Understanding the Furlough Service and Earnings Credit and Your Eligibility

This spring, the Illinois General Assembly passed an amendment to the Cook County article of the Illinois Pension Code that allows employees to purchase service and earnings credit when they were on furlough or had a salary reduction from December 1, 2017 through November 30, 2018 (“Furlough Service and Earnings Credit”). The opportunity to purchase Furlough Service and Earnings Credit is available to all impacted employees, but may only be beneficial to Cook County employee members who are considering retirement in the near term.

Active members retiring or considering retirement in the next four years are the most likely to benefit from this change and should contact the Fund if they think they are eligible for the Furlough Service and Earnings Credit and want to apply.

To receive this credit, a member must:

  1. Apply. Apply in writing to the Cook County Pension Fund (CCPF) before December 31, 2019. Upon application, you will be provided a written certification form to be completed by your employer confirming you have not been paid back for any furlough days or salary reduction that took place during the Furlough Service and Earnings Credit period (December 1, 2017 to November 30, 2018). Applications to CCPF must be made before December 31, 2019.
  2. Make a payment. Make a check out to CCPF based on the calculation provided by the Fund. This calculation includes your salary amount during the periods of furlough (or salary reduction), the employer’s normal cost, plus 7.25% in interest from the date of furlough (or salary reduction) to the date of payment. Your purchase of the calculated credit is on an after-tax basis. Your payment must be made while you are employed with the County and made within 12 months after the date of your application.

For more information, call (312) 603-1200 or email CCPF at info@countypension.com.

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