Here is the text of an e-mail circulating around the internet:
Salary of retired US Presidents …………..$180,000 FOR LIFE
Salary of House/Senate ………………………$174,000 FOR LIFE
Salary of Speaker of the House …………..$223,500 FOR LIFE
Salary of Majority/Minority Leaders …… $193,400 FOR LIFE
Average Salary of Soldier DEPLOYED IN AFGHANISTAN $38,000
Average income for SOCIAL SECURITY seniors $12,000
None of the salaries for members of Congress are for life. However, they may earn a pension.
In fact, the retirement benefits received by former Presidents include a pension, Secret Service protection (for ten years), and reimbursements for staff, travel, mail, and office expenses. The Presidential pension is not a fixed amount, rather it matches the current salary of Cabinet members (or Executive Level I personnel), which is $191,300/year as of March, 2008. That figure is 47.8% of the President’s salary, not overly generous by any means. You may not like or agree with any given President, but you have to agree that it is not an easy job and one that takes its toll on all who hold it.
The average workers Social Security benefit as of September 2011 is $14,196 (plus 50% more if married) and of course does not include other sources of income (or other assets) beyond Social Security.
Members of Congress do participate in the federal pension system, contribute into the system and are vested in the benefit after five years of service. Therefore, a member of the House of Representatives would have to be re-elected twice to become vested in a pension. By law the pension cannot exceed 80% of pay (which would require a substantial period of congressional service). Here are some facts about actual Congressional pensions from about.com
According to the Congressional Research Service, 413 retired Members of Congress were receiving federal pensions based fully or in part on their congressional service as of Oct. 1, 2006. Of this number, 290 had retired under CSRS and were receiving an average annual pension of $60,972. A total of 123 Members had retired with service under both CSRS and FERS or with service under FERS only. Their average annual pension was $35,952 in 2006.
- The 28th Amendment – get your facts straight (quinnscommentary.com)