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Rep. DeFazio introduces two bills to protect Social Security trust fund and keep program solvent through 2057

Apr 23, 2015
Press Release

Washington, D.C. –Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) today introduced a pair of bills that would protect Social Security trust funds from being diverted to pay for other programs and preserve Social Security benefits for future generations.

The first bill, HR 1984, the Fair Adjustments and Income Revenues (FAIR) for Social Security Act, would ensure that the Social Security Trust Fund pays beneficiaries full benefits at least through the year 2057. Central to the bill is eliminating the cap that allows the wealthiest individuals to pay a significantly lower percentage of their income into the Social Security Trust Fund.

“Right now, millionaires and billionaires stop paying into the Social Security fund once their income reaches $118,500. For the wealthiest Americans, that comes with their first paycheck of the year,” DeFazio said. “By closing this glaring loophole and asking every American to pay the same tax rate as the other 94 percent of workers, we can make sure the trust fund is stable for decades to come.”

The FAIR Social Security Act also improves the cost-of-living adjustments to make sure the formula accurately reflects senior citizens actual buying habits, including items such as food, prescription medication and housing.  With the new formula established in the bill, an average senior at the age of 80 would see about a $43 per month increase in benefits, while the average senior at age 90 would see about a $70 per month increase in benefits. 

The second bill, HR 1983, the Social Security Protection and Truth in Budgeting Act, protects Social Security trust funds from being used for non-Social Security purposes. It would separate Social Security trust funds from the federal budget so they could not be used as a budget gimmick to artificially lower the deficit. The bill will guarantee that Social Security funds are only used for their intended purpose: ensuring a secure retirement for today’s seniors and tomorrow’s retirees.  

In endorsement letters to Congressman DeFazio supporting his legislation, advocacy organizations touted the importance of the measures.

“Veterans, women, people with disabilities, children who have lost parents, and, indeed all Social Security beneficiaries, now and in the future, would all benefit from the enactment of your legislation,” said the executive leadership of Social Security Works

“Together, these changes would strengthen Social Security benefits while extending solvency of the trust funds responsibly, without cutting benefits,” said Edward Cates, Chairman of the Senior Citizens League “…We believe your bill would go a long way in ensuring the retirement security that senior citizens have earned and deserve.”

Fast Facts on Social Security:

*Social Security is the main source of income for two-thirds of American retirees.

*Without Congressional action, the Social Security Trust Fund will be depleted by 2033. The Disability fund alone is slated to run dry as soon as the end of 2016.

*94 percent of American workers pay Social Security tax (FICA) on all of their income