The Social Security Expansion Act
The Social Security Expansion Act, introduced in the Senate by Senator Bernie Sanders, is a landmark bill that buttresses the long-term solvency of Social Security by expanding benefits for seniors — not cutting them.
If passed, Senator Sanders’ legislation will make four major changes to Social Security for retirees:
- To immediately extend the solvency of the Trust Fund, the income cap on Social Security contributions will be dissolved, making 100% of all workers’ earnings subject to the Social Security tax. Currently, the maximum taxable earnings cap is $118,500 — meaning high-income earners don’t pay the Social Security tax on 100% of their earnings. This legislation will ensure that all workers — regardless of income amount — will be taxed at an equal percentage.
- Benefits will be increased for most recipients by about $65 per month.
- The Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E) will be used to calculate Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLAs) instead of the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners (CPI-W) used currently. The CPI-W has long been criticized for poorly reflecting the real life expenses of American seniors. The CPI-E takes the unique spending habits of seniors into account — particularly regarding the cost of healthcare — and offers a more realistic COLA for retirees.
- A minimum Social Security benefit would be set to greatly reduce senior poverty.
The Social Security Expansion Act is a comprehensive piece of legislation that seeks to reform Social Security the right way: by expanding and strengthening benefits proven to reduce senior poverty and improve retirement security, and extending the solvency of this crucial program by ensuring all American workers contribute their share.