When former Vice President Joe Biden recently announced his plans for older Americans, he joined with his Democratic presidential candidates and asked for social security expansion.
"We should increase, not reduce, Social Security," Biden said at a recent forum from AARP Iowa. "It's within our capacity to do so."
Former United States Vice President Joe Biden, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, speaks during the National Education Association (NEA) #StrongPublicSchools Presidential Forum in Houston, Texas, USA, Friday 5. July, 201
Sergio Flores | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Biden is currently the main candidate among Democratic primary voters, according to a July 22 poll from Morning Consult. Biden tops the list by 33%, followed by Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., With 18%; Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., With 14%; and Kamala Harris, D-California, with 13%.
Biden's campaign requires making Social Security solvent. Currently, the program's trust fund is expected to be cleared by 2035, where it will pay only 80% of promised benefits. His campaign also requires preventing cuts in pensioners receiving benefits.
To achieve these goals, Biden's plan requires raising the wealth of the wealthy by "asking Americans with particularly high salaries to pay the same taxes on middle-income income. – Class families pay."
Specifically, the plan rejects proposals to privatize the program or introduce measurement testing, where benefits will only be given to people below a certain level of income or wealth.
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Biden plan would enhance the benefits for individuals in several key key ways.
It requires increasing payments to people who have received pension benefits for at least 20 years. The idea is to protect the older individuals from having to drain their savings.
The bid plan would also set a minimum benefit so that all workers who put down 30 years of work would be guaranteed a benefit equal to at least 125% of the federal poverty level.
The plan will also increase survivor benefits for widows and widowers by approximately 20% more per month. Surviving spouses today receive 100% of a deceased employee's benefits as long as they are of full retirement age or older. However, many individuals take advantage before retirement age, which reduces social security benefits. In addition, if the spouse who died received reduced benefits, survivor benefits are based on this amount, and therefore reduced.
The bid's proposal also requires allowing public employees, including teachers who are not eligible for social security, to begin receiving pension benefits faster than the ten years that many of the plans currently require.
More specific details, such as what a new tax rate will be, are not included in the proposal.
Nancy Altman, president of Social Security Works, a group advocating for social security expansion, said the plan does not necessarily need more details – at least for now.
"I think his plan is great, and it doesn't need more specificity at this point," Altman said.
The leading Democratic candidates extended – and did not cut – social security benefits, she said.
"It sharpens the debate," Altman said. "I don't think you need the specifications until Republicans are willing to say what they want to do or if they don't want to do anything and leave the program with a deficit."
A legislative session of Congress proposed by Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., Is also asking to raise taxes to pay for performance increases. The bill, the Social Security 2100 Act, drew criticism at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing last week from Republicans. Critics of the plan argued that it could place an unfair financial burden on millennials.