$5,000 Notch Fairness Act Reintroduced
Congress and President Obama are battling over the federal budget, but supporters in Congress aren't about to forget Notch Babies. The Notch Fairness Act bills (H.R. 155) and (S.90) were introduced by Representative Mike McIntrye (NC-7) and Senator David Vitter (LA). They were among the first bills to be re-introduced in the new session. The bills would provide Notch Babies born from 1917 through 1926, or spouses who receive benefits on their account, a choice of $5,000 payable in four annual installments or, an improved monthly benefit.
The "Notch" refers to a major inequity in Social Security benefits that affects seniors born from 1917 through 1926. According to Social Security Administration data through December 31, 2012, there are about 4.2 billion Social Security beneficiaries born during the Notch years. TSCL estimates that The Notch Fairness Act would cost about $16.5 billion over four years and could be paid for by doing a better job of eliminating fraud and erroneous payments.
Notch Babies receive lower benefits than other seniors near to them in age with similar earnings histories. For example, in 2012, the average benefit of 95-year old Notch Babies was $1,316. Yet the average benefit of 96-year old seniors was $1,390, a monthly difference of $74. Under normal circumstances the benefits of retirees who are younger are usually slightly higher, because wages used to determine benefits tend to increase over time. This is not the case with people born during the Notch period.
The chances for legislation remain strong as more experts say older seniors need a benefit boost to protect them from outliving their retirement resources. Your continued support, letters, and phone calls to Members of Congress make all the difference in building co-sponsorship. TSCL has been instrumental in building support for the Notch Fairness legislation and remains committed to passage.