Immediately after he was elected, President Trump followed through on a campaign promise to forfeit his entire presidential salary of $400,000 per year. The Constitution doesn’t allow the president to reject his earnings, so President Trump began donating his salary to a different charity or organization each quarter.
In stark contrast to President Trump’s charitable donations, in 2008, it was revealed on Barack Obama’s website that Joe Biden and his wife Jill donated a whopping $369/year to charity.
Thanks to Joe and Jill Biden releasing their 2016-2018 tax returns in July 2019, Americans have discovered that “poor old Joe” isn’t so poor after all. Not only are he and Jill cheapskates when it comes to helping others via charitable donations, in addition to their multi-million dollar income, they also collect Social Security.
According to the Casper Star-Tribune – In 2018 — the most recent tax filing that Biden made available as part of his presidential campaign — the couple received $49,545 from Social Security.
This was a drop in the bucket next to the $4.58 million the couple reported in adjusted gross income for 2018. However, the amount the Bidens received in aggregate Social Security benefits is certainly on the upper end of the spectrum. Back in October 2018, the average retired worker was bringing home $1,419.34 a month, which equates to a bit over $17,000 a year in income. Joe and Jill combined were netting well over this average in 2018.
Although Joe Biden’s Social Security benefits take a back seat to his other income sources, the former vice president’s payout nevertheless tells an interesting story.
As you may have already surmised, Joe and Jill Biden’s high income is the primary reason their aggregate benefits received are higher than what the average retired worker or couple gets. The Social Security Administration takes an individual’s 35 highest-earning, inflation-adjusted years into account when calculating their payout at full retirement age.
Because the Bidens earned far more than the average American worker during their lifetime, they receive a higher aggregate payout.
Americans are having fewer children and they’re also living longer, which means fewer people will be putting money into the system and more people will be taking money out. Without making any changes to the system, Americans in their 40s and 50s may never collect their Social Security benefits when it comes time to retire.
Because of these factors, the Social Security Administration estimates in its 2020 Annual Report that all the money in the Social Security “bank account” will be exhausted in 2035.
Former Vice President Joe Biden has spent the past 47 years working as a politician, which means in addition to the potential for making massive amounts of money on speaking engagements and book deals, he’s entitled to a very generous retirement plan.
- A member of Congress retiring with 30 years of service under the CSRS offset plan would get an initial annual benefit of $130,500. However, at age 62 or older, this amount would be reduced by the amount received from Social Security attributable to federal service.
All federal employees in the TSP get a 1 percent contribution from the agency employing them even if they don’t contribute to the plan. This contribution is vested (meaning they can’t be forfeited) after two years of service. Those who contribute to the TSP get a 5 percent match from their employing agency. Members of Congress covered under FERS get this 5 percent match. Those under CSRS do not get the match, but they can contribute up to the limit, which in 2013 is $17,500 ($23,000 for those 50 and older).
Assuming a 7 percent annualized return and, just to keep things simple, a $5,000 annual contribution over 30 years, below are the amounts accumulated by a TSP plan participant paying 0.027 percent a year versus a 401(k) plan participant paying 1 percent a year. Calculations do not include matching contributions.