Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) recently introduced the Social Security 2100 Act, a bill that aims to increase Social Security’s benefits and make the system financially stronger.
A companion bill was also introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman John Larson (D-CT). It has more than 200 Democratic co-sponsors.
According to Larson, some of the highlights of the bill are:
- Provides an increase for all beneficiaries that is the equivalent of 2% of the average benefit.
- Improves the annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) formula to better reflect the costs incurred by seniors through adopting a CPI-E formula.
- 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.
- Cut taxes to over 12 million Social Security recipients. Currently Social Security benefits are taxed on non-Social Security income exceeding $25,000 for an individual or $32,000 for couples. The bill would raise that threshold to $50,000 and $100,000 respectively.
- Increase payroll taxes to fund Social Security. Currently payroll taxes are not collected on wages over $132,900. This legislation would apply the payroll tax to wages above $400,000.
Another purpose of the bill is to eliminate or delay Social Security’s financial shortfall which is currently projected for 2034.
“Social Security is not an entitlement – it’s the insurance Americans have paid for through a lifetime of work to fund retirement, disability, and survivor benefits. The Social Security 2100 Act takes common sense steps to increase benefits and to make the system financially secure for the next 75 years and beyond. Social Security is the most successful program in American history, it is time to improve it for the future,” said Larson.
“This bill is about more than keeping our word to young people and generations to come—it’s about the American Dream. By protecting and preserving Social Security, we protect and preserve the American Dream—ensuring future generations have the guaranteed insurance and earned benefits that Social Security provides to more than 62 million Americans today,” said Blumenthal. “I call on all of my Republican colleagues in the Senate: Join us in keeping the American Dream real by keeping Social Security strong through this century and beyond.”
About 63 million Americans received about $1 trillion in Social Security benefits last year. The number of Social Security recipients is expected to grow to 80 million in 10 years.