Three years after State Senator Cristina Castro’s pension consolidation plan was signed into law, the Illinois Firefighters’ Pension Investment Fund has consolidated and invested nearly 300 individual pension funds with better-than-expected results.

“The historic consolidation of these funds was vital to the state’s financial health, but it was also necessary to make sure our first responders would be able to receive the full pensions they earned,” said Castro (D-Elgin). “Not only are these pensions performing better as consolidated funds with combined assets that can be invested — they are already yielding greater investment returns, saving even more taxpayer money than we expected.”

Senate Bill 1300 allowed downstate fire and police pension funds to be consolidated into two separate funds over a 30-month period beginning in January 2020. Since the measure took effect, the Firefighters’ Pension Investment Fund has added more than $40 million in value through investment returns and seen a reduction in fees and expenses of $34 million. This has led to a reduction in statutory minimum contributions, saving money for local governments and taxpayers.

So far, the law has led to the consolidation of nearly 300 pension funds with $7.9 billion in total assets. It was expected that annual returns would measure around 7.1%, but the Fiscal Year 2023 rate of return was 9.7%.

More information about the Illinois Firefighters’ Pension Investment Fund can be found on the IFPIF website.