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Former Mayor Daley will get back all of his pension contributions within 26 months

Richard M. Daley | Brian Jackson~Sun-Times

Richard M. Daley | Brian Jackson~Sun-Times

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Updated: June 27, 2011 5:59AM

During the four decades he held public office — as mayor of Chicago, Cook County state’s attorney and Illinois state senator — Richard M. Daley paid a total of $393,679 into his government pension plans.

He’ll get all of it back within 26 months.

Daley, who left office six weeks ago, has begun collecting his pension, which, for now, comes to $183,779 a year. Next year, he’ll start getting automatic cost-of-living raises that will boost his pension by 3 percent every year.

Daley, 69, chose to retire under the state’s most lucrative government pension plan — the one that Illinois legislators set up for themselves. It provides Daley with a pension equal to 85 percent of his final mayoral salary of $216,210. The state pays two-thirds of his pension. The city — which also is providing the former mayor and his wife with two cars and bodyguards — picks up the rest.

While collecting his government pension — one of the highest ever for any retired elected official in Illinois — Daley also is involved in three new ventures in the private sector. He’s joined the law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman, which was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars on city deals while Daley was mayor. He’s also been hired to organize a lecture series at the University of Chicago. And he’s opened an office with his son, Patrick Daley, to work on business deals.

Tim Novak

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