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Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust

For more than 86 years, the Federal Government has kept the promise to all Americans: if they contribute to Social Security with each and every paycheck, they would be able to retire with dignity. President Biden has called this promise a “sacred trust.”

It is Congress’ responsibility to keep that promise and to safeguard Social Security for all Americans. Congress must also ensure the benefits keep up with Americans’ expenses – today, tomorrow, and forever.

That’s why, as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee, Rep. Larson authored the Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust.

Increases Benefits

  • Benefit bump for current and new Social Security beneficiaries – Provides an increase for all beneficiaries (receiving retirement, disability or dependent benefits) equivalent to an average of 2% of benefits to make up for inadequate Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLA) since 1983. The US faces a retirement crisis and a modest boost in benefits strengthens the one leg of the retirement system that is universal and the most reliable: Social Security.

  • Protection against inflation – Improves the annual Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) formula to better reflect the costs incurred by seniors through adopting what’s called a “CPI-E formula.” This provision will help seniors who spend a greater portion of their income on health care and other necessities. Improved inflation protection will especially help older retirees, people of color, and widows who are more likely to rely on Social Security benefits as they age. 

  • Protects low-income workers – Five million seniors currently live in poverty. No one who paid into the system over a lifetime should retire into poverty. The new minimum benefit will be set at 25% above the poverty line and would be tied to wage levels to ensure that the minimum benefit does not fall behind.

  • Improves Social Security benefits for widows and widowers in two income households so they are not penalized for having two incomes.

  • Repeals the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO) that currently reduces Social Security benefits for many public servants, including teachers.

  • Ends the 5-month waiting period to receive disability benefits, so those with ALS or other severe disabilities no longer have to wait.

  • Provides caregiver credits toward Social Security wages to ensure caregivers are not penalized in retirement for taking time out of the workforce to care for children or other dependents.

  • Extends Social Security dependent benefits for students to age 26 and for part-time students.

  • Increases access to Social Security dependent benefits for children who live with grandparents or other relatives.

  • Requires SSA to mail annual statements to all workers – The bill requires SSA to mail annual statements showing the FICA contributions workers make and projections for their benefits in the future.  This will help workers prepare for retirement, disability or in the event of an untimely death. Currently, SSA makes this information available only on its website mySSA.com.

  • Prevents unwarranted closures of SSA field offices – The bill will improve customer service by making it more difficult to close field offices, which are used by many seniors to file claims and discuss questions about their benefits.

  • Improves access to legal representation for people seeking long term disability benefits.

 Strengthens the Trust Fund

  • Have millionaires and billionaires pay the same rate as everyone else – Presently, payroll taxes are not collected on an individual’s wages over $142,800. This legislation would apply the payroll tax to wages above $400,000 so the wealthy pay the same rate as someone earning $50,000 a year. This provision would only affect the top 0.4% of wage earners. 

  • Extends the solvency of Social Security – This bill makes a significant contribution toward the program’s solvency, making up more than half the shortfall in the Social Security Trust Funds.

  • Social Security Trust Fund Established – Social Security provides all-in-one retirement, survivor, and disability benefits funded through the dedicated FICA contribution paid by workers. There are technically two trust funds, Old-Age and Survivors (OASI) and Disability Insurance (DI), and that are usually referred to as the Social Security Trust Fund. This provision combines the OASI & DI trust funds into one Social Security Trust Fund, to ensure that all benefits will be paid.

 

More on Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust

November 9, 2021 Press Release
Today, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a study, “Social Security Administration: Actions Needed by SSA to Ensure Disability Medical Consultants Are Properly Screened and Trained”.
November 4, 2021 Press Release
Today, Reps. John B. Larson (CT-01), Chair of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security, and Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03) reintroduced the Protection of Social Security Benefits Restoration Act, legislation to restore federal protections of Social Security benefits to prevent the federal government from garnishing them for the repayment of all non-tax federal debt—such as student loans.
November 3, 2021 Press Release
Acting to protect seniors, Subcommittee on Oversight Chair Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), Subcommittee on Social Security Chair John B. Larson (D-CT-01), and Subcommittee on Worker and Family Support Chair Danny Davis (D-IL-07), all members of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, today asked the Social Security Administration (SSA) to assess how the systemic mail delays at the United States Postal Service (USPS) may adversely impact Social Security operations and the processing of payments, applications, and appeals.
November 2, 2021 Press Release
Today, House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B. Larson (CT-01) applauded the news that the Department of Justice and the Social Security Administration dropped their appeals of two class-action lawsuits regarding the right to survivor benefits for same-sex couples.
November 1, 2021 Press Release
Today, House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B. Larson (CT-01) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) announced the introduction of Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust (H.R. 5723).
October 26, 2021 In The News

Washington, DC - U.S. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn issued the following statement today on the introduction of the Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust legislation: 

“I am pleased to co-sponsor Rep. John Larson’s Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust, and I want to thank him for being a leader on this issue since coming to Congress.

October 26, 2021 Press Release
Today, House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B. Larson (CT-01) introduced Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust. The legislation has nearly 200 cosponsors and has been endorsed by more than 100 advocacy groups.
October 13, 2021 Press Release
Today, House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B. Larson (CT-01) released the following statement on the announcement that the Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2022 will be 5.9 percent.
September 10, 2021 Press Release
During the second day of the Ways and Means Committee mark up of the Build Back Better Act, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) pushed for the expansion of Medicare to include hearing, dental, and vision coverage.
August 31, 2021 Press Release
Today, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) released the following statement on the 2021 Social Security Trustees Report. Chairman Larson will be introducing legislation, Social Security: A Sacred Trust, to enhance benefits and improve solvency sometime this fall.

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