2017 Economic Impact Study

for Members of the Media and General Public
Economic Impact - Grandfather
May 8, 2018

IMRF Generated $2.5 Billion in Economic Activity

Best-funded statewide public retirement system payments grow Illinois GDP, jobs in 2017



The Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund’s (IMRF) latest economic impact study shows that the system paid $1.7 billion in benefits to Illinois residents last year. Using multipliers from the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the U.S. Department of Commerce, we see that these payouts generated $2.51 billion in statewide economic activity.

The news is exciting for incoming Executive Director Brian Collins. “Last year’s investment returns were an impressive 15.7%,” said Collins. IMRF’s annual expected rate of return is 7.5 percent, so 2017’s results will help lower employer rates over the next few years. “We doubled our expectations.”

IMRF's 2017 Economic Impact - Numbers 

In addition, the study shows that annuitants are spending money. In 2017, IMRF’s pension recipients helped support 18,044 Illinois jobs. This is an increase of 1,201 over a one-year period. The report also attributes about $691 million in total earnings for Illinois workers, to more than 100,000 IMRF retirees spending pension payments statewide.

“While many people move at a slower pace after retirement, they are still spending money on necessities and more,” said Collins. “In addition, we are happy to report that 86 percent of IMRF retirees remain in Illinois after they leave their public service jobs. This is a huge contrast to what we are hearing, in terms of out-of-state relocations. In fact, I am a returning Illinois resident myself, because, contrary to many negative reports, great things are happening in Illinois and IMRF is proud to be one of those great things,” said Collins.


Impact of IMRF Benefit Payments

IMRF's 2017 Economic Impact - Breakdown









About IMRF

Headquartered in Oak Brook, IMRF is the 47th largest retirement plan in the United States and the best-funded statewide public pension plan in the state of Illinois. For 77 years, IMRF has partnered with local units of government to provide benefits for public employees. Today, those benefits include retirement, disability, and death/survivor payments. With a funded status of 92.9 percent and approximately $41.4 billion in assets, IMRF is financially-sound and sustainable. As Illinois’ second-largest pension plan, IMRF serves approximately 420,000 members in nearly 3,000 units of government, including counties, cities, towns, villages, libraries, park districts, and non-teaching personnel in local school districts. IMRF’s diversified portfolio includes domestic and international equities, fixed income, real estate, and alternative investments. The average member who retired in 2017 is receiving a monthly pension of $1857.