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Daley’s Pension Plan Renews Calls For Reform

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Mayor Richard M. Daley

Mayor Richard M. Daley talks about achievements on the city’s West Side at Union Park. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (WBBM) – There are renewed calls for changes in the way government pensions are funded in Illinois, following a report on the kind of pensions Mayor Richard M. Daley is in line for.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports, two weeks from Tuesday, Mayor Daley will begin collecting government pensions totaling nearly $184,000 a year.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports

WBBM 780 reported first last week that more than $117,000 of the mayor’s pension will come from the State of Illinois pension system, and $66,000 will come from the City of Chicago pension fund.

The mayor has chosen to obtain his government pension under the Illinois Retirement Systems Reciprocal Act.

In other words, all his government service is being combined into one lump—nearly 40 years, instead of getting separate pensions from every government body he worked for.

In 1991, Daley transferred his nearly 7.5 years of service credit as Cook County state’s attorney and more than $98,000 in contributions to the General Assembly Retirement System.

The mayor is also taking advantage of a rule that was in effect for legislators in office before 1994 which allows him to base his state pension on his last government salary. In this case, it’s based on his $216,000 salary as mayor of Chicago.

Jim Tobin, president of National Taxpayers United Illinois, says it’s unfair to put the burden of paying for Daley’s and other government workers’ pensions on state income tax payers and Chicago property tax payers.

Tobin said it appeared that Mayor Daley will celebrate his retirement by “retiring in luxury as he enjoys his double-dipping pension.”

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