What does the Vice President make in retirement?

As the second-in-command, the US vice president is expected to receive a good pension payout in retirement. Find out what the vice president makes in retirement.

3 min read

The Vice President is the second highest-ranked officer of the US federal government and is elected on a joint ticket with the president. The person who occupies this office ranks first in the line of succession and would assume the position of the president if the president dies, resigns, or is impeached. Once the vice president leaves office, he/she is entitled to various benefits in retirement.

The vice president receives a pension based on their position as the president of the senate, and the years they served in public office. According to Forbes, Joe Biden earned a $1 million federal pension when he retired as vice president in 2016, based on his 43 years in public office. Mike Pence, the former vice president who retired in 2021, earns approximately $85,000 annually from state and federal pensions- the pensions have a combined value of $500,000.

Does the US vice president get a pension?

The US vice president earns a pension based on their role as the president of the senate. This means that a retired vice president earns the same pension as other members of the US Congress, but based on their years of service. Before 1997, vice presidents who served for one term and had less than 5 years in federal service were not entitled to a pension.

After retiring as vice president in 2016, Forbes reported that Joe Biden earned $1 million in federal pension for his 43 years in public service. Mike Pence, who retired as vice president in 2021, earns approximately $85,000 annually in state and federal pension. The pension is valued at approximately $500,000, which pushes him to the millionaire's club.

How much does the vice president earn annually?

The vice president earns $235,100, and the remuneration is based on the Government Salary Reform Act of 1989. This act provides an automatic cost-of-living adjustment of salaries of federal employees.

In 2019, the vice president at the time, Mike Pence, earned $230,700, and this pay was scheduled to increase to $243,500 after the expiration of the vice president’s pay freeze. However, the freeze was not entirely lifted, and the vice president received a 1.9% pay raise to the current salary of $235,100. The increase was applied to all federal workers.

Perks of being the vice president

As the second-in-command in the federal government, the US vice president has access to various perks and benefits. Here are the perks of being the US vice president:

Air force two

When the vice president is on official travel, they fly in a modified Boeing 757 plane. The term "Air Force Two" is only used as a radio call signal when the vice president is flying the plane. There are multiple Boeing 757 planes that are modified for the needs of the vice president, and they are fitted with phones, copy machines, an official stateroom, and a bed.

Number one observatory circle

While the US President has the White House, the vice president has the Number One Observatory Circle. The magnificent home was built in 1893, and it only became the vice president's residence in 1977 after Congress commissioned its renovation.

Military aircrafts

The vice president is entitled to government-paid travel while on official business. The VP can use Air Force helicopters when traveling within the country or when on international duty. The VP's spouse can also use the military aircraft while on official travel as the VP's representative.

Armored cars

When traveling via road, the vice president travels in a motorcade that is heavily armored and bullet-proof, but smaller in size than the president's motorcade. Also, the VP’s limos are smaller than the president’s limo, commonly known as “The Beast.”

Secret service protection

When the vice president assumes office, he/she is under secret service protection. The VP’s immediate family also gets secret service protection. When the vice president’s term expires, they may get temporary secret service protection for an additional six months after leaving office.

President of the senate

The vice president also has a role in the legislative arm of government as the president of the Senate. In this role, the vice president can preside over senate proceedings at any time but is not entitled to vote except to break a tie.

As the president of the senate, the VP receives the electoral votes. The electoral votes are counted in the joint session of the Congress and the House of Representatives

Official office

The vice president has access to at least four office spaces. The primary office is in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building that is adjacent to the White House. The VP also has access to the Vice President’s Room in the Senate Wing of the Capitol and the West Wing in the White House. There is also another office in the vice president’s official residence.

Pension plan after retirement

Although the VP does not automatically receive a pension based on the VP's office, the pension earned is based on their position as the president of the senate and the years served in public office.

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