Friday, September 14, 2018
Welcome to Employer Digest, your monthly source for IMRF news and information to help you stay connected with IMRF.
New Law Restricts IMRF Participation for Some Former Police Chiefs
In August, Gov. Rauner signed Public Act 100-1097. This new law prohibits IMRF participation by former police chiefs who meet all of the following criteria:

  • Participated as a police chief in an Article 3 police pension fund in a city, village, or town.
  • Take a new job working with the same municipality for the police department or in an advisory capacity.
  • Have no IMRF service credit prior to August 26, 2018.

You can read more about this law on IMRF's website, in  Section 3.80C, of the Manual for Authorized Agents. If you have specific questions, please contact IMRF's employer-only phone number, 1-800-728-7971.
Return to Work Rules for IMRF Retirees
All IMRF employers are required to comply with IMRF's return to work rules when hiring an IMRF retiree. Return to work rules are complex and both employers and retirees may suffer severe financial and legal consequences if the rules are not followed. To avoid penalties, always check with IMRF before your employer hires an IMRF retiree, regardless of the hourly standard of the position, by calling the employer-only phone number, 1-800-728-7971. If a retiree returns to work in a position that does not initially qualify for IMRF participation, you must keep track of the hours he or she works. If the employee ends up working enough hours to meet or exceed your employer's hourly standard, you must immediately enroll the employee in IMRF, or the employee must immediately stop working.

Consequences for employers for not complying with return to work rules may include the following:

  • Financial: If the IMRF retiree is eligible for IMRF enrollment and your employer fails to enroll them as a member or submit wage adjustments for the months that the member is employed, your employer may be held liable for up to half of the pension payments that the retiree has to pay back. Also, employers will have to pay both the missing employer and member contributions for those months.

  • Legal: Legal action may be taken against IMRF employers for violating return to work rules.

  • Lost Efficiency: Your employer will be required to file adjusted wage reports month-by-month for every month wages were not reported for an eligible IMRF retiree.

  • Damaged Credibility: Causes of return to work violations can range from a lack of understanding about laws governing IMRF to intentional attempts to overlook the rules. In any case, return to work errors can damage your employer's reputation, IMRF, and public pensions in general.

As a reminder, employers should complete the "Should this employee be enrolled in IMRF?" checklist for all new employees, and especially for IMRF retirees. You can also learn more about return to work rules on the Hiring IMRF Retirees - Cautions page on IMRF's website, in Section 3.60A of the Manual for Authorized Agents, or by contacting IMRF at 1-800-728-7971.
Reminder: Resolution Required for Reporting Cash Payments Related to Healthcare Benefits
In December 2017, IMRF passed Board Resolution 2017-12-17 amending the definition of reportable earnings to allow employers to include cash payments made separately from salary in lieu of employer-provided health insurance or in association with or related to healthcare benefits. If your employer offers these types of cash payments and would like to make them IMRF reportable earnings, your governing body must pass a resolution allowing these cash payments to be reported as IMRF earnings. If your employer does not adopt a resolution, any cash payments made separately in lieu of or related to healthcare benefits cannot be reported as IMRF earnings. If your employer does not offer these types of cash payments, this resolution does not apply to you. If your employer has been reporting these types of payments as IMRF earnings without adopting the necessary resolution, please contact IMRF to learn more about the steps your employer must take to correct the situation.

Your employer's governing body may use IMRF Form 6.75, "Suggested Resolution to Include Cash Payments Related to Health Insurance as IMRF Earnings" or your governing body may draft and adopt its own resolution consistent with Form 6.75. After the resolution is adopted, it must be filed with IMRF.

Please review the frequently asked questions for more information on this resolution. If you have additional questions about cash payments in lieu of or related to healthcare benefits, please contact IMRF at 1-800-728-7971.
August Board Meeting Highlights
On Friday, August 24, the IMRF Board of Trustees received an update on the following items:

  • IMRF leads in cost-effective service, report concludes
  • IMRF partnerships with Illinois-based firms
  • Progress on 2017-2019 Strategic Plan

You can read the complete report in the August 2018 Board Meeting Highlights.

The next regularly scheduled Board Meeting will be held Friday, November 16, at 9 AM at IMRF's Oak Brook office. You can view the 2018 IMRF Board of Trustees meeting calendar here.
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