Make Your Wishes Known
One of the most important actions you can take is to make sure your Designation of Beneficiary form is up to date with the Cook County Pension Fund (CCPF).
- If you do not have a beneficiary form on file, the default beneficiary is your estate.
- If you have an old form on file, we must follow the directors on this form, even if it names someone you no longer want to receive this benefit.
You can name any person, trust, charity, or organization as a beneficiary. By keeping this form up to date, CCPF can follow your wishes as far as whom you want to receive your $1,000 death benefit.
Complete a New Designation of Beneficiary Form When You Retire
You should fill out a new Designation of Beneficiary form when you retire, to make sure your beneficiary information is up to date. The fastest and easiest way for you to complete a new form is by downloading the form online and either mailing it to our office or dropping it off in person.
Applying for a Death Benefit
- CCPF is Notified of Your Passing
- Someone (usually the beneficiary) will need to inform CCPF by calling (312) 603-1200 or by completing the Report a Death form online to start the process.
- Information Required by Your Surviving Spouse or Child
- CCPF will ask a series of questions and require necessary documentation from anyone who may be eligible for Spouse or Child Annuity benefits. Please refer to:
- If there is a surviving spouse, he/she will need to complete a Spouse Annuity application.
- If there is no surviving spouse, CCPF will then refer to the Designation of Beneficiary form on file to determine who is next in line to receive the death benefit.
- Death Benefit Application
- CCPF will mail instructions to the applicant(s) with further information. Please note, death benefit applications are not available online. One must be requested by calling (312) 603-1200 or by completing the Death Notification Form online.
Important Information for Beneficiaries
- Beneficiaries should contact CCPF at (312) 603-1200 to inform us of the passing of a County employee or retiree.
- A copy of the death certificate must be provided.
- By law, the death benefit is subject to federal taxes and therefore CCPF must withhold 10% of the death benefit for pre-payment of federal taxes.
- If the beneficiary resides in Illinois, the death benefit is not subject to Illinois tax. If the beneficiary resides out of state (not in Illinois), the beneficiary should contact their state’s revenue department to determine if the death benefit is taxable in that state.
- If there is no named designated beneficiary(ies) or the beneficiary(ies) predeceased the member, the death benefit will be paid to the estate or paid to next of kin in accordance will the Illinois Rules of Descent and Distribution.
- At year-end, all beneficiaries who receive any portion of the death benefit will receive a 1099-R for tax-reporting purposes.
- “Please be advised that any pension payment issued after the date of death is not due to the annuitant and will need to be returned to CCPF. We will attempt to reverse the direct deposit and/or will place a stop on any check issued after the date of death.