Military Service Credit

The Cook County Pension Fund (CCPF) commends and is proud to support employees who protect our country as members of the armed services. This summary describes the coordination of pension service credit and other benefits provided by the Illinois Pension Code and Federal Law for periods of military service.

In general, eligible employees may establish service credit for periods of military service by making the applicable employee pension contributions to CCPF.  Military service may be performed before or after the employee enters County employment. 

“Military service” refers to active duty service in any active or reserve component of the U.S. armed services, including the Illinois National Guard, and must be certified on a DD 214 form.

Pension Code Provisions for Military Service

Military service while employed — USERRA and the Illinois Pension Code allow an employee to establish service credit for military service that occurs during County employment, provided the employee returns to employment within 90 days of discharge from active duty. The 90-day return-to-work period is treated the same as active military service.

  • To establish service credit, the employee must pay all applicable pension contributions as if this employee remained employed during the military leave.
  • Interest will be charged for this military service period if payment is not made within 5 years from date of discharge, or for any period of military service greater than 5 years.

Military service prior to County employment — An employee who was employed as of January 1, 1993, may purchase up to 2 additional years of military credit provided they have 25 or more years of service credit with CCPF. (Reciprocal service does not count toward the 25-year service requirement.).

Receiving Military Service Credit

For military service while employed

  1. Upon returning from the armed services you should provide CCPF with a copy of your Honorable Discharge DD 214.
  2. CCPF will calculate the make-up contribution cost that is associated with the military period.
  3. Once payment is received in full, service credit will be added to your account.

For military service prior to County employment

  1. If you were employed as of January 1, 1993, provide a copy of your Honorable Discharge DD 214 at the completion of 25 years of service.
  2. CCPF will calculate the make-up contribution cost that is associated with the military period.
  3. Once payment is received in full, service credit will be added to your account.

 TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR ANY MILITARY SERVICE CREDIT YOU MUST

  1. Be honorably discharged
  2. Provide a copy of your DD 214 form
  3. Pay all employee contributions due (with interest as applicable)

All contributions must be paid prior to your separation or retirement from County service.

 

An employee or a Surviving Spouse may also be eligible for benefits under the HEART Act. This Act provides further benefits to employees who are on County leave, enter the military, or who die or become disabled while serving in active duty.