More than nine million veterans and their families receive retirement, disability, or survivor benefits from Social Security, and together, they comprise approximately 35 percent of the Social Security beneficiary population. Social Security trust funds will face a modest shortfall in 2035 and be unable to pay full benefits unless the long-term system funding is addressed. The average retiree with $1,400 a month in Social Security benefits will lose $280 per month if Congress does not act by 2035. The average disability beneficiary with $1,200 a month in Social Security benefits will lose $250 a month. Addressing Social Security’s small funding gap can be done through prudent, phased-in changes to the system’s financing along with benefit enhancements that will respond to the nation’s growing retirement crisis.
The Social Security Enhancement and Protection Act (H.R. 671) would strengthen and protect Social Security by:
- Updating the special minimum benefit to 100 percent of poverty;
- Increasing the benefits for recipients 20 years after becoming retirement eligible;
- Reinstating the student benefit;
- Eliminating the cap on Social Security payroll contributions; and
- Raising over time the Social Security contribution rate for employers and employees by 1/20 of one percent each year
Congress must pass legislation, such as the Social Security Enhancement and Protection Act (H.R. 671), to improve benefits for beneficiaries and strengthen the system’s financing without damaging the vital support Social Security provides to millions of Americans.