Social Security Head Cautions Against Raising The Retirement Age

( — Martin O’Malley, the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, last week warned against raising the retirement age, telling lawmakers that it would disproportionately harm blue-collar workers, The Hill reported.

Last Wednesday, the Republican Study Committee released its budget proposal that included a “modest adjustment” to the retirement age for future Social Security beneficiaries to account for the increase in life expectancy.

While appearing before the House Ways and Means Committee last Thursday, Commissioner O’Malley said Americans expect the government to expand and strengthen Social Security rather than cut it or “gut its customer service.”

He warned lawmakers seeking to raise the retirement age that blue-collar workers, “who do hard work their whole lives,” would die sooner.

Democrats on the committee also slammed the Republican budget proposal.

New Jersey Democrat Bill Pascrell suggested that raising the retirement age would force Americans to “work till they drop dead.”

Connecticut Democrat John Larson called the Republican proposal an “attack on hard-working Americans” who earned their Social Security benefits.

The current retirement age for Social Security is 67.

In their proposal, the Republicans noted that Joe Biden supported raising the retirement age to 67 when he was in the Senate. The Study Committee said that given the projections showing Social Security will become insolvent within the next decade, it was the “moral and practical obligation” of Congress to raise the retirement age again.

President Biden proposed increasing the payroll tax on those earning over $400,000 to keep Social Security from insolvency.

O’Malley, the former Democratic governor of Maryland, also endorsed President Biden’s proposal requiring 12 weeks of paid leave for low-wage workers. He told the Ways and Means Committee that the United States is “one of the most developed economies in the world” but remains one of the few that does not offer paid family leave.

The president has proposed increasing the Social Security Administration’s discretionary budget by $1.3 billion to address the agency’s administrative problems, including staff shortages and backlogs of applications.

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