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Updated December 17, 2021

Educational Conference Expense Reimbursement Guidelines

The Board of Trustees of the Retirement Plan for CTA Employees (the “Board”) believes that the knowledge of the Trustees, Alternate Trustees and staff (“Attendees") is enhanced with continuing education on subject matters within the scope of their fiduciary and/or administrative responsibilities. Valuable educational conferences and seminars, such as those offered by the National Conference of Public Employee Retiree Systems (NCPERS) and the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) are held at various locations around the United States and North America. Accordingly, the Board believes it is appropriate that reasonable expenses incurred to attend educational conferences be paid by the Retirement Plan for CTA Employees (the “Plan”). In order to encourage educational development and also best serve the interests of the Plan, the Board deems it beneficial to adopt travel expense reimbursement guidelines to establish expenses that will be paid by the Plan and those not eligible for payment by the Plan.

When the subject matter of the conference is related to an Attendee’s service to the Retirement Plan and the Health Care Trust, the costs of the conference may be divided appropriately by the Boards.

Board Pre-Approval and Number of Conferences

No educational conference -related expenses for a particular Attendee shall be paid by the Plan unless incurred in connection with a conference that has been pre-approved for attendance by the Board. The Attendee must submit a completed Pre-Approval form (attached) to the Executive Director in sufficient time for it to be placed on the agenda for consideration by the Board at its next meeting. Board approval must be received before the date of the conference.

In a calendar year, eligible expenses will be reimbursed for no more than two out-of-town educational conferences for Trustees, Alternate Trustees or the Executive Director, unless otherwise authorized by the Board. An Alternate Trustee must attend no fewer than ten monthly Board meetings in a calendar year in order to be eligible to attend more than one out-of-town conference in the next calendar year. No staff member other than the Executive Director shall attend more than one out-of-town conference for which expenses will be borne by the Plan unless otherwise authorized by the Board. In approving a conference for Trustees, Alternate Trustees, or Staff , where the same conference is being sponsored in multiple locations, the Board prefers that the conference chosen be the one at which the least amount of expenses to be borne by the Plan are incurred.

Allowable Travel Expenses

Expenses which may be reimbursed by the Plan are as follows:

  • Air Travel, at a cost no greater than the lowest, refundable, direct coach/economy fare, offered for sale on the date of purchase.
  • Meals (with itemized original receipts) to a maximum not to exceed the GSA Rate then in effect for the location of the conference, inclusive of tax and tips. (Alcohol is NOT a reimbursable expense.)
  • Lodging is reimbursable from the night prior to the beginning of the conference through the final date of the conference. The rate of requested reimbursement should be no greater than that of a sponsored hotel, if any, or at rate comparable to the sponsored hotel rate.
  • Airport Parking to a maximum of $20 per day with receipt.
  • Ground transportation to and from the destination airport, and to and from hotel and meeting site is reimbursable. Public transportation in the travel city should be used where possible.
  • Personal Car. If a personal car is used to travel to a conference, travel is reimbursed at the IRS “Standard Mileage Rate” with documented trip mileage, tolls and reasonable parking fees. Also, the attendee must add a rider on their personal insurance for liability and collision with the Plan as an additionally-insured party.

Prohibited Travel Expenses

Expenses that will not be reimbursed by the Plan include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Alcoholic beverages.
  • Rental Car (rental cars will not be reimbursed and, for liability purposes, should not be used.)
  • Hotel in room mini-bar refreshments.
  • Expenses incurred by a spouse, family member, or other guest of the Attendee.
  • Entertainment (in-room movies, shows, excursions, etc.).
  • Fines incurred for parking and moving violations for personal car and/or rental vehicles.
  • Costs incurred due to failure to cancel transportation and hotel reservations.
  • Sundry expenses including toiletries, health club fees, dry cleaning, etc.
  • Other expenses not directly related to the conference attendance, including personal travel.

Expenses Incurred Before Conference

The Plan may advance funds for the purchase of, or reimbursement for, transportation, lodging and conference registration fees. Any request to advance funds for purchase or reimbursement shall be included on the PreApproval form submitted to the Executive Director.

Documentation of Expenses Incurred

In order to obtain reimbursement for eligible expenses the Attendee must complete Post-Conference Expense Voucher (attached) with receipts or other documentation of expenses incurred. The request for reimbursement for expenses must be made no later than 90 days from the conclusion of the conference. The Attendee shall keep track of expenditures within each category documenting the amount of the expenditure, place of the expenditure, and the purpose for which the expenditure was made. The Post-Conference Expense Voucher, along with the related receipts, should provide information sufficient to justify the expense.

Certification of Attendance

For those conferences issuing a Certificate of Attendance, such as those issued by the IFEBP, the Attendee must submit the Certificate of Attendance, along with the Post-Conference Expense Voucher in order to receive reimbursement of expenses. If no Certificate of Attendance is offered by the conference, the Attendee must certify on the Post-Conference Expense Voucher that he or she attended at least 90% of the conference sessions.

The Executive Director shall implement these guidelines at the direction of the Board of Trustees. Situations not covered by these guidelines may be considered by the Board of Trustees.


Educational Conference Pre-Approval

Purpose of this form is to submit an official request for approval of conference attendance.

Post-Conference Expense Voucher Form

Purpose of this form is to request reimbursement for the expenses incurred in connection with attendance of a conference.

Daily Expenses Worksheet Form

Purpose of this form is to help tracking daily expenses along with receipts related to attendance of a conference.

Educational Conference Request for Advance Reimbursement Form

Purpose of this form is to request reimbursement in advance of the attendance of a conference.

Educational Conference Reimbursement Policy

This form contains the content of this entire page. It includes the explanation as well as all forms in a single downloadable file.