While the private sector has traditionally paid more during working years, it's clear that over a lifetime, the public sector is catching up, if not surpassing the private sector.
The Daily Herald looked at recent pension plans and overall, pensions are creeping up to the levels retirees were paid when they were in the work force. In a growing number of cases, public sector pensions reach the six-figure level.
The average 2013 pension was $31,674 for retirees in nine statewide and metropolitan Chicago public pension systems for government workers, teachers, legislators, judges and university professors, a Daily Herald analysis shows. That's 60 percent of the $55,120 average salary for pension fund members who are still working.
Ten years ago, the average pension was less than half of the average salary.