Municipal Employees' Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago

A Pension Trust Fund of the City of Chicago

FAQ

Benefits Frequently Asked Questions

A: The MEABF pays out benefits consistent with the Illinois Pension Code. Unlike private defined benefit pension plans insured by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., there is no entity that insures the MEABF’s ability to make benefit payments. The MEABF’s sole sources of funds to make benefit payments are (i) employee contributions; (ii) employer contributions and (iii) investment returns.

A: The amount that is owed to the Fund is mainly due to either an error in a salary deduction made by your payroll department or an overpayment of a prior benefit (usually a disability benefit). Historically, for errors in salary deductions, the balance owed is recouped at the time of retirement or separation from service. For disability, an overpayment is recovered by reducing future disability payments, or recouped at the time of retirement or separation from service.

A: THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS WILL BE REQUIRED:

  • Proof of resignation
  • Copy of Driver’s License or State I.D. Card
  • Copy of Social Security card (for you and your spouse)
  • Marriage certificate if you are currently married
  • Divorce decree or death certificate of spouse if you are divorced or widowed (from all marriages)
  • Copy of your Medicare card (and of your spouse if eligible) if you elect to continue Health Insurance and you are Medicare eligible
  • Birth certificate for employee
  • Birth certificate for spouse

A: The last day of the month is normally the best day to resign. Annuity benefits are paid on the 1st day of the month for the full month. No annuity is paid for a partial month.

EXAMPLE 1 – Resignation date – June 30. Your first annuity payment will be for the month of July. Your first payment would arrive on or about September 1st and would cover the months of July, August and September.

EXAMPLE 2 – Resignation date – July 1. Your first annuity payment will be for the month of August. No annuity payment would be issued for the month of July. Your first payment would arrive on or about September 1st and would cover the months of August and September.

A: The requirements to be eligible for a monthly pension based on the minimum formula (2.4% of Final Average Salary per year accrual rate) are:

  • 30 years of service, payable at age 50 or greater
  • 20 years of service, payable at age 55 or greater
  • 10 years of service, payable at age 60 or greater.
  • Reduced pension if retirement is earlier than age 60 with less than 25 years

The requirements for a money purchase annuity are 10 years of service payable at age 55 or later, or any service if withdrawal occurs on or after age 60.

A: To obtain a refund of your contributions after your resignation from service, you must complete a refund application. A copy of your department approved Resignation/Termination Letter, Driver’s License or State I.D. and Social Security Card will be required. Processing of your application will generally take six to eight weeks (after your resignation date), provided all of the necessary paperwork has been received. To request that a refund application be sent to you, please call 312-236-4700.

Please note: If you are age 55 or over with 10 years of service, or if you are age 60 or over with any number of years of service, you qualify for a monthly annuity. If your annuity is $800.00 or more per month, you will not be eligible for a refund, but will instead receive a monthly annuity.

A: A member cannot borrow money from their contributions nor can they receive a refund of contributions based on hardship. To receive a refund of your contributions, you must resign your position.

A: A member cannot borrow money from their contributions nor can they receive a refund of contributions based on hardship. To receive a refund of your contributions, you must resign your position.

A: By law, all members, whether married or not married, must contribute for a spouse’s annuity until resignation from service. However, if you are unmarried on your resignation from service date, your contributions toward a spouse’s annuity will be refunded to you.

A: All questions regarding vacation and sick time should be directed to your employer’s payroll department.

A: If you are currently working and contributing to MEABF, you must notify your payroll department of any address change and the payroll department will notify the Fund. If you are on a leave of absence, or have resigned your position but have not yet applied for a benefit with the Fund, you will need to send written notification of your address change to the Fund.

A: To ensure that our staff can better serve you, we require that you schedule an appointment. Hours for appointments are Monday through Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.. Please call us at 312-236-4700 to set up an appointment.

A:

A funding ratio compares a Plan’s assets to their projected liabilities. A plan that is 100% funded has accumulated $1 of assets for every $1 of projected liability. This type of plan would be referred to as being fully funded. A plan that has a ratio under this amount, would be referred to as under funded and a plan exceeding 100% would be over funded. Normally, a plan is considered well funded if it is at least 90% funded.

A: Revenues of the Plan are provided from three sources:

  1. Member contributions
  2. Employer contributions
  3. Investment income

Members contribute 8.5% of their salary, which is distributed towards the cost of their potential retirement benefit (6.5%), a benefit for their spouse (1.5%) and towards the costs of future increases (0.5%). If a member leaves the service of the City or Board of Education and is eligible to a refund, they will receive back their contributions plus interest (3% per annum). Member contributions normally make up 15 to 20% of total revenues over a year.

The employer contributes an amount that is dictated by the Illinois Pension Code. For MEABF, the employer is responsible for contributing 1.25 times the amount the member contributed two years prior. Employer contributions normally make up 15 to 20% of total revenues over a year.

Investment income is generated by the investment of the Plan’s reserves. The income is comprised of dividends on stocks, interest on bonds, and gains on the investment assets. Investment income normally makes up 60 to 70% of total revenues over a year.

A: MEABF is governed in accordance with the requirements of the Illinois Pension Code. The Plan is administered by a five person Retirement Board (the Board) made up of three members elected by the active membership of the Plan and two ex-officio members selected by the Mayor of the City of Chicago by job title; the Comptroller and Treasurer of the City. The Board has a fiduciary responsibility to ensure all decisions made are in the best interest of the membership.

 

A: Similar to social security, a defined benefit plan is a plan where an employee is able to vest a defined retirement benefit, which is achieved by earning a required amount of qualified work history and attaining the necessary retirement age. A member of MEABF normally has earned the right to receive an undiscounted benefit under the following circumstances:

  1. 10 years of service at 60 years of age
  2. 25 years of service at 55 years of age
  3. 30 years of service at 50 years of age

A: The Municipal Employees’ Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago (MEABF) is a governmental defined benefit plan established under Illinois State law to provide annuity benefits for certain municipal employees of the City of Chicago and career service employees of the Chicago Board of Education. The Fund is a qualified 401(a) plan under the Internal Revenue Code.

Customer Service Phone Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 AM until 4:00 PM (312) 236-4700