July 5, 2017
The Honorable Al Lawson
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Representative Lawson:
On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, I am writing to endorse your bill, H.R. 2855, the Social Security for Future Generations Act of 2017. The National Committee commends you for introducing this legislation, which extends the solvency of the Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Trust Fund through 2049.
Your bill should reassure all Americans that Social Security will be there for them when they need it, whether they apply for retirement or disability benefits. Moreover, this legislation achieves this important goal while also making important improvements to the benefits Social Security provides.
Included in the Social Security for Future Generations Act are the following benefit improvements:
- Adoption of the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E) for the purpose of determining cost-of-living increases for Social Security beneficiaries;
- Extension of student benefits up to age 23 for children of retired, disabled or deceased workers if the child is a full-time student;
- An increase in the special minimum benefit so that it equals 125 percent of the poverty level for an individual. This benefit would be indexed in future years by increases in the average wage level prevailing in the national economy; and
- Establishment of an alternative benefit that would protect spouses from potentially draconian reduction in benefits that can stem from the death of a husband or wife. In general, the alternative benefit would equal about 75 percent of the benefit payable to a couple prior to a husband or wife’s death.
The Social Security for Future Generations Act strengthens Social Security’s financial foundation by increasing revenue dedicated to support the program. It does so by extending the payroll tax to all wages paid to workers that are in excess of $250,000. Over time, this provision would completely eliminate the cap on Social Security wages. The additional revenue pays for the program improvements included in H.R. 2855 and extends the solvency of the Social Security program through 2049.
The National Committee supports the provisions included in your bill and proudly endorses H.R. 2855, the Social Security for Future Generations Act of 2017. This bill represents an important step on behalf of seniors and all Americans by strengthening and safeguarding Social Security while at the same time making important improvements in the adequacy of the benefits the program provides. We look forward to working with you to enact this important legislation.
President and CEO