Sánchez, Pocan introduce bill to strengthen Social Security benefits

August 4, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez (D-CA), a member of the Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee, and Representative Mark Pocan (D-WI) introduced the Strengthening Social Security Act.

“For over 80 years, Social Security has been the bedrock of the American retirement system, promising a secure retirement after a lifetime of hard work,” said Congresswoman Linda Sánchez. “Now more than ever, retired Americans rely on Social Security for most or all of their retirement income. But these modest earned benefits have not kept up with the rising costs facing seniors. This bill will ensure that everyone pays their fair share into Social Security and that seniors across the country are safe and secure.”

“No American should have to retire into poverty after working their entire life. Unfortunately, the rising cost of living in America means that too many of our seniors who rely on Social Security are denied the dignity and security they deserve exiting the workforce,” said Congressman Mark Pocan. “The Strengthening Social Security Act expands benefits to meet the needs of those who rely on this vital program and ensures Social Security will exist for future generations.” 

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

Specifically, this legislation will:

  • Increase monthly benefits for current and future retirees
  • Replaces CPI-W with CPI-E for the purpose of calculating COLA’s.
  • Phases out the taxable cap of $142,800.
  • Increases widow/ers benefits to the greater of 75% of combined benefits, or the Primary Insurance Amount.

Through these changes, the nearly 59 million Americans who rely on Social Security can expect to see an increase in benefits, and COLAs that more accurately reflect their expenses. While much work remains to preserve and protect Social Security, these changes are an important first step and provide some financial peace of mind.

Original Cosponsors include: Reps. Stephen F. Lynch (MA-08), Matt Cartwright (PA-08), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Bobby Rush (IL-01), and Adam Smith (D-WA).

Endorsing Organizations include: Social Security Works, Strengthen Social Security Campaign, National Education Association, AFL-CIO, Paralyzed Veterans of America, The ARC, and Alliance for Retired Americans.

You can read the full text of the bill here.