Legislative Update: Social Security Benefit Boost Bill Reintroduced

Legislative Update: Social Security Benefit Boost Bill Reintroduced

By Daisy Brown, TSCL Legislative Liaison

A key deadline is looming for Social Security. Benefits may be reduced by around 22% in the next decade unless Congress takes action to fix Social Security’s finances. A key issue is how Social Security will continue to pay scheduled benefits in full and on time.

Recently Representative John Larson (CT-1), Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security, re-introduced the Social Security 2100 Act. The bill is estimated to provide an additional 32 years of solvency to Social Security while boosting benefits.

The legislation includes several provisions that are broadly supported by most participants in TSCL surveys, including the following:

  • Provide an across-the-board 2% on average benefit increase, boosting Social Security benefits on average by about $35 per month.
  • Would calculate the annual cost of living adjustment using the higher of the CPI-E or CPI-W in a given year. If this applied to the 2024 COLA, Social Security recipients would receive a  substantially higher inflation adjustment  using the CPI-E than the CPI-W.
  • Provides a 5% benefit increase for the oldest beneficiaries (who have received Social Security for 15 or more years).
  • Provides an alternate survivor benefit option for surviving spouses if higher than their retirement benefit.
  • Repeals of WEP and GPO provisions that unfairly penalize public servants such as police, firefighters, and teachers.

The new bill will extend the solvency of the Social Security Trust Fund by:

  • Applying the Social Security payroll tax to earnings over $400,000
  • Adding an additional 12.4% Net Investment Income Tax on incomes over $400,000

Clearly, the Social Security reform debate is heating up. But we need input from you! Please take TSCL’s 2023 Retirement Survey and let us know what approaches you think Congress should take to fixing Social Security’s finances!