By Carol Elizabeth Owens
Congressman Joseph Morelle (D-NY) is co-sponsoring a bill he says will protect millions of Americans, including over 160,000 Rochester residents.
Morelle, a lifelong resident of upstate New York, co-sponsored the Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust Act (SSA 2100) on Oct. 26, 2021. It is being called a critical landmark piece of legislation that will ensure the viability of Social Security until the year 2100 and beyond.
“Every American is promised financial security upon retirement after a lifetime of hard work, but for too many people, that promise is quickly fading away. The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent job loss showed the damage that can be done when entire communities are forced to go without income, underscoring how critical it is that we take action to strengthen Social Security,” Morelle said.
“The pandemic has highlighted the fragility of Americans on fixed incomes, including millions of seniors and veterans, and we must not let them down.”
This new proposed legislative measure is being promoted to address a nationwide concern about the sustainability of Social Security retirement funds. Social Security is set to become insolvent by the year 2034— which is only 13 years from now.
“In 2020, the average monthly Social Security benefit was just $1,514 or about $18,160 a year. And a quarter of 65+ households depend on Social Security for 90% or more of income,” said Ann Marie Cook, President and CEO of Lifespan of Greater Rochester. “Social Security is the lifeline that keeps millions of older Americans out of poverty. It is time for Congress to act to shore-up this earned benefit.”
Morelle’s involvement in working to move the Act forward resonates with Cook, who leads Lifespan, a local organization that provides programs, services, information and guidance to older adults and their caregivers.
“I would like to thank Congressman Morelle for his support of the Social Security 2100 Act,” said Cook.
SSA 2100 takes steps to enhance benefits and ensure the system is financially secure up to the year 2100 and beyond through the following steps: increasing benefits for ALL social security beneficiaries for the first time in 50 years; improving Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) to reflect inflation seniors face; ensuring no one retires into poverty after a lifetime of hard work; increasing access to benefits for children living with grandparents or other relatives; and ending the 5-month waiting period to receive disability benefits.
“It is critical we take the steps outlined in this legislation to protect the promise of Social Security for generations to come,” Morelle said.
“That is why I am proud to co-sponsor the Social Security 2100 Act and take immediate action to ensure the long-term viability of this essential program.”