The Teachers' Fund for Retirement (TFFR) Board has statutory responsibility for the retirement program for North Dakota public school educators.
To administer a comprehensive retirement program that provides North Dakota public educators with a foundation for retirement security.
To be a trusted leader in the administration of a financially sound retirement program for North Dakota educators by providing exceptional customer service, professional plan management and organizational effectiveness by adhering to the principles of good governance, transparency and accountability.
Our Core Values
Customer Satisfaction and Commitment to Excellence which is demonstrated by our trustworthiness, accountability and respectfulness.
Strong Governance and Operational Effectiveness through our strategic leadership, fiduciary responsibility, ethical practices and transparency.
This web page was created to provide a centralized location to view TFFR Board information, members, meeting materials, policies and legislation. For any questions, comments, suggestions or to request retirement program information not posted online, please click here.
The Teachers' Fund for Retirement (TFFR) was established in 1913 to provide retirement income to North Dakota public school educators. TFFR is a qualified defined benefit public pension plan covered under Section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code. The North Dakota Century Code (NDCC) Chapter 15-39-1 contains the statutory language governing the Fund and is supplemented by Title 82 of the North Dakota Administrative Code.
Responsibility for administration of the TFFR benefits program is assigned to a seven-member Board of Trustees (Board). The TFFR benefits program is administered by the staff of the Retirement and Investment Office (RIO).
TFFR funds are invested under the direction of the State Investment Board (SIB) following the 'Prudent Investor Rule.' The investments must be invested exclusively for the benefit of the TFFR members. Three TFFR Board members serve as voting members on the SIB.
The TFFR Board consists of the State Treasurer, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and five members appointed by the Governor. The appointed Board members must include one active school administrator, two active elementary or secondary teachers and two retired members. The appointed trustees serve five-year terms which end on June 30 of alternate years. To contact a board member, please complete the Contact Form.
Dr. Rob Lech, President
Dr. Rob Lech is the Superintendent of Jamestown Public Schools and represents active school administrators on the TFFR Board. Dr. Lech was appointed to the TFFR Board in 2013 and his current term ends June 30, 2025. He also serves as Vice Chair of the State Investment Board.
Jordan Willgohs, Trustee
Jordan Willgohs is a Social Studies teacher at West Fargo Public Schools and represents active teachers on the TFFR Board. Mr. Willgohs was appointed to the Board in 2021 and his current term ends June 30, 2024.
Cody Mickelson, Trustee
Cody Mickelson is a German teacher at Jamestown Public Schools and represents active teachers on the TFFR Board. Mr. Mickelson was appointed to the Board in 2018 and his current term ends June 30, 2026. He also serves on the State Investment Board.
Mike Burton, Vice President
Mike Burton is a former Science teacher and represents retired members on the TFFR Board. Mr. Burton was appointed to the TFFR Board in 2014 and his current term ends June 30, 2022. He also serves as alternate to the State Investment Board.
Mel Olson, Trustee
Mel Olson is a former teacher and administrator and represents retired members on the TFFR Board. Mr. Olson was appointed to the TFFR Board in 2013 and his current term ends June 30, 2023. He also serves on the State Investment Board.
Kirsten Baesler, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
State Superintendent Kristen Baesler has been an ex officio member of the TFFR Board since 2013. Her current term in office ends December 31, 2024.
Thomas Beadle, State Treasurer
State Treasurer Thomas Beadle is an ex officio member of the TFFR Board. His current term in office ends December 31, 2024.
The TFFR Board generally meets six times per year. Special meetings may be called as needed. Board meetings are open to the public. Closed (Executive) sessions, which are not open to the public, will be indicated on the meeting agenda.
Fiscal Year 2022:
The TFFR Board is dedicated to ethically serving the members and stakeholders of the TFFR pension plan and ensuring the plan is effectively managed. An effective governance structure is essential to fulfilling fiduciary duties and Board responsibilities in accordance with the highest standards of professional responsibility, accountability and transparency.
The Board has developed a TFFR Program Manual to establish the framework within which the Board intends to set governance and program policy.
TFFR's plan design and financing structure are included in state statutes which govern the TFFR plan and are approved by the ND Legislature. This area provides information related to proposed or approved legislation affecting the TFFR plan.
HB 1044 - TFFR Technical Corrections
Sponsor: TFFR Board
Updates plan language to maintain compliance with federal Internal Revenue Code requirements related to qualified governmental pension plans.
HB 1499 - Legislative Employee Benefits Committee Duties
Changes Legislative Employee Benefits Programs Committee duties .
SB 2022 - Retirement and Investment Office Budget
- Appropriations for 2019-21 RIO Budget to administer TFFR and SIB programs.
2015 Approved Legislation
HB 1064 - TFFR Administrative Changes
Sponsor: TFFR Board
Updates certain dates to maintain compliance with federal Internal Revenue Code tax law changes related to qualified governmental pension plans
Upcoming EventsView All Events
Thursday, November 18, 2021 at 01:00 pmCategories: TFFR Board Meetings
Thursday, January 27, 2022 at 01:00 pmCategories: TFFR Board Meetings
Thursday, March 24, 2022 at 01:00 pmCategories: TFFR Board Meetings
Thursday, April 21, 2022 at 01:00 pmCategories: TFFR Board Meetings