Tier 1 vs. Tier 2 Pensions

The Illinois legislature adopted a different set of pension vesting requirements for CTPF members who join on or after January 1, 2011. Members who joined prior to this date are considered Tier 1. Members who join after January 1, 2011, are considered Tier 2.

The pension calculation for both tiers remains the same, but the retirement age and method for calculating the final average salary have been changed. Additionally, the salary used in the calculation of a pension has been capped for Tier 2. These changes do not apply to members who earned service credit before January 1, 2011.

The chart below summarizes the differences in calculating benefits for Tier 1 and Tier 2 employees.

Benefit Tier 1: Members who joined CTPF or a qualified reciprocal system before January 1, 2011 Tier 2: Members who join CTPF on or after January 1, 2011

Retirement age for a pension without a reduction

  • 62 with 5 years of service
  • 60 with at least 20 years of service
  • 55 with at least 33.95 years of service

67 with 10 years of service

Retirement age for a reduced pension

55 with 20 years of service

62 with 10 years of service

Final Average Salary calculation

Average of 4 highest consecutive years in the 10 years preceding retirement

Average of 8 highest consecutive years in the 10 years preceding retirement

Pensionable Earnings Cap


Final average salary used to calculate pensions capped at $116,740.42 in 2021. The cap increases by 3% or one-half of the increase in Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the preceding year, whichever is lower.

Annual Pension Increase

3% of pension compounded annually, beginning 1 year after retirement, or at age 61, whichever occurs later.

3% or 1/2 of any increase in the CPI for the preceding year, beginning 1 year after retirement or at age 67, whichever occurs later.

Survivor Pensions

50% of the retired member's retirement annuity; surviving spouse must be age 50 or have surviving minor children.

66 2/3% of the retired member's pension at date of death.

66 2/3% of the earned annuity of the unretired member; no age reduction.