Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush is proposing significant changes to Social Security and Medicare to keep the costly federal entitlement programs on solid financial footing.
Bush outlined his proposals on the website Medium.com on Tuesday, the day before the third Republican presidential debate, in Colorado.
Bush said he wants to gradually raise the retirement age for full benefits, adding one month each year, beginning in 2022 when the retirement age becomes 67 under current law. By 2034, the retirement age under his plan would be 68; by 2046 it would be 69. Currently, it’s 66.
To encourage retirees to continue working, he would reduce benefits to those who want to retire early and increase benefits to those who work past their retirement age. He seeks to eliminate the $15,720 limit on income for working seniors already receiving Social Security. For those working beyond age 67, he proposes eliminating the 6.2 percent payroll tax.
Bush also said he would change the formula used to determine benefits by lowering monthly retirement checks to wealthier recipients. At the same time, he would increase to about $15,000 the minimum Social Security payment for people employed at least 30 years.