Texas Congressman Sam Johnson (R-Plano), chair of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security, has proposed significant changes to the Social Security system. His legislation would cut benefits for all but the lowest-income Social Security recipients (some estimate that workers making $50,000 could see their benefits shrink between 11 and 35 percent) and would phase in an increase in the retirement age to 69. Higher-earning recipients would not receive cost-of-living adjustments. The structural changes are intended to provide long-term stability for the program.
The proposal also includes a replacement of the Windfall Elimination Provision — the federal law that reduces Social Security benefits for many educators who earned benefits through previous Social Security participation but do not pay in to Social Security through their school. The provision would not eliminate the concept entirely but would include a fairer calculation of the benefit reduction, as seen in Texas Congressman (and Ways and Means Committee Chair) Kevin Brady’s HR 711.
It is not yet known whether the Johnson legislation will see movement as the new congressional session gets underway in 2017.