(Washington, DC) The average Social Security benefit would increase an additional $30 per month in 2020, if legislation under consideration in the House is signed into law before the end of the year, according to a new analysis from The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). “The boost, coupled with the modestly higher annual-cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) provided by the bill, would increase average Social Security benefits an estimated $70 per month more than under current law for retirees by the end of the first ten years,” says Mary Johnson a Social Security and Medicare policy analyst for The Senior Citizens League.
The analysis is based on provisions of The Social Security 2100 Act (H.R. 860) which is currently under consideration in the House. By tying the annual COLA to the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E), the bill would increase benefits by an estimated 3.8 percent more over the first ten years, than benefits would increase under current law. The legislation would provide $5,497.00 more in Social Security income (for retirees with an average benefit of $1,460) over the first ten years— an amount that would further grow over time due to the compounding effect.
The Social Security Office of the Chief Actuary (OCACT) and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) have each reviewed the legislation, but arrived at different conclusions about the impact it would have on Social Security. The main difference between the two conclusions is the estimated size of Social Security’s shortfall. The Social Security OCACT has estimated that the legislation would provide 75 years of “sustainable solvency.” The CBO estimates that the Social Security Trust Fund would become insolvent by 2036 instead of the currently estimated 2032.
“The Senior Citizens League encourages Congress to continue its efforts to strengthen Social Security benefits while also strengthening solvency,” says Johnson. Passing legislation now would keep the size of the needed revenue changes smaller, and would allow more time to phase in the changes.
“Many of the provisions of the Social Security 2100 Act have strong support from retirees regardless of their party affiliation,” Johnson notes. The Senior Citizens League’s national surveys of adults 62 and older have found the following:
- 82 percent support using the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E) to calculate the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).
- 77 percent support providing a modest monthly boost of Social Security benefits.
- 75 percent support applying the full payroll tax to all earnings.
- 61 percent support increasing the payroll tax rate by 1 percent each for workers and their employers.
- 55 percent support lifting the threshold for taxation of Social Security benefits from $25,000 to $50,000 for single filers and from $32,000 to $100,000 for joint filers. Only 12 percent oppose.
“A Social Security boost of this size will better maintain the buying power of Social Security benefits over time, and provides the greatest protection for the oldest beneficiaries when they need it the most,” Johnson says.
To learn more, visit www.SeniorsLeague.org.
With 1.2 million supporters, The Senior Citizens League is one of the nation’s largest nonpartisan seniors’ groups. Its mission is to promote and assist members and supporters, to educate and alert senior citizens about their rights and freedoms as U.S. Citizens, and to protect and defend the benefits senior citizens have earned and paid for. The Senior Citizens League is a proud affiliate of The Retired Enlisted Association. Visit www.SeniorsLeague.org for more information.
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