2021 Economic Impact Study

for Members of the Media and General Public
Eco Impact
May 11, 2022

IMRF Generated $3.08 Billion in Economic Activity

Best-funded statewide public retirement system payments grow Illinois GDP, jobs in 2021

The Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund’s (IMRF) latest economic impact study shows that the system paid $2.19 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 $3.08 billion in statewide economic activity.

Retirees Live and Spend in Illinois 

In addition, the study shows that annuitants are spending money. In 2021, IMRF’s pension recipients helped support 20,495 Illinois jobs. The report also attributes about $897 million in total earnings for Illinois workers, to more than 100,000 IMRF retirees spending pension payments statewide.

“Eighty-five percent of IMRF’s public service employees retire and stay in the Land of Lincoln,” Executive Director Brian Collins said. “They have a positive impact on the Illinois economy because every single day, they are shopping, eating, traveling, and paying sales taxes, thanks to their pension benefit payments.”

Impact of IMRF Benefit Payments

Jobs Created and Total Economic Output

About IMRF

Headquartered in Oak Brook, IMRF is the 48th largest retirement plan in the United States and the best-funded statewide public pension plan in the state of Illinois. For 81 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 98.6 percent and approximately $57 billion in assets in 2021, IMRF is financially-sound and sustainable. As Illinois’ second-largest pension plan, IMRF serves approximately 457,000 members in over 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.