Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, Oak Brook, is one of four U.S. public pension plans that won the Government Finance Officers Association's "Triple Crown" award.
The award recognizes government organizations that have received the association's Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Award, the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award and the Popular Annual Financial Reporting Award.
"GFOA is an organization that we belong to, and it really sets guidelines for the whole industry in terms of financial reporting," said Brian Collins, IMRF's executive director, in a telephone interview. "That's the institution that makes it possible for investors and members of the public to be able to look at a document (financial statements, etc.) issued by public bodies like IMRF, make them understandable, make them consistent."
The oldest of the three awards, the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Award, was created in 1945 and awards organizations for going beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles and "evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure," according to the GFOA's website. The other two awards have similar aims.
"Being able to get (financial reporting) absolutely right is really, really important and the effort that it takes to do that really is a heavy, heavy lift," Mr. Collins said, "and what we have tried to do is really excel at everything across the board."
Of the 292 U.S. and Canada government organizations awarded the Triple Crown for fiscal year 2019, the $53.1 billion Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund is one of only four public pension plans.
The others are the $306.7 billion California State Teachers' Retirement System, West Sacramento; the $137.9 billion New York State Teachers' Retirement System, Albany; and the $18.3 billion Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund, Columbus.
IMRF offers its financial reports on its website.