Being vice president of the United States may not be as stressful as being the POTUS, but the position still comes with a plate full of responsibilities. Typically known as the second-in-command when it comes to the White House’s inner workings, the veep has a lot of day-to-day duties that definitely deserve recognition. But what about compensation? After all, the vice president is a public servant, and everyone’s got to make a living (especially after they retire). So, do vice presidents get paid for life? Here’s how America’s vice presidents are living after working in the White House.
As a public servant — and as president of the Senate — the vice president gets some pretty sweet perks. They have access to their own private plane, live in a gorgeous 19th century home, get their own secret service detail, and more. Aside from that, they also receive a hefty pension payout based on how many years they’ve served in the Senate. To point: After serving 43 years in public office, President Joe Biden received around $1 million in federal pension after he hung up his hat as vice president in 2016. Now that’s a pretty big chunk of change that could last anyone a lifetime.
However, not all former vice presidents have the same spending power once they’re out of office. Former Vice President Mike Pence, who was succeeded by Vice President Kamala Harris in 2021, only served a total of four years as president of the Senate. Now, in 2022, he earns around $85,000 a year from his state and federal pension plans, which amount to a total value of approximately $500,000. While that’s definitely nowhere near $1 million dollars, that’s more money than the average worker in the United States makes in a decade, according to 2020 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Additionally, because the vice president’s office is often viewed as a stepping stone to the presidency, they could get an upgrade in their benefits. Most recently, Biden ascended to the presidency after he won the November 2020 election, and was sworn into office on Jan. 20, 2021. This means that in addition to the benefits he’s already received as vice president, Biden will also receive the presidential retirement package when he leaves the White House (and that’s nothing to sneeze at).
So while being vice president doesn’t necessarily come with all the perks and privileges of being the POTUS, it’s still a pretty sweet deal.