The Honorable Gwen Moore
U.S. House of Representatives
2252 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C., 20515
Dear Representative Moore:
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, the Social Security Enhancement and Protection Act. This bill represents an important step in strengthening and improving Social Security for all Americans.
Social Security is the central component of most Americans’ retirement plans, which is reflected by the fact that about two-thirds of current retirees receive more than half of their retirement income from the program. Given the decline in the availability of pensions, both in the private and public sectors, and the uncertainty surrounding the adequacy of retirement savings, Social Security will remain central to Americans’ retirement planning.
The Social Security Enhancement and Protection Act makes a number of important improvements to Social Security including:
• The bill increases the special minimum benefit that is paid to workers who have spent long careers in relatively low-wage employment. It also recognizes the value of childrearing by allowing credits of up to five years toward the minimum benefit when a parent leaves the workforce or reduces participation in the workforce for the purpose of caring for a child under age six.
• The bill boosts benefits for seniors who have been on the Social Security rolls for a long period of time by providing a five percent increase in benefits later in life.
• It extends payment of Social Security student benefits up to age 26 for the children of workers who retire, die or become disabled when their child is enrolled on a full-time basis in college or vocational training. Reinstatement of these benefits, which were ended in the early 1980’s, will help children who have lost the economic support of a parent obtain the post-secondary education that is so essential to succeed in today’s economy.
• Lastly, the bill provides additional funding to pay for these benefit improvements and to extend the life of the Social Security Trust Funds for decades to come without cutting any benefits. It does so by eliminating the cap on Social Security payroll taxes and by increasing the payroll tax rate by one-tenth of one percent a year for six years.
On behalf of the National Committee, I am pleased to endorse the Social Security Enhancement and Protection Act. We thank you for your leadership in developing these proposals and look forward to working with you to advance these much-needed reforms.
President and CEO