Fun Fact: Social Security Provides a Guaranteed, Progressive Benefit

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One of the reasons Social Security is so complicated is because it is individualized. Your benefits are based on the Social Security payroll taxes you paid on your earnings. The higher your earnings, the higher your benefit — to a certain point.

As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explains, that’s because Social Security benefits are progressive. They represent a higher proportion of a worker’s previous earnings for workers at lower earnings levels. For example, a person retiring at age 65 last year with a low earnings level of $26,579 would receive $12,825 in benefits, whereas a higher wage earner, say $94,503, would receive $28,009 in benefits. The low wage earner’s benefits replace about half their prior earnings, while the high wage earner’s benefits only replace about 30 percent of their prior earnings.  

Additionally, once someone starts receiving Social Security, their benefits increase annually to keep pace with inflation. Because inflation is currently at a record high, experts are estimating an 8.6% cost-of-living adjustment for 2023.

The Seniors Trust is committed to improving the financial well-being of America’s retirees through passage of The Social Security Expansion Act. It will give retirees an immediate benefits increase of about $65 a month, a fair annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) and increased minimum benefits. This bill will also ensure the long-term solvency of the Social Security program — making sure it is available to all who need it.