
  2. Generally, overnight stays are reimbursed only if the field representative lives more than 75 miles (approximately an hour and a half) between their home and the next day’s first meeting place, and the meeting is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. or earlier.
  3. An overnight stay maybe allowable in other circumstances; for example, weather conditions, medical reasons, or meetings that end later than expected. Whenever practical, prior approval from the supervisor, manager or director should be obtained. The safety of the field representative is paramount and IMRF expects the field staff to exercise reasonable judgment.
  4. Overnight stays for staff meetings before meeting dates are reimbursed if the meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. or earlier and the field representative must travel in excess of 75 miles.
  5. Field representatives traveling more than 200 miles for a staff meeting may stay overnight in a hotel on the route to the meeting site.
  6. Overnight stays after staff meetings conclude are reimbursed if the field representative would arrive at home later than 10 p.m. under normal driving conditions.
  7. It is the field representative's responsibility to verify hotel charges and make corrections before the statement is paid. Erroneous or impermissible charges will be charged back to the field representative. Then, it will be his/her responsibility to obtain reimbursement from the hotel.
  8. Only room charges, taxes, parking fees, and business telephone calls included in a hotel statement are reimbursable. Meals and reasonable personal telephone calls are reimbursed as part of the per diem. Other charges will not be reimbursed.

IV. Auto/Travel

  1. Whenever practical, use IMRF furnished vehicles.
  2. If the IMRF vehicle is not available, the field representative may use his or her automobile. He or she will be reimbursed for actual miles traveled at the IRS approved mileage rate.
  3. Leasing of automobiles must be approved in advance by the Manager of Field Services.

V. Miscellaneous Charges

  1. Tollway charges should be itemized daily. Receipts are not required.
  2. Postage charges should be itemized periodically. A receipt for an individual purchase under $10.00 is not required; however, if postage charges are accumulated to amounts in excess of $10.00, receipts for all charges are required.
  3. As a general rule, business supplies stocked in the Oak Brook Office should be ordered from Oak Brook. When supplies are needed immediately, or if item is not stocked, the field representative may purchase supplies under $50.00 in value without seeking prior approval. Purchases over $50.00, except for meeting charges and automobile expenses, must conform to IMRF’s purchasing procedures.
  4. The field representatives may arrange payment for meeting sites, including food and beverage, using either their IMRF credit card or the IMRF check requisition procedures. Automobile repair charges and other expenses may be paid by the field representative with IMRF credit card or with an IMRF check.