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Illinois AG: Blagojevich has forfeited state pension benefits

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Sean Crawford used in this report.

Rod Blagojevich has forfeited all his state pension benefits. That's the opinion of Illinois' Attorney General.

The legal opinion likely means Blagojevich won't begin getting checks when he turns 55 this weekend.  The board overseeing the General Assembly Retirement System moved earlier this year to block the payments. 

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan weighed in, saying the acts for which Blagojevich has been sentenced to 14 years in prison occurred during his time as Governor.

Just like his predecessor George Ryan, he loses benefits he had gained during both his time as the state's Chief Executive and a brief stint as a lawmaker in the Illinois House. It's a big loss for Blagojevich, who stood to gain $65,000 a year. 

He is expected to get back money, more than $125,000, he paid in to the system as well as his federal pension for time spent in Congress.  However, that $15,000 per year federal retirement payment won't kick in until he turns 62 years old.

Blagojevich will begin serving prison time in February.

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