Presidential Pensions

According to, not all fifty states celebrate President's Day but instead acknowledge George Washington (1st U.S. President) and Abraham Lincoln (16th U.S. President) with two separate holidays. (Click here for a visual history for each leader.) Whatever February 18, 2008 represents to you, here's the scoop on pensions for presidents.

  • The Internet Public Library reports that pensions paid to U.S. Presidents vary according to the "current salary of Cabinet members."
  • In 1998, the National Taxpayers Union estimated then President Bill Clinton's cumulative pension at over $6 million if he "lives to the age of 81.4 years." In comparision, they estimated the lifetime pension amounts for earlier predecessors as follows: Jimmy Carter, $4.15 million; Ronald Reagan, $2.28 million; George Bush, $2.96 million.
  • Many U.S. Presidents will receive income from state or local coffers, reflecting other offices held before moving to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
  • In January 2008, the Congressional Research Service issued a report that details all sorts of goodies owed to former Presidents. Click to read "Former Presidents: Federal Pension and Retirement Benefits" by Stephanie Smith.
  • Harry Truman was the first U.S. President to receive monies under the Former Presidents Act of 1958, though benefits were applied retroactively. When he left office, he had only his Army pension of $112.56 per month. Under this new law, he would receive $25,000 per year in retirement benefits.

If you have any interesting tidbits to share about Presidential pensions, drop us a line.

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