Born in Chicago, James McNamee began his career in law enforcement in 1979 as a police officer for the Village of Barrington. In 1983, Mr. McNamee was elected to the Barrington Police Pension Board as a trustee. During his term as trustee, McNamee quickly saw the need for training and education for all trustees of pension boards. Taking action, Mr. McNamee went to work to form the Illinois Police Fund Association now known as the Illinois Public Pension Fund Association.
Under Mr. McNamee’s leadership, the IPPFA grew to fifty funds in its first year. Mr. McNamee had the vision to expand the IPPFA to include Unions and Teacher Funds and his efforts have dramatically expanded the association’s membership. The Illinois Public Pension Fund Association has grown into the largest organization of its kind in the country with more than 450 pension funds as members.
Mr. McNamee continued to serve as a police officer and field training officer for the Village of Barrington for nearly 30 years before retiring in 2007. He continues to assist with legislative pension fund issues by supporting the Coalition Group and chairing the Pension Working Group with help of The Office of the State Treasurer. The Pension Working Group helps to review the performance of investment managers and consultants, along with helping to develop uniform standards for comparing the costs of investment services.
Mr. McNamee was instrumental in leading the push for many changes in pension board procedures and policies which helped to develop the standards under which they operate today. He was also involved in drafting and passing important legislative changes, including comprehensive investment law changes allowing for expanded investment authority to the pension boards. Along with legislative changes, Mr. McNamee helped to develop the IPPFA 457 Defined Contribution Plan and has since become a leader in benefit development for municipalities, coming up with many new programs and ideas that are now being implemented in the state.
South Elgin Police Pension Fund