Average Salary of United States Senator
The Senators of United States get an annual salary and other benefits package and perks for specific expenses and needs. Though most of the senators earn an equal amount a specific number of them having special titles earn higher salaries.
United States senators earned $174,000, as of January 2012, a figure which has remained the same since January 2009 according to the congressional research service. For the year 2011 and 2012 the pay rate is steady although it is possible that the salary might increase after the year 2012. Senators’ salary was increased to the tune of $19,300 annually from January 2003 to January 2011. The majority and the minority leaders of the Senate and the president pro tempore of the Senate received an annual salary of $193,400 in January 2011 which is an increase of $21,500 from January 2003 to January 2011
Benefits and Tax Deductions
U.S. senators can see a deduction of up to $3,000 per year for the living expenses while living away from their residential states as of January 2011. As an appendage to their yearly salaries the U.S. senators can enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and can have themselves enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and chose a health plan according to their need. They also have an option to enroll in the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Program whereby they have to pay a fee which depends on how much coverage they want to have. They have to contribute to the social security and they can also select various retirement options under the Civil Service Retirement System and the Federal Employees Retirement System.
The Senators are also entitled to the administrative and the clerical allowance. the legislative assistance allowance and the official expense allowance. The Senator’s Official Personnel and Office Expense Account (SOPEA) encompass all these allowances. The population of the Senator’s state determines the total amount, however the average amount was $3,343,867 as of January 2011. This reimbursement is meant for the office expenses, legislative assistants and other facets related to the official state business. Additional allowances for the office space in their home states and mobile office space and furniture is also given to the senators for the Washington D.C., offices and the offices in their home states.
There is a restriction on the US senators regarding the amount of money they can make as a part of extra income during their tenure as a Senator. By January 2011 the senators were limited to just 15 percent of their basic annual salary as the other income. They may not get compensation for other activities which include letting a corporation, an organization, a partnership, an association to take advantage by using their names. Moreover they have to seek the approval of the Senate Select Committee on Ethics before getting involved into a fiduciary relationship. The senators are also barred from receiving monetary compensation and honoraria for the volunteer services or other services which are typically free since Aug 12, 1991.