At the beginning of Mayor Daley’s reign at city hall, a succession of heart attacks killed three Chicago aldermen within several months. Many of their colleagues signed a tribute letter honoring them, but also taking the vulnerable moment to ask for a better pension.
That set in motion a series of little known changes to the state's pension code that gave aldermen a chance to pay-in for a better retirement than most of the city's full time workers, even though legally, alderman isn’t considered a full-time job.
During this WGN-Chicago Tribune investigation, we pored over thousands of documents to learn how good that pension is. It meant alderman can now retire with 80 percent of their highest salary after 20 years on the job. Compare that to a cop or firefighter? It takes them more than 29 years to get 75% of their best four years’ average salary.
Watch what happens when we try to ask the dean of the Chicago City Council Ed Burke if that's a fair deal for the rank and file and taxpayers.
Aldermen to reap generous pensions
WGNTV/Chicago Tribune pension investigation
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