Pensions and Perks for Former Presidents

The biggest personal benefit that former Presidents are entitled to is an annual pension equal to the pay for a Cabinet Secretary, which is $207,800 in 2017. Widows of former Presidents are eligible for a $20,000 yearly pension.

Retired Presidents are also eligible for additional benefits:

  • Office Space and Staffing Allowances: Starting six months after a President leaves office, the General Services Administration (GSA) provides funding to establish, furnish, and staff an official office anywhere in the U.S.

  • Travel Expenses: Chief Executives and up to two staff members are reimbursed for up to $1 million in costs annually. Spouses of former Presidents also are eligible for up to $500,000 per year for security and official travel.

  • Health Benefits: Provided that they had been enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program for at least five years, former Presidents are eligible for health annuities, similar to all federal employees. (Jimmy Carter is ineligible because he only served a single term and did not hold another federal position.)

  • Funerals: Presidents are guaranteed a ceremony with full honors and the option to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

  • Secret Service Protection: Presidents are eligible for lifetime protection. The related costs are classified.

 

Benefits and Pensions Allowances for Former Presidents: FY 2000 - 2017 (Dollars in Thousands)

President

Total Allowances Received

# of Years Allowances Received from FY 2000-2017

Average per Year

Share of Total Outlays

Gerald Ford

$5,189

8

$649

8%

Jimmy Carter

$10,168

18

$565

16%

Ronald Reagan

$4,190

6

$698

6%

George H.W. Bush

$15,172

18

$843

23%

William Clinton

$19,146

17

$1,126

30%

George W. Bush

$10,493

9

$1,166

16%

Barack H. Obama

$370

1

$370

1%

Total

$64,728

 

 

 



 

FY 2017 Allowances for Former Presidents (Dollars in Thousands)

 

Jimmy Carter

George H.W. Bush

William Clinton

George W. Bush

Barack H. Obama

Personnel Compensation

$0

$96

$96

$96

$29

Personnel Benefits

$0

$82

$98

$98

$38

Pension

$210

$210

$226

$220

$161

Travel

$0

$78

$0

$18

$3

Office Space

$113

$254

$511

$472

$84

Communications

$21

$50

$1

$140

$11

Printing

$7

$9

$22

$40

$6

Other Services

$91

$67

$44

$14

$20

Supplies and Materials

$3

$4

$12

$20

$3

Equipment

$0

$18

$35

$20

$15

Total

$444

$868

$1,045

$1,138

$370


 

FY 2016 Allowances for Former Presidents (Dollars in Thousands)

 

Jimmy Carter

George H.W. Bush

William Clinton

George W. Bush

Personnel Compensation

$0

$96

$96

$96

Personnel Benefits

$0

$65

$119

$90

Pension

$207

$207

$221

$217

Travel

$0

$72

$0

$8

Office Space

$112

$205

$444

$440

Communications

$15

$57

$13

$64

Printing

$7

$8

$17

$14

Other Services

$94

$73

$26

$43

Supplies and Materials

$2

$13

$7

$35

Equipment

$0

$22

$26

$40

Total

$437

$818

$969

$1,047


 

FY 2015 Allowances for Former Presidents (Dollars in Thousands)

 

Jimmy Carter

George H.W. Bush

William Clinton

George W. Bush

Personnel Compensation

$0

$96

$96

$96

Personnel Benefits

$0

$65

$119

$102

Pension

$205

$205

$218

$214

Travel

$0

$56

$0

$10

Office Space

$112

$207

$429

$434

Communications

$15

$60

$11

$80

Printing

$1

$10

$9

$20

Other Services

$96

$62

$31

$64

Supplies and Materials

$1

$10

$3

$28

Equipment

$0

$23

$8

$50

Total

$430

$794

$924

$1,098

Data Sources: U.S. General Services Administration and Congressional Research Service.

NTUF Archive

2017

2016

2013