Ninth District Congressman Adam Smith today voted to repeal the Social Security earning test, saying that it would provide great benefits to both senior citizens and businesses.

The earnings limit originated in the 1930’s and it remains despite the vast changes in the economy and the lives of senior citizens that have taken place over the last 60 years.

Under current law, seniors who claim Social Security benefits before they reach 69 are subject to a reduction in benefits if they continue to work. For seniors 65 to 69, benefits are reduced by $1 for every $3 that their earnings exceed the limit - $17,000 in 2000, rising to $30,000 in 2002 and indexed after that. HR 5 would repeal this limit entirely, effective immediately.

“This change will benefit senior citizens who want to work and businesses who need the employees,” said Smith. “It makes no sense to penalize senior citizens for participating in the workforce. People remain healthy and vigorous longer than they did in the 1930’s and it makes sense to repeal this obsolete and punitive limit.”

Congress passed H.R. 5 today, and President Clinton has promised to sign the bill into law.