Special Memo 284

Construction worker

To: Authorized Agents of Employers not enrolled in IMRF Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)
Re: Discontinuance of payments by check, ACH, and wire transfers

March 17, 2004

Our records indicate your employer submits payments to IMRF via paper checks, automated clearinghouse (ACH), or wire transfer.

We cannot automatically load payment information from paper checks, ACH or wire transfers directly into our computer systems. Data entry operators must key that information into our computer system. This manual process increases the chances of error.

In addition, when you mail a check to IMRF, there is the possibility of it being lost or delayed in the mail. If an employer pays IMRF using ACH or wire transfer, there is a cost to the employer for those services.

In the past, IMRF considered discontinuing paper checks, ACH and wire transfer as an acceptable form of payment, but did not do so because we were unable to offer an easy alternative.

However, in 2002 IMRF worked with govONE Solutions to develop our own electronic funds transfer (EFT) system. On April 2, 2002, we mailed General Memorandum 489 to all employers announcing the Pay-by-Phone EFT system. To use the Pay-by-Phone EFT system, all you need is a telephone.

The following year, EFT was expanded to include web-based payments. On August 21, 2003, we mailed General Memo 510 to all IMRF employers announcing the Pay Online EFT system. To use the Pay Online EFT system, all you need is a computer with Internet access.

When an employer makes a payment to IMRF using EFT, manual processing is eliminated. IMRF can download the payment information directly into our computer systems, avoiding the possibility of data entry errors. EFT also provides advantages to employers: a payment is initiated only after the completed call or successful online payment process. This offers both timeliness and full cash flow control. Moreover, govONE’s technology provides employers with secure payment transactions. Payments made on the IMRF govONE system are secure and can be sent only to IMRF.

EFT offers other advantages to employers. When using either Pay Online or Pay-by-Phone EFT, you can:

EFT programs from govONE Solutions and its subsidiary, GovConnect, provide services in more than 25 states and to the federal government. GovONE Solutions manages half of all electronic payments made to the U.S. Treasury, supports more than two million registered taxpayers, and moved 36 million payments valued at more than $1 trillion in 2002. In addition, as required by the Teachers’ Retirement System, Illinois school districts have been remitting payments via govONE EFT since July 2003.

With this in mind, IMRF will cease accepting payment by paper check, ACH or wire transfer as of the September 2004 monthly report (due October 10, 2004).

After October 1, 2004, all employer payments to IMRF must be made via EFT, either Pay-by-Phone or Online. Although EFT will become mandatory on October 1, 2004, we encourage employers to enroll prior to September 1, 2004. By enrolling no later than September 1, govOne will have sufficient time to mail your employer’s unique Personal Identification Number and EFT number.

To enroll in EFT, submit the enclosed IMRF Form 3.00, “Electronic Funds Transfer Enrollment Form.” If you use multiple bank accounts to make payments to IMRF, you will need to complete a separate enrollment form for each bank account you use. If you need additional copies of the form, you can make photocopies of it or download additional copies from the publications area of our website, www.imrf.org.

Once your account is ready for use, a confirmation letter will be mailed to you. The information will include your EFT number (assigned by IMRF), your PIN code, EFT system instructions, and a set of Frequently Asked Questions. Please direct questions concerning your enrollment to an IMRF Member Service Representative at 1-800-ASK-IMRF (1-800-275-4673). EFT information is also available from the IMRF website at www.imrf.org/employers/eft.htm.

We recognize that IMRF is asking you to change your procedures and this will require time and effort. We believe, however, that the increased efficiencies will benefit all IMRF stakeholders. Allow me to thank you in advance for your assistance. IMRF is committed to helping you during this transition.