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Sánchez and Pocan Introduce Strengthening Social Security Act

May 8, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC (May 8, 2019) U.S. Representatives Linda Sánchez (CA-38) and Mark Pocan (WI-02) today introduced the Strengthening Social Security Act of 2019.

“Social Security is the bedrock of the American retirement system. It ensures that after a lifetime of hard work, Americans can retire with dignity and some financial independence,” said Sánchez. “Working Americans pay into Social Security with every paycheck to secure their financial future. The Strengthening Social Security Act improves on Social Security’s promise and will ensure that the system is available for generations to come. I am proud to join with Rep. Mark Pocan to introduce this important legislation that will benefit the lives of millions of Americans.”

“Social Security is critical to Americans’ retirement plans, yet it is increasingly falling short for the millions of seniors who have paid into it and rely on it. Through the Strengthening Social Security Act, we can ensure that this program meets the needs of America’s seniors and allows them to live with dignity and security when they exit the workforce,” said Pocan. “Congress must take steps to protect Social Security, and through this legislation, we can give seniors the benefits they deserve while also making sure the program exists for future generations.”

“The Strengthening Social Security Act would improve the lives of many millions of today’s and tomorrow’s seniors, Americans with disabilities, and children whose parents have died or become disabled. Not only does the bill increase Social Security’s modest benefits, it also ensures that future cost of living adjustments will keep up with rising health care costs and other expenses that beneficiaries face. Social Security Works enthusiastically endorses this legislation,” said Nancy Altman, President of Social Security Works.

“On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the National Committee, I am pleased to endorse your bill, the ‘Strengthening Social Security Act of 2019.’ This legislation extends the solvency of the Social Security trust funds while at the same time making needed improvement in Social Security benefits. Your bill represents a bold step on behalf of seniors and all Americans by strengthening and safeguarding Social Security. We look forward to working with you to enact this important legislation,” said Max Richtman, President and CEO, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.

The Strengthening Social Security Act will increase benefits, ensure the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) adequately reflects the cost of living, and improve the financial condition of the Trust Fund.

Specifically, this bill:

  • Increases the formula factor for the first bend point to 95% over 5 years.
  • Increases the first bend point by 15%.
  • Replaces CPI-W with CPI-E for the purpose of calculating COLA’s.
  • Phases out the taxable cap of $132,900.
  • Increases widow/ers benefits to the greater of 75% of combined benefits, or the Primary Insurance Amount.
  • Holds SSI recipients harmless for any increase in benefits enacted through this bill.

Through these changes, beneficiaries can expect to see an increase in monthly benefits. While more needs to be done to preserve and protect Social Security for future generations, these changes are an important first step and will give seniors the peace of mind they deserve.