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Seniors' Cost of Living Adjustments Would Increase Under Deutch Proposal

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

As seniors in South Florida brace for another year without a cost of living adjustment (COLA) from Social Security, Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-19) is fighting to reform the system so that benefits accurately reflect the expenses incurred by America's retirees. According to a report released today by the Office of the Chief Actuary for the Social Security Administration, the Preserving our Promise to Seniors Act (H.R. 5834), recently introduced by Congressman Deutch, would dramatically improve benefits for all retirees while extending Social Security's solvency beyond its current funding gap.

"Any senior will look you in the eye and tell you that brand name prescription drug prices are going up, or that homeowners insurance premiums are going up. The method by which cost of living adjustments are calculated is clearly broken and seniors are right to be frustrated," said Congressman Deutch. "Congress should be standing up for America's retirees, but instead, some politicians in Washington are advocating we reduce COLAs further or raise the retirement age. Seniors who worked and paid into this system their entire lives can ill-afford these attacks on promised Social Security benefits. Today's nonpartisan report from the Social Security actuaries confirms that the Preserving our Promise to Seniors Act's improves cost of living adjustments and improves benefits for all of America's seniors."

Congressman Deutch's legislation creates a Consumer Price Index for the Elderly that accounts for the rising costs faced by seniors when determining Social Security cost of living increases. Unlike the Republican Roadmap, which enacts benefit cuts and a tax hike on the middle class to pay for the privatization of Social Security, Congressman Deutch's bill closes Social Security's 75 year funding gap while improving benefits for all retirees. The legislation gradually phases out the cap on income subject to payroll tax and ensures that Americans who contribute more to the system receive more back in the form of greater retirement benefits. An overwhelming majority of Americans support restoring fairness to the payroll tax and guaranteeing Social Security benefits for generations to come.

The nonpartisan Office of the Chief Actuary for the Social Security Administration's detailed report on Congressman Deutch's legislation confirms these changes would extend Social Security's solvency while simultaneously improving benefits for today's seniors and America's future retirees. The report is available for download here.

"The financial crisis in 2008 and its aftermath have left many seniors struggling amidst disappearing pensions, declining home values, and lower returns on private investments. In good times and bad, Social Security has remained a reliable source of income for America's retirees. Rather than dismantle this cherished program, now is the time to strengthen it so that today's seniors and future generations of retirees can share in Social Security's promise that a life of hard work should translate into some basic dignity at retirement," said Congressman Deutch.

Congressman Ted Deutch was elected to serve Florida's 19th district in the House of Representatives in April of 2010. A champion for the health and financial security of America's retirees, Congressman Deutch unveiled the Preserving our Promise to Seniors Act as his first major domestic policy initiative. The bill has been lauded by national advocacy groups, including the Alliance for Retired Americans and the National Council on Aging, and was most recently featured in editorials published by the New York Times and the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

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