The salary of a Congress member varies based on the job title of the congressman or senator. Most senators, representatives, delegates and the resident commissioner from Puerto Rico make a salary of $174,000 per year. Higher-level positions in Congress make a higher income. For example, the speaker of the House makes $223,500 per year, and the president pro tempore of the Senate, majority leaders and minority leaders in the House and Senate make $193,400 per year.
Benefits for members of Congress
Congressmen and senators receive a wide range of benefits and perks for serving in office. Many of these benefits depend on how long they have served in office and what plans they choose.
Here are some benefits congressmen and senators receive besides their annual salary:
-Members of Congress receive annual allowances that cover the personal expenses of doing their job. This includes expenses for their office, travel, goods and services.
Congressmen and senators purchase their insurance through an Affordable Care Act exchange. 72% of their premiums are covered by a federal subsidy. When they retire, they can qualify for lifetime health insurance under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.
After serving for five years, a member of Congress is eligible for a pension. Their retirement benefits depend on their plan, age and how long they served in Congress. A member of Congress can collect their full pension at the age of 62 or if they are age 50 with 20 years of service. Though it is a common belief that they can earn their full salary amount in retirement, this is not true. They can earn up to 80% of their final salary, though this high percentage is rare.
Congressmen have the perk of free and reserved parking in DC-area airports. They also have various flight perks.
Other sources of income for members of Congress
Members of Congress must follow restrictions for the amount of outside income they can earn while serving in office. Senators and representatives may only earn up to 15% in excess of their annual congressional salary. Federal laws prevent them from earning any income from fiduciary relationships. This rule helps prevent any conflicts of interest within Congress.
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Congress members may earn income from their personal investments since the law considers them “unearned” income. This could include money made from rent, interest or stock dividends. These earnings are not a part of the 15% rule because members in this situation are collecting income on assets they already own.