United States senators earn an annual salary as well as a benefits package and allowances for certain other expenses and needs. While most senators make the same amount, certain members who hold special titles earn higher salaries.
As of June 2014, the annual salary for most United States senators was $174,000, a number that has been the same since Jan. 1, 2009, according to the Congressional Research Service. The pay rate is frozen though it is possible the salary will increase after 2014.. From 2003 to 2014,, senators saw an increase of $19,300 in annual pay. The president pro tempore of the Senate and the majority and minority leaders for the Senate received an annual salary of $193,400 as of 2014 -- an increase of $21,500 from 2003 to 2011.
Tax Deductions and Benefits
Members of the United States senate may deduct up to $3,000 annually for living expenses while away from their home states as of January 2014. In addition to their annual salaries, United States senators may enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and select a health plan if they choose. They may also enroll in the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Program, under which they pay a fee dependent on how much coverage they select. Senators must contribute to Social Security, and they can choose among different retirement programs under the Civil Service Retirement System and the Federal Employees Retirement System.
Senators receive an administrative and clerical allowance, a legislative assistance allowance and an official office expense allowance. All three of these allowances are combined in the Senator's Official Personnel and Office Expense Account. The total amount depends on the senator's state population, but the average amount was $3,209,103 as of 2013. This money goes to pay for office expenses, legislative assistants and other aspects pertaining to official Senate business. Senators are given additional allowances for office space in their home states, mobile office space, and furniture, furnishings and office equipment in both their Washington, D.C., offices and the offices in their home states.
United States senators are restricted in the amount of money they can make in outside income while serving in the Senate. As of January 2014, senators were limited to 15 percent of their base annual salary in outside income. Senators may not receive compensation for certain activities, including allowing a corporation, firm, partnership or association to use their names, or practicing any profession that involves a fiduciary relationship, meaning holding assets for an individual or company, without approval of the Senate Select Committee on Ethics. Senators have been prohibited from receiving honoraria, monetary compensation for volunteer services or other services that are typically free, since Aug. 14, 1991.
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