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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

February 12, 2018 Press Release
Today, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) condemned the proposed cuts in the Trump Administration’s proposed budget.
February 7, 2018 Press Release
Today, Congressman John B. Larson (CT-01), Ranking Member on the Ways and Means Committee Social Security Subcommittee, and Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Richard Neal (MA-01) released the following statements in response to reports of a framework being developed in the Senate that would force families to accept cuts to their Social Security benefits in exchange for receiving paid leave to care for a new child or a sick family member.
February 7, 2018 Press Release
Ranking Member Larson Opening Statement at Social Security Subcommittee Hearing on Ensuring Social Security Serves America’s Veterans
February 5, 2018 Press Release
The House voted 396-0 today to pass H.R. 4547, the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018 – bipartisan legislation to strengthen and improve the representative payee program to better protect vulnerable Social Security beneficiaries who are unable to manage their own funds.
January 16, 2018 Press Release
Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Ranking Member John Larson (D-CT) and Chairman Sam Johnson (R-TX) welcome the release of the Social Security Advisory Board’s (SSAB) new report, Improving Social Security’s Representative Payee Program.
January 8, 2018 Page
2017 re-cap from Rep. Larson.
December 14, 2017 Press Release

Washington D.C. - Congressman John B. Larson (CT-01) During a Democratic Ways & Means hearing on the Republican tax plan yesterday, former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors under President Obama, Jason Furman, praised the Social Security 2100 Act (H.R. 1902). The Social Security 2100 Act, authored by Ways & Means Social Security Subcommittee Ranking Member John B. Larson, was introduced earlier this year and currently has 163 cosponsors.

December 5, 2017 Press Release
Today, Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Ranking Member John Larson (D-CT) and Chairman Sam Johnson (R-TX) introduced the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2017 (H.R. 4547), bipartisan legislation to improve and strengthen the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) representative payee program.
November 6, 2017 Press Release

Washington, D.C. - Today, Reps. John B. Larson (CT-01), Joe Courtney (CT-02), Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Jim Himes (CT-04), and Elizabeth Esty (CT-05) denounced the Republican tax plan that was unveiled last week and is being marked up by the House Ways and Means Committee this week.

November 3, 2017 Press Release
Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01), the Ranking Member of the Social Security Subcommittee on the Ways and Means Committee made the following statement on the impact the proposed Republican tax plan will have on hard-working Connecticut families, and their intention to cut Medicare and Social Security to pay for it.

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