President-elect Biden and several Democratic lawmakers all have strong proposals to expand Social Security benefits and raise taxes on the wealthy. The presidential transition may also trigger changes at the top of the Social Security Administration.
[Via CNBC] Biden’s Social Security platform includes key benefit increases. Eligible workers would get a guaranteed minimum benefit equal to at least 125% of the federal poverty level. People who have received benefits for at least 20 years would get a 5% bump.Widows and widowers could receive about 20% more per month.
Biden also proposes changing the measurement for annual cost-of-living increases to the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly, or CPI-E, which could more closely track the expenses retirees face.
To pay for the changes and extend the program’s solvency, Biden would apply Social Security payroll taxes to those making $400,000 and up.In 2020, only wages up to $137,700 are subject to those levies.
In the House of Representatives, Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., has a bill called the Social Security 2100 Act, which has 208 co-sponsors.
On the Senate side, a bill called the Social Security Expansion Act was co-led by Vice president-elect Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.
It remains to be seen whether the presidential leadership transition will also trigger changes at the top of the Social Security Administration, which administers benefits.
Social Security Administration Commissioner Andrew Saul’s six-year term expires in 2025.He was appointed to the role by President Donald Trump. Saul could decide he wants to resign, or Biden could ask him to. Alternatively, he could finish his term.
There are also other political appointees to the agency. When Trump took office, he asked those employees to turn in their resignations. It remains to be seen if Biden will do the same.
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