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updated: 11/17/2017 3:38 PM

IMRF pension system hires new leader

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  • Brian Collins

    Brian Collins

  • Louis Kosiba

    Louis Kosiba

 
 

Chicago native and current City of Memphis Chief Financial Officer Brian Collins is taking over leadership of the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund early next year.

Collins is replacing longtime IMRF Executive Director Louis Kosiba, who is retiring at the end of the year, according to a news release issued by the pension system's board Friday. Kosiba has been with IMRF since 1988 and been executive director since 2001.

Collins was chosen after a search that began early last summer. His salary will be $235,000, according to IMRF officials.

Headquartered in Oak Brook, IMRF is the second-largest pension fund in the state behind the Teachers' Retirement System. IMRF has nearly 3,000 member agencies made up of municipalities, counties, townships and school, park and library districts.

"I'm excited to partner with the board and the staff to continue to achieve our vision of providing the highest quality retirement services to our members, their beneficiaries and employers," Collins said. "IMRF is a national leader in the public pension industry."

In addition to his municipal government experience, Collins worked in banking for more than 20 years. He has an MBA from Ohio State University and a law degree from Loyola University of Chicago.

"Brian is ready to lead this organization to even higher levels of achievement," said Sue Stanish, the IMRF board's president and Naperville Park District's finance director. He has experience working with politicians, reporters and others "and he knows public pensions," she said.

Collins will be the fund's seventh executive director.

Officials often tout IMRF's financial stability, since it is almost 100 percent funded, unlike most of the state's public pension programs. Part of the reason for the fund's financial success is a law that requires member agencies to fully cover required contributions. If the agencies don't meet contribution obligations, IMRF can have the state direct an agency's revenues to the pension fund. No other public pension fund in the state has that power.

IMRF has nearly 175,000 active employee members, about 110,000 retirees and survivors collecting pensions and 113,000 members who are not working, but aren't yet collecting a pension. The average annual pension was a little more than $16,000 in 2017, according to data released by IMRF through a public records request.

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