At IPERS, we are committed to the administration of a successful, sustainable and cost-effective retirement system. The leadership team and staff are proud to serve our members now and into the future.
Governor Kim Reynolds appointed Gregory Samorajski as the CEO of IPERS effective May 1, 2020. A native of Cleveland, Samorajski moved to Chicago and earned his undergraduate degree at Northwestern University and his graduate degree at the University of Chicago. He spent the early part of his career in Chicago where, among other jobs, he worked at the First National Bank of Chicago and at the Chicago Board of Trade as a Senior Economist, Manager Financial Instruments. In 1997 he moved to Alaska where he spent more than a decade in multiple roles at McKinley Capital Management, LLC and then served as the Chief Financial Officer at True North Federal Credit Union. The Governor of Alaska appointed Samorajski as the Deputy Commissioner of the state’s Department of Revenue in 2018. In this role, he managed the State Treasury, Bond Issuance, Permanent Fund Dividend and Pension Plan Investments Divisions that employed more than 100 investment, accounting, administrative and compliance professionals. At IPERS, Samorajski oversees an agency of nearly 85 employees in five divisions and a Trust Fund totaling approximately $43 billion.
David Martin is the Chief Benefits Officer and leads the Benefits Division, IPERS’ largest team with nearly 30 employees. Staff in the Benefits Division are on the front lines serving members, retirees, beneficiaries and employers. They provide counseling about IPERS’ retirement benefits at in-person appointments, via telephone and internet, and at group presentations held around Iowa. The Benefits Division’s Employer Relations team supports and assists IPERS employers.
Chief Investment Officer Karl C. Koch, CFA, leads IPERS’ team of investment professionals, most of whom have earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. In partnership with IPERS’ investment consultants, Koch and his team advise IPERS' Investment Board on asset allocation, investment policies and strategies, and the selection of investment managers. Staff in the Investment Division conduct due diligence on investment managers, negotiate and manage detailed contracts that direct the activities of investment managers and related vendors, perform risk management and cash management, and monitor the performance of IPERS’ multibillion-dollar investment portfolio.
Under the leadership of Chief Financial Officer Darla Iverson, the Financial Division provides support in several areas: general and investment accounting, facilities management, human resources, office support, purchasing, and financial and employer reporting. She spearheads the team that produces the Annual Financial Report, which has annually received a Certificate of Achievement from the Government Finance Officers Association for more than two decades.
Rick Hindman, Chief Information Officer, oversees the Information Management Division (IMD) which supports the innovation, technology and information security needs of IPERS. The systems IMD maintains deliver timely and accurate pension benefits for IPERS members and detailed accounting of pension contributions and records from IPERS employers.
The IPERS Legal Division includes two paralegals and General Counsel, Elizabeth Hennessey. This team works closely with each Division at IPERS, outside counsel and other state agencies such to ensure that all state and federal laws, IRS regulations, administrative rules and Governor’s mandates are communicated, explained and followed.
The Legal Division is responsible for a multitude of functions at IPERS, including coordinating administrative rules; reviewing and negotiating contracts; processing appeals; processing income withholding and other legal orders; receiving and responding to subpoenas; reviewing IPERS’ documents and policies and more.
The Legal Division doesn’t give legal advice but happily answers questions and guides our members, their attorneys and third-party payees through the Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO) process.
Shawna Lode is IPERS’ Communications Director and leads a team that includes two Information Specialists to enact communication initiatives that support IPERS’ strategic plan. The Communications Team implements a range of communication products that enhance the work of IPERS’ Divisions, educate members about their retirement benefits and inform employers of their administrative responsibilities. The team is responsible for the management of IPERS’ media and government relations programs and coordinates www.ipers.org, various digital newsletters, print publications and mailings, and all social media channels.