COVID-19 Coronavirus and IMRF Update

newspaper
March 18, 2020

IMRF wants all stakeholders to know the organization is making changes that prioritize the health and safety of its members, employers, and staff, in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

At the same time, all stakeholders should have confidence IMRF will continue to deliver all its most critical business processes, including delivering promised benefit payments, processing new applications and enrollments, and managing the new contributions and existing investments entrusted to the pension fund.

In-person Workshops and Counseling Suspended

All in-person workshops and counseling sessions are temporarily suspended. At a minimum, this suspension is through May 15, but could extend beyond that date. This includes all Pre-Retirement Workshops, Authorized Agent Workshops, Glass Half-Full Workshops, Personal Benefit Reviews, Employer Rate Meetings, and all in-person counseling at both our Oak Brook and Springfield office. Field Representatives will be in contact with employers where we have meetings scheduled to offer alternate services. Visit our website in the future for updates on future workshop and counseling availability.

Leveraging Email-based Communication

For the foreseeable future, the best way to communicate with IMRF is by sending us a Secure Message within Member Access or Employer Access. To protect all stakeholders, we are reducing the number of team members present in our call center, and limiting hours to between 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM. To avoid longer call hold times, please consider contacting us through Member Access or Employer Access first. Alternatively, members may speak with a representative at 1-800-ASK-IMRF and employers may call 1-800-728-7971.

Hosting Employer Rate Meetings by Webinar

IMRF has decided that we will not host in-person Employer Rate Meetings this year. Instead, we will offer three Rate Meeting webinars in April and May. The webinars will review IMRF finances, and the rate-setting process. You can register for a webinar here. IMRF Executive Director Brian Collins and Chief Financial Officer Mark Nannini will conduct the meetings.

The IMRF Investment Portfolio

A number of stakeholders have expressed concern about the state of the global economy and its impact on the IMRF investment portfolio. IMRF’s investment portfolio has not been immune to the negative impact COVID-19 has had on the global economy. That being said, IMRF is a long-term investor with a portfolio of more than $40 billion. We have planned for downturns in the market and IMRF has sufficient resources to meet all benefit payment requirements. IMRF has confidence that in the long-term, the global economy will recover.

IMRF appreciates your flexibility

We know that this is a challenging time for all IMRF stakeholders. We appreciate your flexibility and understanding as we implement changes that prioritize health and safety. Please be assured IMRF will continue to deliver all critical services, albeit a bit differently for the time being. You can count on us.