How much do US senators earn?

Relative to the general public, senators earn a fairly generous salary

Like most working Americans, members of Congress earn an annual salary each year.

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Members of the U.S. Senate receive $174,000 each year -- a figure that hasn't been changed since 2009. In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, and every year since then, lawmakers have voted against raising their own salaries.

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Senate majority and minority leaders -- in this case, Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., -- as well as the president pro tempore, Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa., earn $193,400 per year. Members of Congress do not receive salaries beyond their terms of office.

Relative to the general public, senators earn a fairly generous salary. The median income for a 60-year-old (the average age of the U.S. Senate is 61) is about $54,756 per year.

Senators also receive other benefits, including health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Most receive their retirement plan through the Federal Employees' Retirement System. Members are only eligible to collect a pension at the age of 62 if they have served for five years or longer.

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In 2018, a total of 299 members had retired with service on the FERS and were collecting an average annual pension of $41,208.

Members are allowed to deduct, for income tax purposes, living expenses up to $3,000 per year, while away from their congressional districts or home states.

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Senators also have an allowance that covers things like office expenses, staff, mail and district office rental. In 2017, each member received $944,671 for personnel. The amount they receive for official office expenses and mail varies among members due to several reasons, including the distance between the senator's home office and the Capitol.

The average appropriation is about $3.3 million.

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