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Pingree Backs Landmark Bill to Save, Expand Social Security

As GOP Eyes Cuts to Seniors’ Social Safety Net, Maine’s 1st District Congresswoman Co-Sponsors Legislation to Expand Hard-Earned Retiree Benefits

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U.S. Representatives Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), John B. Larson (D-Conn.), and more than 175 Democrats in Congress today introduced the landmark Social Security 2100 Act, bicameral legislation that would expand and protect essential Social Security benefits for millions of Americans.

“To bankroll special tax breaks to big corporations and the ultra-wealthy, House Republicans are targeting Social Security for cuts—jeopardizing the well-being of all Americans. Under their plan, 70% of Mainers would see their retirement age increased, cutting their hard-earned benefits and forcing them to work longer, for less. House Democrats cannot and will not let them succeed,” said Pingree. “The Social Security 2100 Act would strengthen and protect benefits from radical right-wingers who want to end the program as we know it. With this landmark legislation, stable retirements will be ensured for Maine workers and retirees for generations to come. We must urgently get this bill passed.”

Social Security 2100 permanently improves Social Security’s long-term health by extending the Trust Fund solvency and aligns with President Biden’s pledge not to increase taxes on the middle class:

Increases and Expands 12 Essential Benefits

·    Increases benefits 2% across the board for all Social Security beneficiaries for the first time in 52 years.

·    Improves the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA), so it reflects the inflation actually experienced by seniors. 

·    Increases benefits to boost lower income seniors.

·    Improves benefits for widows and widowers from two-income households.

·    Restores student benefits up to age 26, for the dependent children of disabled, deceased, or retired workers.

·    Increases access to benefits for children living with grandparents or other relatives

·    Repeals the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO) that currently penalize many public servants.

·    Ends the 5-month waiting period to receive disability benefits

·    Increases benefits by an additional 5% for the most elderly who have been receiving benefits for 15 years or more.

·    Provides caregiver credits to ensure that people (mostly women) are not penalized in retirement for taking time out of the workforce to care for children or other dependents.

·    Ends the disability benefit cliff, replacing it with a gradual offset for earnings.

·    Cuts taxes for 23 million middle-income beneficiaries.

·    Corrects an unintended flaw in how Social Security benefits are wage-indexed, to prevent benefits from dropping (a “notch”) if the wage index decreases.

·    Ensures that these benefits do not result in reduced Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments or a loss of eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP.

·    Combines the “Old-Age and Survivors Insurance” (OASI) and the Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Funds into one fund to ensure seamless benefit payments.

Social Security 2100 Pays for These Benefits by:

·    Ensuring millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share by applying FICA to earnings above $400,000, with those extra earnings counted toward benefits at a reduced rate. 

·    Closing the loophole of avoiding FICA taxes and receiving a lower rate on investment income by adding an additional 12.4% net investment income tax (NIIT) only for taxpayers making over $400,000. 


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