WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a bipartisan effort to protect workers’ Social Security benefits, U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Supporting Essential Workers in Retirement Act. Their bill would exempt overtime and hazard pay earned during the public health emergency in 2020 and 2021 from the RET. Any benefits that have been withheld by the Social Security Administration or lump sums that have been paid to the Social Security Administration would be required to be returned to the essential workers who sacrificed on our behalf.
“Essential workers on the front lines of COVID-19 have put their lives at risk to keep us all safe during the pandemic,” said Brown. “This bill will make sure that receiving hazard pay for their hard work doesn’t affect the Social Security benefits they’ve already earned and started to receive.”
During the pandemic, millions of Americans performed essential work to keep our health care system and our economy running, from first responders to supply chain workers. Unfortunately, tens of thousands of semi-retired essential workers who answered the call for help and earned overtime and hazard pay during this period are at risk of taking a financial hit due to the Retirement Earnings Test (RET), which imposes an earnings threshold above which Social Security benefits are reduced.
The Supporting Essential Workers in Retirement Act is co-sponsored by Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Bob Casey (D-PA).
Click HERE to read the one-pager.
Click HERE to read the bill text.