Highest Paid Federal Employees

There are more than 70 feds who make more money than the President, and they all have the same job title.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, who garnered fame during the pandemic, recently received media attention for his high salary, which in turn makes him eligible for the largest federal retirement package in the country’s history. However, he was not the highest-paid member of the federal workforce in 2020. Edward Garay, a Medical Officer for the Veteran’s Health Administration (VHA) in Pittsburgh, earned roughly $30,000 more than Dr. Fauci, who was second on the list.

The 100 Highest Paid Feds

            In 2020, there were 77 workers on the federal payroll that made more than the President, a position that has earned $400,000 annually since 2001. In the top 100, 10 of the individuals made the same amount as the commander-in-chief, and the remaining 13 all made more than $399,500. Looking at the list, it is clear what the most compensated occupation in the government is: Medical Officer. All 100 on the list held this title, and all but 2 worked for the VHA. Dr. Fauci and Dr. Gary Gibbons are second and third on the list respectively, and both work for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Fauci is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and has maintained that position since 1982, having turned down the position of NIH director on multiple occasions. Dr. Gibbons is the director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLB). The highest-paid woman on the list is number 26: Kathryn Holloway.

Here’s a look at the top 5 in 2020:

  1. Edward Garay, VHA, Medical Officer – $464,227
  2. Anthony Fauci, NIH, Medical Officer – $434,312
  3. Gary Gibbons, NIH, Medical Officer – $422,339
  4. Hubert Kim, VHA, Medical Officer – $420,402
  5. Ali Sonel, VHA, Medical Officer – $414,426
Dr. Fauci

A Historic Retirement Package            

While Dr. Fauci might be number two for annual compensation, he is eligible for the biggest retirement package in the government’s history. Despite this, at age 81, the doctor has no plans to retire. Because he has 55 years of service under his belt, it means that he has been working since well before 1982 and is therefore under CSRS. This also puts Dr. Fauci over the 41 year and 11 month mark, which is where the CSRS pension calculation becomes fairly simple: the ”high-3 average salary” multiplied by 80%. If you take Dr. Fauci’s 2020 salary and multiply it by 0.8, the product is $347,449.60, which is probably why many media outlets recently claimed his yearly retirement income from CSRS would be $350,000. Either way, it still creates the largest dollar amount for an individual’s federal retirement.

Until Next Time,

**Written by Benjamin Derge, Financial Planner, ChFEBC℠. The information has been obtained from sources considered reliable but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any opinions are those of Benjamin Derge and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. Links are being provided for information purposes only. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize, or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors.

Highest Paid Federal Employees

Highest Paid Federal Employees