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Enroll

It’s easy to participate in the Cook County Deferred Compensation Plan. You can get started right away.

Start Online Enrollment Now

Not ready to sign up yet? Get more information about how the Plan works and what your options are first.

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If you’re not already investing for retirement, it’s time to get started. Your pension and Social Security benefits (if applicable) may not provide enough retirement income for you to live the way you want to in retirement.

With your deferred compensation plan, you decide when, where and how much to invest. And that’s just the beginning — here are four more reasons why it’s smart to participate in the Plan:

  1. You can start anytime — Your Plan will work for you whether you’re approaching retirement or just getting started saving. This is because time and compounding work together to build momentum for your money. The sooner you start, the more you could have at retirement.
  2. Something is better than nothing — Even a little bit of savings can really add up over time. And if you continue to bump up contributions on a regular basis, the overall impact to your paycheck may not seem too painful. Consider putting raises or bonuses into deferred comp — it's an easy way to save a little more.
  3. This plan is made for you — Unlike other retirement plans, deferred comp takes into account that you may retire sooner than workers in the private sector. So you don't have to worry about paying a penalty for retiring or beginning to take income from the plan before age 59½.
  4. Service you can count on — Nationwide® has non-commissioned, locally-based retirement specialists ready and willing to answer your questions. We’ve been helping public sector employees save for retirement for more than 30 years and our specialists really know their stuff — and it won’t cost you any extra. Information provided by Retirement Specialists is for educational purposes only and not intended as investment or legal advice.

Read more about why Nationwide is right for you.

Get the help you need

The sooner you enroll, the more you can save. Take a look at the Enrollment Checklist for tips on what you'll need to have handy and enroll today.

Start Online Enrollment

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Cook County has selected a wide range of investment options to meet your retirement planning needs. 

View fund performance

Keep in mind that investing involves market risk, including possible loss of principal. As you get started in the plan, we’ll help you understand market risk and strategies that may help you deal with it.

If you get stuck when choosing which funds are right for you, we’re here to help. We offer different levels of assistance so you can get the help you need.

Do it for me

Nationwide ProAccount® is a managed account service, available for an additional fee, designed to help take the guesswork out of retirement investing. With Nationwide ProAccount, your investments are selected for your based on your age and risk tolerance, then monitored and adjusted over time to keep you on track toward your retirement goals. Nationwide ProAccount gives you:

  • Professional management from Wilshire Associates
  • Continuous oversight by Nationwide Investment Advisors, LLC
  • Frequent communications including quarterly statement notification and 24 hour Nationwide telephone support

Contact us today to learn more about Nationwide.

Investment advice for Nationwide ProAccount is provided to plan participants by Nationwide Investment Advisors, LLC ("NIA"), an SEC-registered investment adviser. NIA has retained Wilshire Associates Incorporated ("Wilshire") as the Independent Financial Expert for Nationwide ProAccount, to make the investment decisions for the program. Wilshire is not an affiliate of Nationwide or Nationwide Investment Advisors, LLC (NIA).

Help me do it

If you want to be involved but want some help along the way, consider an asset allocation funds. They’re targeted towards certain risk profiles, so you’ll determine your risk tolerance and then choose the corresponding fund.

I'll do it by myself

If you want to do it on your own, go for it. You can use the My Investment Planner to determine your investor profile and suggest an asset allocation for you. Then check out the funds offered by your employer and their current performance to help you decide. Just remember we’re always here if you have questions.

Get the help you need

Talk to a Retirement Specialist about your investment options.

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It only takes a few minutes to sign up. Here are some things you'll need:  

  • Your employer's name or employer's ID
    • Cook County ID #0035046001
    • Cook County Forest Preserve ID #0035043001
  • Your Social Security number
  • Your annual income
  • Contribution amount
  • Investment selections
  • Beneficiary names and Social Security numbers

Start Enrollment Now

Get the help you need

We can walk you through the enrollment process. If you need help, call one of our Retirement Specialists .

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Deferred Compensation, under IRS Code Section 457, is a supplemental retirement program created to allow public employees like you to put aside money from each paycheck toward retirement. Your Cook County deferred comp plan can help bridge the gap between what you have in your pension and Social Security, and how much you’ll need in retirement.

Here are some answers to questions you may have about deferred comp plans:

  • What sets a 457b apart from other retirement plans? A 457b may offer benefits other retirement plans can’t, like penalty-free withdrawals once you stop working for Cook County.
  • What does tax-deferred mean? Basically, you don’t pay income taxes on Plan contributions or earnings until you retire and/or begin to take payments from your account. This may lower your taxable income now.
  • How much can I put into the Plan? Check out the current contribution limits.

Get the help you need

The sooner you enroll, the more you can possibly save. Take a look at the Enrollment Checklist to see what you’ll need to have handy and enroll today!

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Once you enroll in the Cook County Deferred Compensation Plan, you’ll want to set up online access so you can view account details 24/7. We offer convenient, secure account access with encryption and firewall protection.

Set Up Online Access Now

Here are some things you can do once you have online access to your account:

Manage your account

  • Check your account balance
  • Update your personal information
  • Get current and past statements

Manage your money

  • Verify your contribution dates and amounts
  • Change how much you contribute and how your money is invested
  • Review available investment options, see fund performance and research funds

Get the help you need

If you need help setting up online access, we can walk you through it. Talk to one of our Retirement Specialists today.

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