Reps. Linda Sánchez and Mark Pocan Introduce Strengthening Social Security Act of 2018

September 27, 2018
Press Release

Washington, DC -House Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Linda Sánchez (D-CA) and Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Mark Pocan (D-WI) along with 29 original co-sponsors today introduced the Strengthening Social Security Act of 2018:

Vice Chair Linda Sánchez:“Working Americans pay into Social Security with every paycheck. 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 security.  The Strengthening Social Security Act improves on Social Security’s promise and will ensure that the system will be 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.”

Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Mark Pocan: “Social Security is a critical part of many Americans’ financial plans, yet it is increasingly falling short for the millions of seniors who have paid into it and rely on it for a safe and secure retirement. 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. Congress must take steps to modernize Social Security, and through this legislation, we can give seniors the benefits they deserve while also making the program solvent for future generations.”

"The Strengthening Social Security Act would improve the lives of tens of millions of seniors and Americans with disabilities. 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." 

- Alex Lawson, Executive Director, Social Security Works

“The National Committee supports the provisions included in your bill, and proudly endorses the ‘Strengthening Social Security Act of 2018.’ Your bill represents a bold step on behalf of seniors and all Americans by strengthening and safeguarding Social Security for current and future beneficiaries while improving the adequacy of the benefits it provides.”

- National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare

BACKGROUND

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 $118,500.
  • 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.

Original Co-Sponsors

Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA), Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Rep. Gene Green (D-TX), Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA), Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN), Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ), Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA), Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA), Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX), Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL), Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ)