Here’s What Your Unused Sick and Vacation Time Could Mean for Your Annuity

Whether you’re gearing up to take a vacation, have just come back from one, or are storing up time for an emergency or the future, here are some things to remember about your unused time as it relates to your retirement.

Vacation time and your service credit

1. You earned it.

2. When you retire, any amount that remains at your separation date (up to the max), will be paid to you by your employer in lump sum with your final paycheck.

3. It’s really yours. Your employer withholds your pension contribution from the amount of unused vacation time paid out to you and as a result, the Cook County Pension Fund (CCPF) credits your service for that time.

Sick time and your service credit

Unlike your unused vacation time, your unused sick time will not be paid out to you upon retirement. You can, however, purchase its worth in service credit by taking the following steps:

1. Request an official letter from your payroll department certifying how much unused sick (and vacation) time you have as of your date of separation from employment. This letter cannot be dated prior to your separation date.

2. Within 30 days of your separation date, bring the certification letter to the CCPF office.

3. From there, we’ll calculate the exact cost for purchasing your time. We calculate how much your unused sick time will cost by multiplying your hourly rate of pay by your pension contribution rate by the number of hours of unused sick time that are reflected in the letter. We’ll also let you know how the additional service credit will help your annuity benefit.

4. Pay the cost required to purchase your service credit. You can pay with a personal check, money order, cashier’s check, or through a transfer from Deferred Compensation. Important: This payment must be made within 30 days of your separation date. 

Learn more about Sick and Vacation Time Service Credit.


This article also appears in the Fall 2018 Employee PensionNotes newsletter.

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