If Dr. Anthony Fauci ever decides to call it quits, the White House chief medical adviser will walk away with a golden parachute worth up to $350,000 per year — the largest federal retirement package ever, according to a report by Forbes.
The eye-popping amount reportedly does not include annual cost-of-living increases to Fauci’s pension and benefits.
Fauci, who turned 81 on Christmas Eve, has worked for the government for 55 years and was paid $434,312 in 2020, making him the highest-compensated federal employee.
That amount represented a 4 percent bump on Fauci’s 2019 salary of $417,608, according to federalpay.org.
Fauci, who has headed up the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, got a huge salary boost — deemed a “permanent pay adjustment” — during the George W. Bush administration for his biodefense work.
He went from making a $200,000 salary in 2004 to $335,000 in 2007, a 68 percent increase.
Federal employees who worked as long as Fauci can earn “80 percent of [their] high-3 average salary, plus credit for [their] sick leave” when they retire, Forbes said, citing the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
Fauci’s 2021 salary has yet to be published, and Forbes said it had filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in November for the pay information.
Forbes used the last three available years of Fauci’s salary — he also made $399,625 in 2018 — to calculate his potential retirement benefits.
“If he’d left federal service at the end of FY2020, figuring 80 [percent] of his highest three-year average, would mean a federal pension of $333,745 a year, plus cost-of-living increases (($1,251,545/3) x 80% = $333,745),” Forbes estimated.
Fauci also is likely eligible to receive an annuity payment that applies to federal employees who serve more than 10 years. That would amount to an additional $8,344 per year.
The Forbes report noted that Fauci’s 2021 and 2022 salaries will likely be the same as or even higher than his 2020 salary, potentially boosting his base retirement pay to around $347,500 a year.
Fauci told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl on “This Week” Dec. 19 that he has no plans to retire anytime soon.
“There’s no way I’m going to walk away from this until we get this under control. I mean, that’s the purpose of what we do. That’s — that’s our mission in life. In the middle of it, I’m not going to walk away,” he said.
“You know, we’re in a war, Jon. It’s kind of like we’re halfway through World War II, and you decide, ‘Well, I think I’ve had enough of this. I’m walking away,’” Fauci continued. ”You can’t do that. You’ve got to finish it, and we’re going to finish this and get back to normal.”