March 23, 2000
SENATE PASSES H.R. 5, THE "SENIOR CITIZENS' FREEDOM TO WORK ACT OF 2000"
On March 22, 2000, the Senate passed H.R. 5, the "Senior Citizens' Freedom to Work Act of 2000," by a vote of 100-0. The House passed a different version of the bill on March 1, 2000. Rather than convene a House/Senate conference to iron out bill differences, the House is expected to take up the Senate-passed version of the bill shortly.
As passed, the bill would eliminate the Social Security retirement earnings test in and after the month in which a person attains normal retirement age (NRA). Elimination of the retirement test would be effective with respect to taxable years ending after December 31, 1999.
The Senate bill also includes provisions which were not included in the House-passed bill that:
- Would permanently apply the current law NRA through age 69 earnings limit ($17,000 in 2000) and reduction rate ($1 for $3 offset) to all months prior to attainment of NRA in the calendar year the beneficiary attains NRA. The earnings limit would not apply beginning with the month the beneficiary reaches NRA. The earnings threshold would rise to $25,000 in 2001, $30,000 in 2002, and then rise thereafter in conjunction with increases in average wages.
- Would beginning with the month in which the beneficiary reaches NRA and ending with the month prior to attainment of age 70, permit the retired worker to earn a delayed retirement credit for any month for which the retired worker requests that benefits not be paid even though he/she is already on the benefit rolls.