Question: Can the state “borrow” money from IMRF?
Answer: No. IMRF receives no State funding. The IMRF Board of Trustees sets responsible and actuarially sound employer contribution rates. All funding comes from investments, employers and members. IMRF has unique authority to “police” employers to make sure contributions are paid in the correct amount and on time.
Since IMRF receives no money from the State, it cannot “borrow” money by reneging on payments due us. Can it take money out of our asset accounts? No. That money is held by our master trustee: The Northern Trust of Chicago.
As of December 31, 2013, the market value of IMRF’s net assets was $32.4 billion. These assets are held in trust; they are not public money to be spent for any other purpose other than for IMRF members’ disability, retirement, and death benefits.
It would take legislation passed by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor for the state to ever touch IMRF funds. The likelihood of that happening is extremely unlikely. Moreover, if any attempt were made to do so, IMRF would let all of our members know and we would fight such efforts strenuously. IMRF doubts that our 2,900 participating employers would let that happen either.