2016 Economic Impact Study

for Members of the Media and General Public
2014 Economic Impact Study
April 28, 2017

IMRF Generated $2.34 Billion in Economic Activity

Best-funded statewide retirement system supports almost 17,000 new Illinois jobs

2016 Economic Impact Study - Fast Facts

As both public and private pension plan woes continue nationwide, a new report shows that -- once again -- a select group of Illinois retirees gave Illinois a multi-billion-dollar lift in 2016.

The Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) supports retired municipal workers, statewide, many of whom spend their time and money in the Land of Lincoln – long after leaving their jobs behind.

IMRF’s latest economic impact study shows that the retirement system paid $1.6 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 $2.34 billion in statewide economic activity.

“With an almost eight percent return on investments, 2016 was a solid year for IMRF’s financial performance,” said IMRF Executive Director Louis W. Kosiba. “It exceeded the plan’s 7.5 percent assumed rate of return, which is good news for our neighbors across the state of Illinois.”

The 2016 report also shows that IMRF pension spending helped support 16,843 jobs in Illinois; an increase of 1,190 over the previous year. About $645 million in total earnings for Illinois workers is attributable to more than 100,000 IMRF retirees spending pension payments in Illinois.

“Retirement doesn’t mean the end of spending at a certain age and for most of our retirees, it doesn’t mean relocation beyond the state line. In direct contrast to recent reports of residents leaving the Land of Lincoln, 86 percent of our retirees choose Illinois as a permanent home. Then, as they purchase goods and services, they contribute to the state’s economic cycle,” Kosiba said.


Impact of IMRF Benefit Payments

2016 Economic Impact Numbers









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 76 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 88.3 percent and $36.3 billion in assets, IMRF is financially-sound and sustainable. As Illinois’ second-largest pension plan, IMRF serves 410,000 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 2016 is receiving a monthly pension of $1,771.