Dr. Anthony Fauci is the Chief Medical Advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Thanks to these jobs, Fauci is consistently the highest paid federal employee every year. And whenever he retires, the 81-year-old will ride off into the sunset with the largest retirement package ever paid by the US federal government.
In normal base salary, every year Dr. Fauci earns more than the president and anyone else on the federal payroll. His most recently available annual salaries are from 2018, 2019, and 2020, during which he reportedly earned $399,625, $417,608, and $434,312, respectively. The President of the United States earns a base salary of $400,000.
The US government offers retirement plans that are calculated using a percentage of the average of the retiree’s three highest-earning years. For Fauci that means if he had retired at the end of 2020 he’d be eligible for a federal pension of $333,745 per year, plus annual cost-of-living increases. If we assume roughly proportionate rate-of-pay increases for 2021 and 2022, his pension will be even higher.
There are other payments on top of the base pension. There’s a benefit for unused sick leave, for instance, as well as an annuity valued at “2 percent of [their] high-3 average salary for each year” after ten years of work with the government. Fauci has worked in some capacity or another for the government for nearly 55 years, which would naturally qualify him for this annuity, which if he retired today would be worth almost $9,000 per year.
Despite all that, Fauci has said he has no plans to retire until COVID-19 is completely and unambiguously under control. As he recently said during a press conference:
“I’m going to keep doing that until this COVID-19 outbreak is in the rearview mirror, regardless of what anybody says about me, or wants to lie and create crazy fabrications because of political motivations[.]”
You might assume that Fauci came about his lofty salary as a result of is increased visibility during the pandemic, but actually he received a “permanent pay adjustment” way back in 2004 under the Bush administration. This bumped his salary from the $200,000 range to $335,000 a year, and that salary has continued to grow on a yearly basis ever since.