March 29, 2000

The House Passed H.R. 5, the "Senior Citizens' Freedom to Work Act of 2000"

On March 28, 2000, the House of Representatives agreed to the Senate amendment to H.R. 5, the "Senior Citizens' Freedom to Work Act of 2000," by a recorded vote of 419-0 and cleared the measure for transmission to the President.

As passed, the bill:

  • Would eliminate the Social Security retirement earnings test in and after the month in which a person attains full retirement age--currently age 65. Elimination of the retirement test would be effective with respect to taxable years ending after December 31, 1999.
  • Would, in the calendar year the beneficiary attains the full retirement age, permanently apply the earnings limit for those at the full retirement age through age 69 ($17,000 in 2000) and the corresponding reduction rate ($1 for $3 offset) to all months prior to attainment of the full retirement age. (In applying the earnings test for this calendar year, only earnings before the month of attainment of full retirement age are considered.) 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. The earnings limit would not apply beginning with the month the beneficiary reaches full retirement age.
  • Would, beginning with the month in which the beneficiary reaches full retirement age 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.

The House originally passed the bill on March 1, 2000. On March 22, 2000 the Senate passed an amended version of the bill.