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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 2, 2021 Press Release
Today it was announced that Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) will serve as Chairman of the Social Security Subcommittee again.
January 27, 2021 Press Release
Today, House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B. Larson (CT-01) reiterated the need for Congress to prevent an unintended and unanticipated Social Security benefit reduction – caused by the pandemic recession — that will affect certain beneficiaries, after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an updated estimate of this effect.
December 17, 2020 Press Release
Today, House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B. Larson (D-CT) and Worker and Family Support Subcommittee Chairman Danny K. Davis (D-IL) sent a letter to Social Security Administration (SSA) Commissioner Andrew Saul demanding that SSA forgive repayment of extra benefits paid to Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
December 8, 2020 Press Release
Today, House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B. Larson (CT-01) voted for the ALS Disability Insurance Access Act of 2019.
December 7, 2020 Press Release
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA), Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B. Larson (D-CT), and Worker and Family Support Subcommittee Chairman Danny K. Davis (D-IL) released the following statement regarding news that a draft proposed rule that would narrow the eligibility criteria for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits has been sent by the Social Security Administration to the Office of Management and Budget for review:
December 2, 2020 Op-Ed and Letters
As the country continues to fight the ever-worsening coronavirus pandemic and having elected a new president and Congress, the urgent need to protect and expand Social Security benefits must be addressed.
October 13, 2020 Press Release
Today, House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B. Larson (CT-01) released the following statement after the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that there will be a 1.3 percent cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) for Social Security benefits received beginning in January 2021.
October 2, 2020 Press Release
Today, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) released the following statement on a new study that shows how Social Security reduces inequality for working-age Americans.
September 30, 2020 Press Release
Today, House Ways and Means Worker and Family Support Subcommittee Chairman Danny K. Davis (D-IL) and Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B. Larson (D-CT) announced that their Fairness for Seniors and People with Disabilities During COVID-19 Act was included in the updated version of The Heroes Act.
September 24, 2020 Press Release
Today, House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B. Larson (CT-01) held a hearing titled “Save Our Social Security Now” on President Trump’s executive action to defer payroll taxes.

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