Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks at the New Hampshire Democratic Party state convention in Manchester

Democratic 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) speaks at the New Hampshire Democratic Party state convention in Manchester, last Saturday.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants to increase Social Security benefits by $200 per month.

In a new policy proposal released Thursday morning, the presidential candidate outlined a plan to increase benefits while keeping the Social Security Trust solvent by levying additional taxes on high earners.

Warren proposes immediately increasing each Social Security recipient’s benefits by $200 per month, or $2,400 per year.

The benefits would continue to rise with inflation, though Warren wants to index these cost-of-living raises to a different inflation indicator than is now used. Warren’s campaign said these higher benefits would mean 4.9 million fewer seniors living in poverty across the country.

According to the New Hampshire chapter of the AARP, three in 10 seniors in the state do not have any income apart from Social Security.

For almost two-thirds of New Hampshire seniors, Social Security accounts for half or more than half of their income.

According to the Social Security Administration, the average benefit for a retired worker in the state is just over $19,000 per year, and disabled workers receive an average of about $16,500 per year.

In a statement about her proposal, Warren said she thought it had become harder for people to save for retirement.

“Millions of families have had to sacrifice saving for retirement just to make ends meet,” Warren wrote in a statement. “At the same time, fewer people have access to the kind of pensions that used to help fund a comfortable retirement.”

Warren would allow full-time students whose parent is disabled or has died to collect benefits until they are 24; now, the benefits end at age 19.

People who care for children under 6 or disabled family members for at least 80 hours per month would receive credit toward the Social Security lifetime earnings calculation for the years they work as caregivers.

According to a 2019 report from the Social Security Administration trustees, the trust’s funds will be depleted by 2035 if nothing changes.

Warren’s campaign commissioned a report on the plan from Moody’s Analytics: that report found Warren’s plan would keep the Social Security trust solvent until 2054.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019