H.R. 1496 would decrease the pensions of former Presidents and effectively eliminate their allowances for staff, office space, and related expenses. The bill would apply only to Presidents who leave office after the date of enactment.
Under current law, Presidents who leave office will receive an annual pension of between $220,000 and $280,000. The bill would reduce those amounts, which are considered direct spending, by about $20,000 in each year over the 2019-2029 period. In total, those provisions would reduce direct spending by less than $500,000 over the next 10 years, CBO estimates.
Former Presidents also may receive an allowance from the General Services Administration to pay for staff, office space, and related expenses. H.R. 1496 would limit that allowance to $200,000 per year. That limit would be reduced by $1 for every dollar over $400,000 that those former Presidents earned in the previous year. Assuming that those future former Presidents will earn enough to reduce the maximum allowance to zero and based on the average allowances former Presidents now receive, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 1496 would reduce costs by $2 million over the 2020-2024 period. Any reduction in spending would depend on future appropriations being reduced by the estimated amounts.