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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

September 26, 2019 Press Release
Today, the Expand Social Security Caucus Co-Chairs sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi strongly urging a vote on the Social Security 2100 Act, in the House of Representatives before the Thanksgiving recess.
September 20, 2019 In The News

I’m one of the youngest Millennials, born in 1995. Every day, I work to organize young people to take back our government by electing leaders who will fight for our future instead of for corporate donors. That includes fighting to expand, never cut, Social Security’s modest benefits.

Wall Street and its allies have spent decades attempting to convince my generation that Social Security won’t be there for us—but that’s not true. In fact, Millennials and Gen Zs will rely on our Social Security system even more than our parents and grandparents do.

September 18, 2019 Press Release
Today, Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B. Larson (CT-01) released the following statement on the updated report from the Office of the Social Security Chief Actuary on the Social Security 2100 Act.
September 12, 2019 In The News

It is going to be a busy fall for legislators and regulators dealing with retirement policy.

Congress is to consider separate bills that reform the finances of both Social Security and struggling pension plans. Another bill that expands retirement saving options also will be on the legislative docket. Meanwhile, several states and professional groups will be working to toughen ethical standards for financial advisers.

Here’s a roundup of the central issues likely to make headlines during what remains of 2019.

September 5, 2019 Event
Rep. Larson is hosting a Senior Fair in Wethersfield
August 17, 2019 In The News

When Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., travels the country to talk about his plan for Social Security reform, he often holds up a Starbucks coffee cup.

The cost of that latte — about $4.50 — could also cover nine weeks of Social Security payments if you’re making $50,000 per year, Larson said he points out to seniors on those visits.

August 16, 2019 Op-Ed and Letters
Rep. Larson's op-ed in The Hill.
August 14, 2019 Press Release
Today, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee John Larson (CT-01) released the following statement in honor of the 84th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt signing Social Security into law.
July 25, 2019 Press Release
Today, the Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on landmark legislation, the Social Security 2100 Act, authored by Chairman of the Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee John B. Larson’s (CT-01).
June 27, 2019 Press Release
Today, Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B. Larson (CT-01), sent a letter to the new Commissioner of Social Security, Andrew B. Saul, calling for strengthened customer service to be a priority for the Social Security Administration (SSA), including reduced waiting times for hearings and more responsive phone service.

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