Applying for Your Pension

Congratulations on getting ready to retire!  This information will help you understand the process for applying for your annuity (pension) benefits with the Cook County Pension Fund (CCPF). We recommend that you submit your retirement application with all required documentation 60-90 days before your date of resignation.  We do not recommend applying any earlier because we cannot finalize your benefits until you receive your final paycheck.  Read more by viewing the Applying for Retirement Brochure.

How to Apply

PLAN AHEAD
  • It generally takes 10-12  weeks after you receive your final paycheck for your first  annuity  payment to arrive, and sometimes longer if you are applying under reciprocity with another  fund.  For this reason, many employees save vacation time as a “bridge” between their last paycheck and their first pension check. (See your timekeeper about vacation time.)

APPLY FOR BENEFITS
  • We recommend that you visit our office to complete a retirement application, or you can  request one by mail.  You must provide all required documentation (see checklist) and complete a tax withholding form and designation of beneficiary.
RESIGN FROM YOUR JOB
  • Contact your timekeeper or human resources department to file a resignation date.  It is your responsibility to resign from your job. Applying  for your pension with CCPF is not the same as terminating your employee position. You must terminate employment to be eligible to receive pension benefits from CCPF. 
CHECKLIST

Along with completing a retirement application, you will need to provide all of the following that apply:

  • Copy of your proof of birth (birth certificate, passport, or naturalization certificate)
  • Copy of spouse’s proof of birth
  • Copy of marriage certificate or civil union certificate
  • Copy of divorce decree
  • Copy of spouse’s death certificate
  • Copy of Social Security Card for yourself and your spouse
  • Copy of Driver’s License or State ID for yourself and your spouse

If you are eligible and intend to enroll in the CCPF retiree health benefits program, you will also need to complete a health benefits application and provide all of the following that apply:

  • Proof of your Medicare Parts A & B enrollment if over 65
  • Proof of spouse’s Medicare Parts A & B enrollment if over 65
  • Proof of birth for any Dependents you wish to cover
  • Dependent’s Social Security Card (if you are covering them on the insurance)

You will need to know the Social Security numbers of all family members when you visit our office.

RECIPROCITY

The Illinois Retirement Reciprocal Act allows you to combine service with more than one public employer when calculating your pension.  If you plan to retire under reciprocity, you must  apply  for  benefits with  each reciprocal pension fund separately.  Let each fund know that you have reciprocal service.  A list of participating funds is available on our website.  

Please note that verifying records with multiple pension funds can result in a longer processing time for reciprocal retirement applications and a longer wait for your first pension payment.

BENEFIT PAYMENTS

Your first pension check will be retroactive to the start date of your annuity and will include any refund amounts you may be due.  Thereafter, your payment will be mailed or deposited on the first of every month (or on the next  business  day  if  the  first  of  the month falls on a weekend).

We will include a direct deposit enrollment form with your first payment. Direct  deposit  is  the  fastest, most secure way to receive your monthly benefit. You will need your account and routing number to sign up.