Bill would give one-time extra Social Security payment to all recipients

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., introduced legislation paying $581 to each person receiving retirement benefits to offset no cost of living adjustment in 2016

Nov 6, 2015 @ 12:33 pm

By Laura Sanicola

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., introduced a bill Thursday to give all recipients of Social Security a one-time payment in 2016 to offset no cost of living adjustment. It would be funded by eliminating the CEO performance pay tax break that allows corporations to write off executive bonuses as a business expense for "performance pay."

The Seniors and Veterans Emergency Benefits Act (SAVE Benefits Act) would give about 70 million Social Security recipients an extra payment of $581, equal to the 3.9% raise CEOs of the top 350 firms receive, according to the release.

"If we do nothing, on January 1st, more than 70 million seniors, veterans and other Americans won't get an extra dime in much-needed Social Security and other benefits,” Ms. Warren said in a statement. “And while Congress sits on its hands and pretends that there's nothing we can do, taxpayers will keep right on subsidizing billions of dollars' worth of bonuses for highly paid CEOs.”

The legislation, cosponsored by 15 Democratic and one Independent senators, comes on the heels of an October announcement from the government that senior citizens could expect no COLA next year.

Richard Fiesta, executive director for the Retirement Alliance, announced his support of the new proposed legislation.

“Passage of this bill would help bring our economy into balance and make an important statement about fairness,” he said in a statement. “Congress should also require the Social Security Administration to base future COLAs on the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E), which much more accurately reflects the cost of things retirees purchase, including health care and housing.”

Boosting benefits to seniors may sounds like a popular move, but Kristine McKinley, owner of Beacon Financial Advisors, heard surprising backlash when sharing the news on social media.

“The typical response was disbelief that it was going to happen or a feeling that it would be subject to tax, so why bother,” she said. “It was not the response I expected.”


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