WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Social Security benefits are expected to drop 23% in 2035, according to a new report from the Social Security Administration.
Whether Congress acts to prevent a decrease in benefits is unknown, but financial advisors said consumers can save more for retirement by investing as soon as possible.
Members of Congress from Virginia and West Virginia responded to the SSA report.
U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, both Democrats from Virginia, expressed support to strengthen Social Security.
“It’s time for Congress to come together to restore the long term solvency of Social Security,” Kaine’s office told DC News Now.
A statement from Warner said, in part: “restoring Social Security’s long-term solvency will require comprehensive solutions, which is why I’m committed to working to keep our promise to millions of seniors in Virginia and nationwide who have paid into the Social Security program.”
A spokesperson for U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) told DC News Now she remains “committed to ensuring Social Security for today’s seniors and future generations. I firmly believe that we must put forth bipartisan ideas to protect this vital program and make it fiscally viable for current and future beneficiaries.”
Financial advisor Patrick Moriarty described employer 401k plans as “free money,” encouraging people to “sign up immediately for your company-sponsored retirement plan,” because many employers will match the amount people set aside from paychecks.
People younger than 50 years old have an annual contribution limit of $20,500, while people older than 50 can contribute up to $27,000 yearly, according to the IRS.
Moriarty added Individual Retirement Accounts like a Roth IRA , which generally are not taxed, could help, too.
“The Roth IRA goes into the account after tax dollars, and it grows tax-free forever whenever we take withdrawals from it,” he said. “You’ve got to save as much money as possible.”
Financial advisors also point to investments in stocks, and bonds for long-term savings.
Extra cash from part-time jobs at places including Uber and Grubhub or holiday seasonal work can offer consumers additional money to save for retirement—tens of thousands of jobs are being sought by major retailers across the U.S.
While retailers such as Walmart, Target, UPS, and Michaels announced they will hire many seasonal jobs, many companies alike will not contribute to 401k plans for part-time workers unless they already have met certain requirements, including total hours already worked.
A Walmart corporate spokesperson said, “All associates eligible to participate in the 401(k) plan on their date of hire and become eligible for company match, up to 6% of eligible pay, after 1 year employment and 1,000 hours worked.”
Target offers up to a 5% match on 401k retirement investments for all employees after 90 days on the job, according to a spokesperson.
DC News Now reached out to both U.S. senators from Maryland and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia for comment.
U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen said in a statement: “It is long past time we shore up Social Security to ensure Americans can continue to count on the benefits they’ve earned.”
The Democrat seeks to expand social security by $2,400 annually and fully fund the program until 2096.
We did not hear back from Manchin or U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland by late Tuesday afternoon.