Leaving Employment

Overview

Leaving Employment

When you leave employment with CPS or a charter school, you must decide how to manage the pension assets you have accumulated with the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund (CTPF). There are three primary options when leaving employment:

  • Retire. You may retire with a pension, if you meet age and vesting requirements.
  • Defer your pension. You may leave your pension assets at CTPF until you reach retirement age.
  • Accept a refund of contributions. Contributions may be rolled over into another qualified retirement plan or paid to you. When you accept a refund, you forfeit all future benefits and will need to submit a Refund Application (CTPF Forms 804-840). Download the Refund of Contributions information sheet to learn more.

Required Minimum Distribution

As a qualified defined benefit plan, CTPF is subject to certain requirements of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), including the Required Minimum Distribution Rule (RMD) under Section 401(a)(9). This requires members who are no longer employed by Chicago Public Schools, Charter schools, or any other retirement or pension fund within the Illinois Reciprocal System to begin receiving monthly pension payments, or take a refund of contributions, by April 1st of the year following the year the member turns age 70 ½ or permanently ceases covered employment, whichever is later. The Internal Revenue Service may impose a 50% excise tax on the amount distributed to the member for failure to start benefits when required.

Download the Leaving Employment information sheet for detailed information on your options when leaving employment. To schedule a time to discuss your options with a CTPF representative, please contact Member Services, 312-641-4464.