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Millions of Americans will go to the polls on Tuesday. Most will vote on ballot measures in their own states. Many will select candidates to occupy positions at the local and state levels.

Every voter will have the ability to shape the composition of the next United States Congress. All 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 35 seats in the United States Senate are up for grabs.

According to RealClearPolitics, the GOP will gain between 15 and 48 House seats, enough to maintain a majority in the chamber. It also forecasts that Republicans will retake control of the Senate by a slight margin, while several seats are extremely close.

The results of the upcoming referendum should be of particular significance to retirees. Here are three major Social Security amendments that could be considered following the November elections.

1. Raise the minimum benefit

The Republican Study Committee (RSC) caucus includes more than 150 current Republican members of the United States House of Representatives. Several changes to Social Security are revealed in the RSC’s proposed budget for the fiscal year 2023. The first mentioned improvement is raising the minimum payout to assist low-income Social Security users.

Republicans, in particular, want to establish a new minimum Social Security payout for everybody with at least ten years of wages. This new benefit would be equivalent to 15% of the AWI, a statistic that analyzes pay growth for American employees.

This minimal benefit would increase in accordance with the amount of years of service. It would be capped at 40% of AWI for employees with at least 40 years of documented work experience.

AWI is currently $60,575.07. Based on this amount, the proposed GOP adjustment would raise the minimum benefit to $9,086.26 for individuals who have worked 10 years and $24,230.03 for those who worked 40 years or more.

2. Raise the full retirement age 

In addition, the RSC seeks to change the Social Security full retirement age to accommodate increased longevity. The full retirement age for everyone born in 1960 or later is presently 67. The Republican caucus wants to gradually raise the age of full retirement to 70 by 3 months each year up to 2040.

After 2040, the full retirement age for Social Security would be related to retiree life expectancy. If life expectancy falls in the future, the full retirement age will be reduced. The RSC feels that this strategy will aid in relieving the financial strain on Social Security caused by fewer employees per beneficiary.

3. Remove the penalty for continuing to work.

Individuals that claim Social Security benefits prior to reaching the full retirement age can still work. However, payments will be withheld if their income exceeds a certain level. This earnings test will be in effect until the full retirement age is attained.

The RSC wishes to abolish fines for early retirees who wish to keep working. There would be no earnings threshold for early retirees under the GOP caucus’ proposed legislation. Everyone who claims Social Security benefits prior to actually reaching the full retirement age will get their payments while still working

Author: Steven Sinclaire

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