Back when the proposal to limit pensions plus personal retirement savings first surfaced, I got numbers from Vanguard Annuity Access and came up with a value of more than $6.6 million for Obama’s retirement package (see calculations below). Because the Treasury is still using a $3.4 million figure for the limit, I felt no need to recalculate my numbers for the president’s package.
Presidents, by law, get pensions equal to the salary of a Cabinet officer, currently about $200,000 a year. The pension payout would rise over time, as Cabinet salaries do, making it far more valuable than a lifetime $210,000 annuity.
In addition to the unfairness of limiting savings, this proposal would produce a paperwork nightmare. Not to mention the problem of what happens if a married couple goes through a death or a divorce. Or a single person has a late-in-life marriage.