With more and more Americans entering retirement without adequate personal savings, some lawmakers are stepping forward to ensure Social Security enables all Americans to retire without fear and that it rests on a sounder financial footing for future generations.
U.S. Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA 38) introduced in the House last week the Strengthening Social Security Act of 2013 (H.R. 3118). Introduced in the Senate earlier this year by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) as S.B. 567, the bill seeks to increase benefits for current and future beneficiaries, ensure cost of living increases reflect the real living expenses of retirees, and improve the long-term financial condition of the fund.
The legislation that was introduced last week is intended to address three main issues with social security:
- Reform the Social Security benefit formula: By changing the way Social Security benefits are calculated, the average retiree would receive an additional $70 per month, with larger gains for those in the low and middle income brackets.
- Change the way Cost of Living Adjustments are calculated: By basing COLA increases on the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E), costs such as the increasing price of retirement care and prescription medications will be factored into benefits.
- Improve the sustainability of the trust: To help sustain Social Security for the long term, the bill would remove the $133,700 taxable cap on wages, ensuring the nation’s highest earners are paying their fair share of costs.
With retirees across the country struggling to make ends meet, even after a life dedicated to public service and our nation’s students, now is the time to strengthen Social Security and ensure the long-term economic prosperity of our seniors.
Retired Program Lead Organizer
P.S. This legislation does not directly address the unfair GPO/WEP offsets since there is already a bill, the Social Security Fairness Act of 2013, introduced earlier this year to fix those specific offsets. You can find out more about that bill here.