Members: FAQs

Is the Fund protected or insured by any other entity?

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.

Why does my annual contribution statement show an amount owed to the Fund?

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.

I am unable to work due to illness. What do I need to do to receive Disability Benefits from the Fund?

You will need to complete a Disability Application with the  Fund. You will also need to apply for a leave of absence with  your department. Processing time is generally six to eight weeks  after a complete application is received. Disability checks are  issued on the last business day of each month. To request an  application, contact the disability department at 312-236-4700,  at extension 2131.
 

What documents will I be required to provide when I apply for my retirement annuity?

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
Is there a best time of the month to retire?

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.

When am I eligible to retire and receive a monthly pension?

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.

What do I need to do to receive a refund of my contributions?

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.

Can I borrow from my contributions or withdraw my contributions for reason such as hardship?

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.

I am not married, so why am I contributing for a spouse annuity?

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.

Who do I call regarding my vacation and sick time?

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

How do I change my address with MEABF?

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.
 

Do I need to make an appointment to meet with a benefits counselor or application processor?

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.

What type of pension fund is MEABF?

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.

Thinking About Retiring?

The annuity calculator allows you to enter data to calculate an unofficial projection of your estimated Municipal Employees' Annuity and Benefit Fund (MEABF) retirement benefit.

Have You Returned to Work or Are You Considering Returning to Work?

Annuitants currently collecting a pension from the MEABF may not return to work for an employer who contributes to the MEABF in any capacity.Please contact the Fund's Annuitant Services team immediately if you have returned to work or if you have questions.