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Women and minorities receive less from Social Security. Politicians are looking to change that

June 26, 2019
In The News

When it comes to Social Security benefits, women and minorities tend to receive less money.

That means those individuals have a greater chance of retiring into poverty or grappling with financial instability if they become disabled. That also affects their families, who often receive less in dependent or survivor benefits.

Congressional Democrats took to the Hill on Wednesday promising to change that. Their message was the latest push as part of the proposed Social Security 2100 Act, led by Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.).

The bill aims to strengthen Social Security for the rest of this century. Its key features includes an increase that will amount to a 2% boost to the average benefit, a new minimum benefit that will be 25% above the poverty line, cutting taxes on non-Social Security income and changing the formula upon which annual cost-of-living adjustment are calculated, among other changes.

Notably, the plan also calls for raising the payroll tax wages on earnings over $400,000. It would also gradually raise payroll contributions to 7.4% from 6.2% for workers and employers.

The changes would bolster Americans, including women and minorities, financially, according to Larson.

“This is a civil rights issue,” said Larson. “This is a women’s issue.

“This is an economic development issue,” he added. “It is also the nation’s No. 1 insurance program and No. 1 anti-poverty program.”

Supporters who voiced their support for the legislation at Wednesday’s event included Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.), Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), Judy Chu (D-Calif.), Dwight Evans (D-Pa.), Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), Conor Lamb (D-Pa.) and Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.). Advocacy groups including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Organization for Women and Latinos for a Secure Retirement also participated.