NEWINGTON - U.S. Rep. John Larson, D-1st District, recently presented his plan to revamp Social Security to a group of seniors frustrated with the current system.
Larson’s proposal, known as the Social Security 2100 Act, would put more money in the pocket of the typical retiree, he told about 15 people at the Newington Senior & Disabled Center.
The bill has been signed by over 190 members of Congress, but has failed to gain Republican support. GOP leaders have long-favored moving the system out of the government’s hands and into the private sector. Two hundred eighteen signatures are needed for the bill to pass.
“Social Security isn’t an entitlement,” Larson said. “It’s an insurance program that everyone has paid for.”
On a paycheck, that contribution is shown as “FICA,” which stands for Federal Insurance Contributions Act.
The last time the system was adjusted by an actuary was 1983, when Ronald Reagan was president, he added. However, it was not indexed to evolve along with the nation’s changing economy.
The plan is designed to protect those who don’t receive any other type of income benefit, especially low-income Americans and women, along with future generations retiring from the workforce.
“Many women are finding themselves retiring into poverty because they live longer than men but earn less and take time off to raise children,” said Larson, who is proposing a 2 percent benefit increase for everyone.
His plan would also increase the Cost Of Living Adjustment to better reflect the costs incurred by seniors and move the tax bracket to $50,000 for a single person and $100,000 for couples.
The increase would be phased in over 25 years, so it would go up one-quarter of a percent per year.
“It would cost a person making over $400,000 a year less than a latte per week to save Social Security,” Larson said.
Newington resident Ed Reilly was relieved to hear about the proposed changes. The 57-year-old retired co-chairman of the Connecticut Iron Workers Trust Fund thanked the congressman.
“These changes can be met without costs going up; for practical purposes, it’s basically nothing,” Reilly said. “No one would even notice. It’s a resolution for a problem that everyone’s been talking about for a long time.”
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at 860-801-5097 or firstname.lastname@example.org.