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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

  • 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

February 4, 2020 Press Release
Today, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) released the following statement in response to President Trump’s State of the Union address.
January 31, 2020 Press Release
Yesterday, Chairman of the Social Security Subcommittee John B. Larson (CT-01), Rep. Brendan F. Boyle (PA-02), Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (MA-01), and Worker and Family Support Subcommittee Chairman Danny K. Davis (IL-07) led a letter to the Commissioner of Social Security, Andrew Saul, to oppose the Trump Administration’s proposed rule to cut Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability benefits.
January 24, 2020 In The News

As President Trump mingled with political and economic elites this week in Davos, Switzerland, he was asked whether cuts to Social Security would ever be on his agenda.

January 22, 2020 Press Release
Today, the Expand Social Security Caucus Co-Chairs, House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B. Larson (CT-01), Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Terri Sewell (AL-07), and Debbie Dingell (MI-12), reacted to President Trump’s comments that cutting “entitlement programs” was on the table.
January 17, 2020 Press Release
Today, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) and patient advocate Peter Morley released a video highlighting how harmful the Trump Administration’s proposed Social Security disability rule would be.
January 9, 2020 Press Release
Today, House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B. Larson (CT-01), the Union Veterans Council (AFL-CIO), and VoteVets released the following statement condemning the Trump Administration’s proposed Social Security disability rule which would increase the frequency of continuing disability reviews (CDR).
December 18, 2019 Press Release
Today, Chairman John B. Larson (CT-01) of the Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee applauded the House passage of H.R. 1865, the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 which included a $100 million increase for the Social Security Administration to strengthen front-line service delivery for the American public.
December 17, 2019 Press Release
Today, House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B. Larson (CT-01) and Ranking Member Tom Reed (NY-23) introduced the Improving Social Security’s Service to Victims of Identity Theft Act.
December 10, 2019 Press Release
Today, House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B. Larson (CT-01) and Ranking Member Tom Reed (NY-23) sent letters to Social Security Administration (SSA) Commissioner Andrew Saul and SSA Inspector General Gail S. Ennis asking them to review and address fraudulent Social Security robocalls.
December 9, 2019 In The News

A new proposal in Congress aims to resurrect an old tradition: mailing Social Security statements to your home.

Since 2011, the Social Security Administration has cut back on the number of paper statements it puts in the mail in order to save money.

A new bill, called the Know Your Social Security Act, aims to reinstate those statements for all workers ages 25 and up.