Former Vice President Mike Pence hasn’t been shy about his views on Social Security. With possible Social Security program reforms a hot topic, Pence believes this should be a talking point for the next election.
Pence dropped out of the presidential race in October, so he might not have a big say in any solution. While there’s still plenty of time to see which direction this election heads in and what the next president does about Social Security, it makes us wonder how much Pence would earn if he were taking benefits now.
Pence’s Social Security Benefits
The 64-year-old Pence is eligible for Social Security, although it is unknown whether he has begun receiving benefits. The full retirement age is 67, but he could have started taking payments at age 62, when about 23% of men typically do, according to data from the Social Security Administration.
The maximum benefit for those who began collecting at 62 in 2023 is $2,572.
Social Security benefits are calculated based on that specific person’s earnings history and the age at which they choose to state claiming benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) determines the maximum Social Security benefit, and this figure is adjusted based on inflation and various other factors.
While you can start claiming Social Security benefits as of 62, most who have done financial planning for retirement know that if you wait until 70 you can max out your monthly benefit amount. The maximum benefit is $4,555 in 2023.
Pence’s Net Worth
According to Forbes and Celebrity Net Worth, Pence is estimated to have a net worth of $4 million. As vice president, Pence earned a salary of $235,100 per year. Before this position as VP, Pence’s primary source of income was his salary as the governor of Indiana from 2013 to 2017. Prior to becoming a governor, Pence was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013.
Pence has seen his income skyrocket since leaving office. From the beginning of 2022 to June of this year, Pence has brought in $3.4 million from speaking gigs, according to Forbes. He also earned another $1.4 million from an advance on his 2022 book, “So Help Me God.”
On top of his investments and speaking engagements, Pence also has money coming from government pensions. Due to his 12 years in the House and time as vice president, Pence is eligible to receive an estimated $62,750 annually from the federal government until he dies.
Pence also earns a state pension from his four years as governor of Indiana, which is equal to about 40% of his $112,000 salary in his final year. It’s believed that this state pension is valued at $430,000 today. With all of this income, it doesn’t appear that Pence is in a situation where he needs to rely on Social Security any time soon.
Politicians and Social Security
Before 1984, federal service employees and members of Congress never paid into Social Security, which meant they weren’t eligible for benefits, according to the Congressional Research Service. Then Congress changed the Social Security system in 1984, and members of Congress became automatically included in the Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS). The system includes Basic Benefits, Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) and Social Security.
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