The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is intended to ensure that members of the public have access to information about their government and their decision-making process. It requires all public bodies, including IMRF, to make their public records available for inspection and copying.
Under the FOIA, all records of a public body, like IMRF, are presumed to be open for inspection and copying. However, the FOIA also permits certain records to be withheld from inspection. If IMRF receives a FOIA request for information that under FOIA is considered open, IMRF is required by law to comply with that request.
IMRF records consist of information about our members and employers as well as our investment portfolio.
IMRF member information subject to FOIA requests includes:
- Employer (specify current or last employer)
- All IMRF employment
- Reported IMRF wages (salaries)
- FRE (available for retirees only)
- Service credit
- Member contributions
- Benefit payment amount to members receiving benefits, e.g., pension payments* Specify
- Member retirees only or
- All benefit recipients (which includes member retirees, surviving spouses, and other beneficiaries)
*We cannot provide pension estimate amounts for members who have not yet retired.
IMRF member information not subject to FOIA requests includes:
- Social Security number
- Date of birth
- Address (including zip code)
- Telephone number
- Personal email address
- Beneficiary information
- Medical records
Previous FOIA Requests
IMRF has received FOIA requests from the media asking for pension amounts for specific individuals (e.g., former elected officials for a particular unit of government), or for the names of all retirees receiving a pension greater than $100,000 a year.
In these cases, IMRF advises the member(s) by mail that their information has been requested and released, and we provide them with a copy of the FOIA request, which includes the name of the person making the request. In the case of a FOIA request for a specific individual, we provide a copy of our response in addition to a copy of the FOIA request itself.
However, in other cases the media has asked for information on all active or retired members. IMRF has received a FOIA request from the Chicago Tribune asking for information about all members currently contributing to IMRF. We have also received a FOIA request from The New York Times asking for information about all current retirees' pension payments.
If the information requested is subject to FOIA, we release it. But because the request covers all members or all retirees, we do not advise them of the request.