Kildee Urges Congressional Action to Protect Social Security Benefits

Press Release

Date: July 17, 2020

Generally, the Social Security Administration uses money from payroll taxes to pay out current retirees' benefits. However, with high unemployment and millions of Americans out of work, payroll taxes are no longer enough to continue paying out benefits in full, so the SSA has been forced to tap its two trust funds to cover the deficit. Those funds are quickly running out of money, though, and according to the SSA's most recent projections, they'll be depleted by 2034. If Congress fails to act by then, payroll taxes will only be enough to cover around 76% of future benefits.

In response, Congressman Kildee has introduced the Social Security COVID Correction and Equity Act. The bill fixes and prevents a reduction in benefits for those born in 1960 and expands benefits to address economic inequalities. Congressman Kildee also previously introduced legislation, the Social Security 2100 Act, to make the system financially strong through the end of the century.

"Social Security is not an entitlement -- it's an insurance program Michiganders have paid for through a lifetime of work to fund retirement, disability and survivor benefits. We should not be cutting Social Security benefits for retirees. Social Security has been successful at lifting millions of Americans out of poverty and we have to make sure it remains available for current and future retirees," said Congressman Kildee.

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA) Social Security benefits are a major source of income for millions of retirees, with around one in five married couples depending on their benefits for at least 90% of their income in retirement.

A video of Congressman Kildee remarks today at the Social Security hearing can be found here.