November 19, 2018

Strengthening Social Security Act

On September 27, 2018, Representative Linda Sanchez (D-CA) introduced the Strengthening Social Security Act, H.R. 6929, in the U.S. House of Representatives. This legislation will strengthen the Social Security system while improving the economic and retirement security of millions of Americans.

Strengthening Social Security

For more than 80 years, Social Security has delivered its guaranteed benefits on time and without interruption. While Social Security’s hard-earned benefits are modest – they are vitally important to all who rely on them, including seniors, people with disabilities and families of deceased workers. Today over 62 million Americans – 1 out of every 4 households – rely on Social Security’s lifetime, guaranteed benefits.

The Strengthening Social Security Act includes provisions that would strengthen Social Security by improving the solvency of the Social Security Trust Funds and, at the same time, improve the benefit calculations and annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) for all Social Security programs.

Increases Social Security Benefits: By adjusting the benefit formula, the Strengthening Social Security Act increases Social Security benefits on average by about $65 per month or $800 per year.

Adopts the CPI-E to Calculate Cost of Living Adjustments: In requiring the use of the Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers (CPI-E) to measure Social Security’s COLA, the Strengthening Social Security Act ensures that Social Security benefits keep pace with the rising costs of goods and services typically used by older Americans.

Improves Benefits for Widows and Widowers: Ensures that surviving spouses receive 75% of the total household Social Security benefits that they received prior to their spouse’s death.

Strengthens the Social Security Trust Fund: To pay for these benefit improvements and ensure Social Security is solvent for years to come, the Strengthening Social Security Act raises and ultimately scraps the cap on earnings subject to Social Security contributions (currently capped at $128,400) over a 5- year period. This change alone extends the life of the Social Security Trust Fund through 2041.

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