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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

April 6, 2020 Press Release
On Friday, April 3, 2020, House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B. Larson (CT-01), Worker and Family Support Subcommittee Chairman Danny K. Davis (IL-07), Trade Subcommittee Chairman Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), and Ways and Means Members Reps. Bradley S. Schneider (IL-10) and Brian Higgins (NY-26) led a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Internal Revenue Services (IRS) Commissioner Charles Rettig urging the IRS to provide automatic COVID-19 Relief Payments to vulnerable elderly and disabled individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
April 2, 2020 In The News

WASHINGTON — Social Security beneficiaries will now automatically receive their coronavirus stimulus checks after a change made by the Trump administration late Wednesday night.

Lawmakers on Wednesday decried a policy enacted by the Internal Revenue Service earlier this week that would have required Social Security beneficiaries to file a simple tax return to receive the benefit although many of the beneficiaries — mostly seniors and the disabled — are not normally required to pay taxes.

April 2, 2020 Press Release
House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B. Larson (CT-01) applauded the U.S. Treasury Department’s announcement that they would allow Social Security beneficiaries to receive COVID-19 relief payments automatically without having to file tax returns.
April 1, 2020 Press Release
Today, House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B. Larson (CT-01), Worker and Family Support Subcommittee Chairman Danny K. Davis (IL-07), and Select Revenues Subcommittee Chairman Mike Thompson (CA-05), and Health Subcommittee Chairman Lloyd Doggett (TX-35), and Ways and Means Members Reps. Bill Pascrell (NJ-09), and Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) led a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Internal Revenue Services (IRS) Commissioner Charles Rettig, urging the IRS to provide automatic COVID-19 Relief Payments to Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries.
March 31, 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) called for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) to develop a simple path forward for Social Security recipients to receive the economic impact payment.
March 21, 2020 Press Release
Today, House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B. Larson (CT-01), praised the proposal from Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-0R), and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to give an extra $200 a month to Social Security beneficiaries.
March 18, 2020 Press Release
Today, House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B. Larson (CT-01) announced he’s introducing The Emergency Social Security Benefits Improvement Act.
March 17, 2020 Press Release
Representatives John Larson (CT-01), Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), and Jahana Hayes (CT-05), led a letter to the Social Security Administration (SSA) Commissioner, Andrew Saul, with support from Representatives Joe Courtney (CT-02), Jim Himes (CT-04), and Jan Schakowsky (IL-09).
March 5, 2020 Press Release
Today, House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B. Larson (CT-01) and Ranking Member Tom Reed (NY-23) released a PSA urging members of the public to Slam the Scam, to raise awareness and end telephone scams, where robocallers have impersonated the Social Security Administration.
March 3, 2020 Press Release
Today, House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B. Larson (CT-01) released the following statement on President Trump’s call for a Social Security payroll tax holiday.

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