Leaving County Employment

Understanding Your Options

Time Sensitive Considerations

If you are leaving County service, you have options based on your age and service.  Be aware, there are some options available only while you are still employed:

  • If you need to repay Cook County Pension Fund (CCPF) for any past service, payments must be made before you separate from employment.
  • Paid service with a Reciprocal System can generally be counted towards service requirements.  You must contact each Reciprocal Fund to determine eligibility and possible costs to re-establish (pay for) any previously forfeited service.  It is important to do this now since many Funds require you to be an actively contributing employee to re-establish past service.
  • No benefits are paid by CCPF until you apply.  You must contact CCPF for the appropriate application when you want to receive your benefits.
  • Contact CCPF to discuss your options with a counselor.
Leaving Service
Tier 1 Plan Eligibility
(Hired Prior to Jan 1, 2011)

If you have LESS than 10 years of service

  • You are eligible for a Full Refund or
  • If you are Tier 1 and age 60 or older at date of separation you may be eligible for a monthly "money purchase" annuity based on your age and contributions.  Contact CCPF for an individual calculation of your annuity.

If you have 10 or more years of service and are under age 55

  • You are eligible for a Full Refund or
  • You are eligible for a Deferred Retirement Annuity as part of your Tier 1 Benefits beginning at age 50 or older or
  • You are eligible for a Current Retirement Annuity if you are at least 50.  Any Annuity will be penalized for age if it begins when you are under 60 with less than 30 years of service.

If you have 10 or more years of service and are age 55 or Older:

  • You are eligible for a Deferred Retirement Annuity, or
  • You are eligible for a Current Retirement Annuity. 
  • Any Annuity will be penalized for age if it begins when you are under 60 with less than 30 years of service.
Leaving Service
Tier 2 Plan Eligibility
(Hired After to Jan 1, 2011)

If you have LESS than 10 years of service

 

 

 

 

 

If you have 10 or more years of service and are under age 62

  • You are eligible for a Full Refund or
  • You are eligible for a Deferred Retirement Annuity as part of your Tier 2 Benefits beginning at age 62 or older.  Any Annuity will be penalized for age if it begins when you are under 67

 

 

 

If you have 10 or more years of service and are age 62 or Older:

  • You are eligible for a Deferred Retirement Annuity, or
  • You are eligible for a Current Retirement Annuity.
  • Any Annuity will be penalized for age if it begins when you are under 67.

 

 

 

Other Things to Consider

  • Applications for benefits can take 8-12 weeks to process.
  • You should call CCPF to discuss your options with a counselor and request an application for benefits if applicable.
  • Members are allowed to purchase unused sick time to get additional service credit.  The time must be certified by your department and payment must be made within 30 days after separation from service.  Unused vacation days are paid on your final paycheck and pension deductions are withheld from those funds.  Additional service credit is automatically granted on this vacation time.
  • Retiree Health Benefits are available only to retirees who were last employed with Cook County and are receiving an annuity.
  • Any Optional credit in your account will be used to increase benefits or will be refunded.
  • When you take a refund, you lose all of your accrued service credit and you give up your right to any future County pension and you give up the right to any future survivor or death benefits.
  • If you believe you may return to Cook County employment or employment covered by another reciprocal fund, you do not have to withdraw your contributions.  You can leave contributions with CCPF and service credit will be preserved when you return.

Keep Your Records up to Date