— Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund first in transactions; administration costs one-third below average —
OAK BROOK, Ill. — October 9, 2012 — The Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) ranks as a global leader in customer-driven, cost-effective public pension administration, according to a new study of North American public pension funds.
Although IMRF ranked first overall in volume of customer transactions in a recent pension administration benchmarking survey, its total administration cost per member was 32% lower than the average cost. The survey, administered by Cost Effectiveness Measurement (CEM) Benchmarking Inc., compared IMRF to 39 other public pension systems in the U.S. and Canada.
During fiscal year 2011, IMRF completed 40 percent more customer transactions than the peer average, according to the survey. CEM measures key transactions that matter to IMRF customers, such as the production of pension estimates, remittance of refunds, and processing of disability applications.
Despite its greater number of transactions, IMRF’s total administration cost of $78 per member ranked almost one-third below the average cost of $115 per member. IMRF held costs down despite operating in the fifth most expensive environment (the Chicago metropolitan area) among the peer group.
Jan Hartford, director of pension administration benchmarking at CEM, praised IMRF for keeping costs low and service levels high.
“We at CEM consider IMRF to be among a select group globally of pension administrators,” she said. “IMRF consistently demonstrates excellent cost performance given its high volumes in key member transactions and exemplary service.”
IMRF uses the CEM report to identify customer service best practices from other dynamic pension funds, said Executive Director Louis W. Kosiba. Currently, IMRF is implementing enhancements to increase online capabilities and reduce wait time when members contact the call center.
“Our results this year validate the improvements we’ve made, but we need to continue to look for new ways to get better,” Kosiba said. “Our goal is to keep moving in a positive direction, and ultimately, become the global leader in customer-driven, cost-effective public pension administration.”
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