IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
February 16, 2022
Ms. Collins (for herself, Mr. Brown, Mr. Cassidy, and Mr. Casey) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance
To exempt premium pay received by semi-retired workers during the COVID–19 pandemic from the Social Security retirement earnings test.
This Act may be cited as the
Supporting Essential Workers in Retirement Act.
Exemption of premium pay received by workers during the COVID–19 pandemic from the Social Security retirement earnings test
For purposes of subsection (b) of section 203 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 403), the amount of any additional earnings received by an individual that is attributable to the individual's receipt of premium pay shall not be included in the determination of the individual's excess earnings under subsection (f)(3) of such section for any taxable year.
In this section:
COVID–19 emergency period
The term COVID–19 emergency period means the period that begins on March 13, 2020, and ends on December 31, 2021.
The term essential work means any work that—
is performed during the COVID–19 emergency period; and
is needed to maintain continuity of operations of essential critical infrastructure sectors and additional sectors as each Governor of a State or territory, or each Tribal government, may have designated as critical to protect the health and well-being of the residents of their State, territory, or Tribal government pursuant to section 602(g)(2) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 802(g)(2)).
The term premium pay means—
a higher rate of pay to workers, beyond normal compensation, for performing essential work during the COVID–19 emergency period; or
compensation paid to a worker for hours of essential work performed in addition to the worker's normal work schedule that results in the worker receiving a higher average weekly compensation compared to the average weekly compensation received by the worker for work performed in the same position for the same employer during the period that begins on January 1, 2020, and ends on March 13, 2020, or, if less, the average weekly compensation received by the worker for work performed in the same position for the same employer during any portion of such period that is not less than 14 consecutive days.
Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Commissioner of Social Security shall issue guidance providing for the verification by employers of record for employees who performed essential work during the COVID–19 emergency period of premium pay disbursed to such employees using Form SSA–131, Employer Report of Special Payments.
Notice to employees
Not later than 90 days after the date of issuance of such guidance, employers shall inform employees who performed essential work during the COVID–19 emergency period of their eligibility to elect to have their premium pay excluded in the determination of the individual’s excess earnings under section 203(f)(3) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 403(f)(3)) for any taxable year.