March 29,2000

Roth Applauds Action on Social Security Earnings Limit Repeal

WASHINGTON -- The House and Senate today sent legislation to the President that would allow seniors aged 65 - 69 to continue working without having their Social Security checks reduced. The Senior Citizens' Freedom to Work Act of 2000 (H.R. 5) was enrolled at a formal ceremony in the Capitol Wednesday morning. Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth, Jr., released this statement today following the enrollment ceremony:

"Today is an historic occasion. Congress has sent to the President a bill to repeal the earnings limit. This repeal is good for seniors, good for America, and good government. And it is an important step in preparing Social Security for the 21st century.

"The Social Security earnings limit was enacted 65 years ago to encourage older workers to retire during the Great Depression. But today, with Americans living longer and the tightest labor market in 30 years, this rule is not only outdated but harms both seniors and the economy.

"Repealing the earnings limit will help improve the retirement security of seniors by giving them the choice to work longer and save more.

"Abolishing the earnings limit will protect the nation's economic gains of the past 17 years by encouraging our nation's most experienced workers to continue working, not only today but in the future.

"Finally, repealing the earnings limit is good government. Administering the earnings limit is expensive and the single largest source of mistakes by Social Security.

"We have much to do to protect and preserve Social Security for the future, but today we have made a great start."