Ousted Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan collected his first public pension check March 24 for $7,093, or $85,117 a year, but he won’t have to worry about it becoming a fixed income.

A year from July Madigan’s state pension shoots up to $148,955 thanks to a pension sweetener no longer available to state lawmakers. That 75% bump results from a provision that once allowed lawmakers to “bank” 3% cost-of-living increases while still working for each year of service after 20 years or age 55, whichever comes first. Madigan “banked” 25 years of increases, according to the General Assembly Retirement System.

Because Madigan, 78, retired after Jan. 1, he will receive the benefits boost starting July 1, 2022. The sweetener will also allow former Senate President John Cullerton to retire with a pension that will spike to $128,000 just a couple of years into retirement. The perk was discontinued for lawmakers elected after 2002.

Author(s): Brad Weisenstein

Publication Date: 6 April 2021

Publication Site: Illinois Policy Institute