Social Security Reform

Social Security Trust Fund reserves are projected to face exhaustion in 2034, and TSCL believes that returning the program to long-term solvency is essential. A number of reform options are currently on the table to extend the life of the Trust Fund, including increasing the age of eligibility, raising the taxable maximum wage cap, covering state and local government workers, and adopting the “chained” CPI for the calculation of cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs).

TSCL strongly feels that adopting the “chained” CPI would be unduly harsh, especially for the oldest and lowest income seniors who depend on Social Security the most. A study by TSCL found that the “chained” CPI would significantly reduce the amount of lifetime retirement benefits received by Social Security recipients – in some cases by as much as $88 per month after ten years. We believe that “chaining” the COLA is not the best option for returning the program to solvency since the COLAs that seniors receive already fail to reflect the inflation seniors experience.

TSCL also strongly opposes the privatization of Social Security – another popular option for reforming the program. Social Security was developed and implemented to be an insurance and pension system for older Americans, and the use of private accounts would undermine the nature of the program. For this reason, we do not believe that private accounts are the best way to ensure the availability of Social Security as a safety net for future generations.

TSCL understands that some small changes to the program may be necessary in order return Social Security to solvency. Increasing the payroll tax cap so that millionaires and billionaires contribute more to the program is a common-sense solution that would help close the program’s funding shortfall without cutting benefits. In the 115th Congress, TSCL will continue to advocate tirelessly for Social Security reform proposals that would strengthen and modernize the program responsibly, without enacting benefit cuts for current or future retirees.

White Paper on this Issue

Strengthening SSDI: Ideas and Priorities from The Senior Citizens League

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