Legislative Update For Week Ending March 11 2016
The Senior Citizens League agrees with Chairman Johnson's remarks at Thursday's hearing, and we hope that Congress will address the shortfall as soon as possible so that any negative impacts on current or future retirees can be averted. In the months ahead, we will continue to advocate for solutions that strengthen the Social Security program responsibly – without cutting benefits – and we will post updates on Twitter, and here in the Legislative News section of our website. .Screen your calls: Even if you have caller ID, experts suggest screening calls any way. More robo-callers are making their calls appear to be local by using phone numbers from your own local calling area. Unless you know the number of the caller is legit, don't pick up. Legitimate callers, such as your doctor's office calling to remind of an appointment, will leave a message. Tell your family and friends to leave a message and to keep talking at least long enough for you to get to the phone if your phone's speaker allows you to hear the caller's message. .Over the years, there have been many bills, some with large numbers of co-sponsors, to fix the Notch. Most of the proposed legislative "fixes" provided improved monthly benefits. "Notch Reform" bills encountered strenuous opposition. Objections centered on the lifetime cost of providing those benefits. In 1992, one widely-supported piece of legislation was estimated to cost 0 billion (including interest lost to the Social Security Trust Fund) through the year 2020. In addition, it was argued that the cost would cause the Social Security Trust Fund to become insolvent even sooner than projected. … Continued
56 Of Social Security Households Pay Tax On Their Benefits Will You
Chairman Johnson said: "I know that fixing Social Security will require tough choices that will affect the lives of millions of Americans. Congress has a responsibility to the American people to make these choices. And the longer we wait, the harder it gets. If we wait until the Trust Funds are exhausted, some options won't even be available anymore. We must take this responsibility seriously. Americans want, need, and deserve nothing less." .Many on Capitol Hill consider the proposal to be a political document and deemed it "dead on arrival," though Congress could use the proposal as a road map while forming their own fiscal 2013 budget. TSCL will keep a close eye on this debate over the coming months. .Higher long-term costs for Social Security and Medicare: According to the CBO, people approved for work authorization and Social Security numbers, through policies like Obama's executive action, would be eligible to receive Social Security and Medicare benefits on the basis of their work history. Neither program requires citizenship in order to file a claim. While taxes flowing into the program are estimated to boost the programs in the short term, the CBO noted that periods of unauthorized employment count toward eligibility for Social Security if individuals receive authorization to work. According to the CBO,"The ability or inability of a formerly unauthorized worker to apply those employment periods to future benefits would affect federal outlays for the program. In addition… people who previously paid Social Security taxes under a stolen or fake Social Security number might be able to claim benefits in the future…" … Continued
Older Americans have lost more than 22% of their purchasing power since 2000, and this year Social Security beneficiaries received no COLA despite a national survey indicating a majority reported higher costs. Do you support legislation that would give seniors an emergency COLA before the end of this year? .In addition, we will be urging lawmakers to adopt legislation that would result in more fair and accurate COLAs in the future. Several bills before Congress would accomplish this, including the CPI-E Act (H.R. 3351), the Guaranteed 3% COLA Act (H.R. 3588), the Social Security 2100 Act (S. 1904, H.R. 1391), and the Social Security Expansion Act (S. 731). TSCL believes each of these bills would go a long way in ensuring the retirement security seniors have earned and deserve. .Do you know what the poverty line is? It's ,880. Who could live on that? .TSCL has not given up our goal of Notch reform. In recent months we have been working with long-term Notch reform allies in Congress to ensure that Notch Babies', needs are protected from deficit reduction plans that would affect people who are currently retired. .We at TSCL believe this is something that should have been done years ago. .For example, one Maine resident worked in the private sector, paying into Social Security for fifteen years before she returned to the teaching profession. Her earned Social Security benefits would have totaled 0 a month. However, due to the WEP, she receives only 0 each month from the program. She is also unable to collect Social Security spousal benefits due to the GPO, even though her spouse paid into the system throughout his entire career. In retirement, she must rely almost entirely upon her teaching pension, which is modest since she spent only a decade in the profession. She told the National Education Association, "If I had known the severe financial penalty I was to pay for returning to teaching, I don't think I would have done it." .Alexandria, VA (October 18, 2011) Irene H., a senior living in Central Virginia, will achieve a milestone this fall that few other 86-year olds can boast of. The thrifty senior, who takes three prescription medications every day, including an expensive brand-name eye drop for glaucoma, will cut her prescription drug costs by more than ,000 since 200Her secret? Every year during the fall Medicare Open Enrollment period, Irene learns about the changes in her drug plan for the upcoming year, and then compares all her options for drug coverage. She changes plans when she finds better coverage at a better cost. ."The bill does nothing at all to reduce or eliminate the tax on Social Security benefits that burdens more than half of all retiree households," Johnson notes. Yet the tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest households in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act will add an estimated .5 trillion to the national debt. Some conservative Members of Congress say they are planning a budget that would require mandatory spending cuts to reduce the debt next year. . Zero premiums are also likely to end very soon. If Congress should cut reimbursements to plans as has happened in the past, some plans may respond by no longer offering coverage at all. Should Paula enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan and her plan ceases to offer coverage in the future, Paula could have problems finding something comparable that she could afford.