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Pension’s Perks for Members With a Past

Tonko served nearly 36 years in New York government until 2008, including posts in the state's transportation agency, energy research and development authority, and the State Assembly. He received a pension payment of $65,000 in 2010, according to his financial disclosure report.

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), who began receiving his pension in 1997, received about $14,000 in payments in 2010. He spent a decade in the state Senate as well as serving as Connecticut's attorney general from 1983 to 1989.

Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), who served in the state House from 1981 to 1994 and as lieutenant governor from 1994 to 2002, received $45,000 from her state's pension program in 2010.

Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) has been receiving a pension from the state government for more than 30 years. In 2010 that check was more than $14,800, a number that has steadily climbed since Akaka left his post in the governor's office in 1976.

In addition, numerous Members list retirement annuities — a mix of defined pension programs or newer retirement savings accounts — from similar state service, although they are not yet old enough to trigger payments.

Members of Congress must file annual disclosure reports detailing their assets — such as bank accounts, rental properties, stock holdings and investment accounts — as well as their liabilities. The reports do not require Members to detail other holdings, however, such as personal residences or the amount of a spouse's annual income.

Roll Call's review of pension payments did not include all Members, some of whom have yet to file their annual reports.

Janie Lorber contributed to this report.

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