Mission & History
To provide, protect, and enhance the present and future economic well-being of members, pensioners and beneficiaries through efficient and effective management of benefit programs, investment practices and customer service, and to commit to earning and keeping the respect and trust of the participants through quality service and by protecting retirement benefits, in compliance with applicable laws and standards.
Officially listed as “The Public School Teachers’ Pension and Retirement Fund of Chicago,” CTPF has been providing retirement, survivor, and disability benefits for certain certified teachers and employees of the Chicago Public Schools since 1895.
State Representative William C. Eakins of Chicago introduced a bill to the Illinois legislature “for the purpose of establishing a fund to be used to pension school teachers” on February 16, 1895. The legislation, authored by Charles Thornton, chair of the Chicago Public Schools Board of Trustees, gave the teachers of Chicago permission to establish a self-funded pension system. Pensions for teachers had been discussed in Illinois for decades, but this was the first time that the State legislature had taken action.
The legislation received widespread support and became law on July 1, 1895. The law helped to establish a system which would ensure the financial stability and dignity of teachers in retirement, not just in Chicago, but in the State of Illinois. All did not go well in those early years, but there were those who were committed to keeping the promise alive. Activist Jane Addams was elected President of the Fund in 1905 and immediately set about to reform pension laws to ensure sustainable for all members. In 1907, two bills were passed that set the course for the future: one bill reorganized benefits and granted teachers an elected Board of Trustees, and the second allowed the Board of Education to make contributions to CTPF from interest accumulated on education funds. This was the first time funding for pensions would come from sources other than teachers.
Where once the requests for annuities, refunds, and survivor benefits were handled directly by the Trustees and the Clerk of the Board, today CTPF operates as an independent organization, governed by the Board of Trustees and administered by the Executive Director, to oversee the day to day operations and to assure that benefits continue to be paid out on a timely basis.