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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

August 10, 2015 Press Release

Hartford, CT - Today, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) marked the upcoming 80th anniversary of Social Security, which was signed into law on August 14, 1935 by President Roosevelt. Larson joined local advocates and constituents in Hartford to celebrate the current and future success of this vital program.

July 22, 2015 Press Release
Washington - Rep. John B. Larson released a statement on the latest Social Security Trustees Report.
June 23, 2015 Op-Ed and Letters
It seems every time we talk about the long-term future of Social Security, many in Washington start clamoring to raise the retirement age or propose other ways to trim Social Security’s modest benefits. For the two-thirds of retirees who rely on Social Security for a majority of their income, there is not a Social Security crisis, there is a retirement crisis. That is why we must preserve and enhance the one program Americans have always been able to count on.
March 18, 2015 Press Release

Washington – Today, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) joined several Members of the Ways & Means Committee and others in introducing the ‘Social Security 2100 Act’, HR 1391. Larson, a member of the Ways & Means Subcommittee on Social Security, authored the measure in order to cut taxes for Social Security recipients, provide a benefit bump for current and future beneficiaries, and keep the system strong for generations to come.

March 18, 2015 Page
The Social Security 2100 Act would cut taxes, strengthen benefits, prevent anyone from retiring into poverty, and ensure Social Security remains strong for generations.
January 30, 2015 Press Release
Hartford, CT - Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the first Social Security check.
September 24, 2014 Page

August 14, 2014 Press Release
Washington – Today, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) released details of the Social Security 2100 Act, H.R. 5306. Authored and introduced by Rep. Larson, the proposal stands to comprehensively strengthen benefits for current and future Social Security beneficiaries while keeping the program strong through the 21st Century:
March 27, 2014 Press Release

Washington – Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) released the following statement today on H.R. 4302, the “Protecting Access to Medicare Act.” The twelve month patch to the Medicare payment system is opposed by a large number of physician groups across the nation:

“I stand firm with our doctors and Medicare beneficiaries – we must stop politicizing the Medicare payment system.

February 11, 2014 Press Release

Washington – Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) released the following statement today after the U.S. House of Representatives passed S. 25. The legislation extends sequester cuts to Medicare in order to repeal recent changes to military retiree cost of living adjustments.

“Today, the House voted to address changes to cost of living adjustments for military retirees on the backs of our seniors. The measure passed today was the wrong way to go for the nation, pitting supporting our veterans against supporting our seniors.

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