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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

January 17, 2014 Press Release

Bristol, CT - In light of the potential closure of the Social Security Administration part time office in Bristol at the end of January, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) and Bristol Mayor Ken Cockayne are announcing a new collaborative effort to continue to allow residents with general Social Security issues to have a direct link to Social Security Services.

December 12, 2013 Press Release

Washington – Today, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) released the following statement after the House Committee on Ways & Means voted in favor of a permanent solution to fix the broken Medicare physician payment system. Larson, along with the full committee, voted in favor of the “Medicare Patient Access and Quality Improvement Act of 2013”, H.R. 2810:

November 27, 2013 Press Release

Hartford, CT – In a letter to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) and the Connecticut Congressional Delegation today urged the agency to be more flexible with enrollment periods and strengthen standards for Medicare Advantage plans for UnitedHealth Group enrollees.

October 29, 2013 Press Release

Washington – Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) released the following statement today after the Center for Medicare Services announced that seniors will see zero growth in Medicare Part B premiums and deductibles for 2014 and that Medicare beneficiaries continue to save money on their prescription drugs due to the Affordable Care Act:

October 24, 2013 Press Release
Hartford, CT – In a letter to United Healthcare Group (UHG) CEO Jack Larsen, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) and the Connecticut Congressional Delegation pressed the company on its decision to terminate thousands of providers from its Medicare Advantage Plan.
October 18, 2013 Press Release

Hartford, CT – Today, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) joined Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy in a letter to Commissioner Carolyn Colvin of the Social Security Administration in opposition to the closing of the Bristol Social Security Office. The Members released the following in a joint statement:

September 19, 2013 Press Release

Washington – Today, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) released the following statement on efforts by House Republican leadership to disrupt the Affordable Care Act. To date, the Republican controlled House has attempted to repeal or defund the Affordable Care Act more than 40 times, threatening care and services for millions of Americans.

March 21, 2013 Press Release

Washington – Today Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) released the following statement after the passage of the Republican Budget in the U.S. House of Representatives:

February 7, 2013 Press Release

Washington, DC – Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) and the Connecticut House Delegation today applauded the appointment of Judith Stein, founder and executive director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy in Willimantic, to the Bipartisan Long-Term Care Commission. Created earlier this year as part of the American Tax Relief Act, the commission is responsible for developing a plan to establish, implement, and finance a comprehensive set of long-term care services for seniors and people with disabilities. Last month, Reps.

January 11, 2013 Press Release

Hartford, CT – Today Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) announced that Hartford HealthCare, St. Francis HealthCare Partners and ProHealth Physicians have established Accountable Care Organizations that have been selected to participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program. Created under the Affordable Care Act, the Medicare Shared Savings Program aims to improve the quality of care that patients receive, and lower health care costs through increased coordination of care by providers.

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