Board Meeting Highlights

Board Room
September 3, 2021

IMRF ranks near top of North American public pensions in cost-effective customer service, report concludes

IMRF continues to be one of the leading public pensions in North America in terms of cost-effective customer service, according to a new report. Kathy Goerdt, IMRF’s Organizational Excellence Officer, presented the CEM Benchmarking report.

In 2020 IMRF continued to have either a perfect score or scored above peer median across all measured activities. The CEM annual study compares public pensions’ customer-service levels and total spending. The study includes some of the largest public pensions in North America. The CEM report showed IMRF’s total cost per member and annuitant of $98, which was $32 below the peer average. This came despite operating in the fourth-highest cost environment.

The study helps us identify customer service activities offering improvement possibilities, Goerdt said. This is consistent with our ongoing Journey of Excellence initiatives, and with our approach to continuous process improvement. In 2019, IMRF became the first public pension fund in the nation to receive the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Board approves report to Governor on IMRF’s Illinois-based investments

The Board approved the submission of the annual Illinois Economic Opportunity Investment Report to Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the General Assembly that details IMRF investments made in Illinois.

Highlights from the report include:

Staff provides update on implementing 2020-2022 Strategic Plan objectives

IMRF Executive Director Brian Collins updated the Board on activities undertaken during the second quarter in support of the 2020-2022 Strategic Plan. Key successes within each of the Strategic Plan’s Key Result Areas (KRAs) included:

Financial Health

In May 2021, the Board approved commitments of up to $355 million across multiple funds.

Customer Engagement

IMRF has continued monthly deep dive reviews of Voice Of the Customer (VOC) surveys throughout the second quarter. These reviews provide an opportunity for the VOC team to analyze customer satisfaction, engagement, and effort trends across the last five years. The Organizational Excellence team meets with the respective survey owner and Customer Service Director to share results and identify strengths or opportunities for improvement.

Workforce Engagement

IMRF administered its annual survey of employee engagement. IMRF had a 97 percent completion rate and all ten engagement questions scored at or above the benchmark. All IMRF leaders attended an engagement training session. Leaders will present the results to their respective staff and work with their teams to develop employee engagement action plans designed to further improve the IMRF work environment.

Operational Excellence

IMRF scheduled Annual Key Approach meetings to take place in the next months. IMRF’s Key Approaches act as the organization’s process documents and highlight how the work we do inside the organization aligns to the Baldrige Criteria. Key Approach owners were made aware of changes to the 2021 Baldrige Excellence Framework and will have an opportunity to address these changes during this meeting cycle.

Horizon project update

IMRF staff updated the Board on the status of the Horizon project, IMRF’s multi-year initiative to modernize our pension system’s technology. The project remains on track.

The project team is wrapping up the fourth of five iterative segments and is planning and preparing for user acceptance testing, which is the final step of Segment 4.

In parallel with this testing, the fifth and final segment will also be underway. Project team members are working on configuring the final components of Horizon and planning for Horizon “Go Live” to occur in the fall of 2022.

New employers join IMRF

The Board approved the participation of the following new employers:

Next Board meeting

The next meeting of the full IMRF Board of Trustees will be November 19.