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About Us


The Illinois Public Pension Fund Association (IPPFA) was founded in 1985 as a not-for-profit umbrella organization representing police and fire defined benefit retirement funds in the State of Illinois. IPPFA was founded by a small group of elected pension fund trustees.

In 2001, the IPPFA Board of Directors introduced a proprietary 457(b) Plan, The Wise Choice for Public Employees®, and a Retirement Healthcare Funding Plan was added in 2004 to further help ensure the retirement independence of public sector employees. In 2008, the IPPFA Board of Directors authorized the expansion of the proprietary program to include The Wise Choice for Educators® 403(b)/457(b) so that public school employees would also have the opportunity to improve their retirement outcome.

The Wise Choice for Public Employees®, the Retirement Healthcare Funding Plan, and The Wise Choice for Educators® all incorporate best practice plan design and pricing to help public sector employees, regardless of size, achieve greater retirement balances. We achieved this objective by pooling the buying power of the IPPFA member communities with a single vendor. One of the original IPPFA mandates was to implement a single pricing structure so that all participants, regardless of the size of the community they work for, pay the same price for the plan. A participant who works for a unit of government smaller than the City of Chicago should not have less money at retirement simply because his employer does not have the buying power to negotiate better pricing. IPPFA protects participants against this standard industry practice.

By pooling the buying power of local units of government, the IPPFA has been able to negotiate a program that normally would require a single employer to have $50 million in available assets for deposit into the plan before this fee structure would be available. Within the core funds, the IPPFA Wise Choice Plan provides total delivered pricing from 0.00% - 1.53% annually. The plan also includes a Fixed/Stable Value Fund without the typical liquidity restrictions.

Since the inception of the program, the plan has saved participants over $40 million in fees. As of January 2024, there are over 275 units of government participating in the co-op with over $675 million in managed assets.  

The IPPFA Board of Directors hired IPPFA Benefits (now NPPFA Benefits) to initially create the plan and then subsequently contracted NPPFA Benefits to exclusively provide the Education, Sales, and Marketing for IPPFA's The Wise Choice for Public Employees® 457(b) Plan, the Retirement Healthcare Funding Plan/115 Trust, and The Wise Choice for Educators® 403(b)/457(b) Plan.