Retirement Planning Guide written by “A Member Who’s Made It”

A GUIDE TO RETIREMENT by “A Member Who’s Made It”

The following information should help guide you through the process of retiring from the Chicago Police Department.  This process has several different locations which you need to visit to complete your retirement.

Before you submit your electronic PAR form for retirement you should:

  1. Attend one of the departments’ retirement seminars. The information provided could help you understand the retirement process.
  2. Check with IAD; inquire if there are any outstanding CL (CR) numbers which might affect your retirement.
  3. Call the Pension board and inquire as to the amount of lost time (suspensions, leaves of absences, etc.) which can change your time of service, resulting in a possible reduction of your annuity.
  4. Visit the Chicago Police Pension Board website; scroll down and select retirement calculator. Complete the calculator to get a fairly good estimate of the amount of annuity (pension) you would be receiving. You can change the effective date as needed to see if staying longer is beneficial.

After you have decided to retire, complete the electronic PAR form located on the clear system under Human Resources and wait for it to be accepted by Human Resources, might take a day. Be aware if you are planning to use the current contractually provided medical benefit, either the 55-59 or age 60 and over, you need to provide the department with at least 30 days’ notice of retirement.

Now you need to complete the following steps:

  1. Print a copy of the approved PAR form.
  2. Make an appointment with your exempt level Commander for an exit interview. The commander will date and sign the exit interview form. The commander also will provide an ethics form that you need to sign. If you have the IROCC verification form you can have the commander sign that too.
  3. Make an appointment with Human Resources. Give them the original copy of the signed exit interview and a copy of the approved PAR form. Human Resources will complete the exit interview form and have you fill out another form. They will also time stamp your approved exit form and Par form.  Human Resources will inform you of the process to turn in any equipment, your star, shield and ID card on your retirement date. They will give you copies of the time stamped forms.
  4.  Make an appointment with the Pension board; PAX 0357 or bell (312) 744-3891, to complete the annuity (pension) process. You will need a copy of the stamped exit interview and Par form and certified copies of any marriages or divorces, including any divorces that have occurred before you were employed by the City of Chicago, birth certificates of your spouse and any children. These must be original forms that have a seal. Also, if you want direct deposit of your annuity checks, (highly recommended) you need to fill out a direct deposit form and have your bank (Credit Union, etc.) notarize and complete the form. This direct deposit form is available on the Pension board website under retired members then select forms.
  5. If you are a member of the deferred compensation plan you need to call Nationwide, our deferred compensation administrators, (312) 443-1975, if you are planning on deferring any of your buyout money, (again highly recommended). Buyout money is unused vacation, PD or BFD days and your first payment of any compensatory time. Currently, deferring this money will save you having to pay state tax. This does not include a refund of the widow’s pension (if not married) as this can be deferred in addition to any buyout money.  
  6. On the date of retirement, you need to turn in your equipment, i.e. gas mask etc. which has been assigned to you on the first floor of headquarters. They will issue a receipt. Bring the receipt, your star, shield and ID to Human Resources and they will complete the retirement process. You will be issued a new ID card with a new picture, and a temporary retirement star. Your permanent retirement star has to be ordered and will take several weeks to arrive.

Now for the bad news:

  1. According to Human Resources any buyout money owed you will be in the form of a hard check, no direct deposit, and it can be picked up in person or they will mail it to you via certified mail. The check might not be available for 6-8 weeks after you retire. The department needs to audit the last three years of your work attendance records. They will issue a report on how much compensatory, vacation, personal or baby furlough days that you are entitled to. Obtain a copy of this report with your buyout check. This report will show your staggered compensatory payout as well.
  2. Also, it may take 4-6 weeks to receive your new insurance cards. Your current cards will expire on the first day of retirement, and your doctor or pharmacy might not accept them, requiring you to pay in full and then seek reimbursement. So if you have any doctor appointments or medicine supplies you will need, it is suggested that you make appointments before you retire or schedule them at least two months after your date of retirement. Fill any prescriptions before you retire.
  3. The Illinois Retired Officer Concealed Carry Act, IROCC, under bill H.R. 218 allows officers who have retired under good standing with at least 10 years of service to carry their weapons concealed. There are forms to fill out one of which requires verification from an exempt member of the department. If this form wasn’t provided to you during your exit interview it is suggested that you go to the website, and download the forms.

Disclaimer: Verify the accuracy of this information before acting upon it. The information provided above is correct when written (May 2016), but not guaranteed as procedures and policies might change.

May your retirement be happy, healthy and last a long time. Enjoy your retirement as you have earned it!

Author: Ed Wodnicki

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