Joe Biden’s plan includes a number of elements suitable for older Americans. Here we will look at several parts of the Biden plan and what it would mean both for the elderly today and for those who expect to depend on social security, health insurance and other government programs in the future.
1. Significant increase in social security benefits in exchange for higher social charges
The Biden Plan highlights the importance of social security and the role it plays in supporting tens of millions of Americans. It recognizes the financial challenges the program faces, and addresses these challenges while increasing benefits for a wide range of social security recipients.
In general, Biden wants to keep many elements of social security. His plan would have assets that would remain invested in the current structure of trust funds, with government bonds rather than privatized investment options, and keep the benefits available to all rather than resorting to conditionality.
However, there would be some changes. Specifically, Biden’s plan would do the following:
- Increase retirement benefits for those who have been retired for 20 years or more.
- Increase the minimum benefit amount for low-income life workers.
- Prevent surviving spouses from seeing huge reductions in their total family benefits after the death of a spouse.
- Remove the manna elimination and government pension compensation provision, which both reduce benefits for some families who also receive public sector pension benefits.
To pay for these larger benefits, the plan would extend payroll taxes to those with higher incomes. In doing so, Biden asserts that social security financial security would be ensured.
2. Protection of health care benefits
Biden wants to keep the status quo largely intact in healthcare. The plan does not go into detail on exactly how the former vice president would achieve these goals, but it does suggest that:
- Defend Medicare coverage for more than 60 million people.
- Protect the Medicaid program, which covers those with limited financial means, including many older Americans.
- Create a tax credit to help family members care for older Americans, by relieving some of the burden on nursing homes and other facilities.
- End federal efforts to eliminate the Affordable Care Act and work to strengthen it by reducing costs and simplifying health care.
In addition, Biden would challenge the pharmaceutical companies surrounding their drug pricing practices, hoping to allow Medicare to be negotiated directly with the drug manufacturers. Various price controls would also aim to make prescription drugs more affordable.
3. Make retirement savings fairer
The Biden plan notes that many current retirement savings vehicles are not equally accessible to everyone. Most retirement savings plans, for example, offer tax breaks proportional to the tax bracket. This gives the wealthy a greater incentive to save – even when they are already in the best position to do so.
To remedy this and make retirement savings plans accessible to more people, Biden would modify the tax relief for retirement savings contributions to make it a percentage credit rather than a deduction. This would equalize the break for those of all income levels. Biden would also encourage small businesses to create retirement plans like 401 (k) s, with the aim of making retirement savings automatic for the vast majority of American workers. Finally, caregivers who work for relatives without compensation could save for retirement in the same way as regular workers.
In addition, Biden would help those who wish to work longer in their careers. Measures to combat age discrimination would be strengthened as part of the plan, and extending the earned income tax credit to people 65 and over would also encourage those who retire later in life. .
Keep your eyes on the campaign trail
2020 has already been a crazy year, and as political campaigns intensify, you can expect a lot more from candidates on issues affecting older Americans. By listening to what the candidates say, you will be better prepared when you vote this fall.