Summary: H.R.2247 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.2247. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (05/04/1989)

Social Security Improvement Act of 1989 - Title I: Prohibition Against Consideration of Legislation Reducing Social Security Benefits - Prohibits the Congress from considering any legislation which effects a reduction in benefits under title II (Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance) (OASDI) or XVI (Supplemental Security Income) (SSI) of the Social Security Act. Considers the enactment of such prohibition to be an exercise of congressional rulemaking powers, subject to change in the same manner and to the same extent as any other rule of the House of Representatives or the Senate.

Title II: Establishment of the Social Security Administration - Amends title VII (Administration) of the Social Security Act to establish as an independent executive agency a Social Security Administration, headed by a Social Security Board. Provides that it shall be the duty of the Administration to administer the OASDI and SSI programs. Requires the Board to study and make recommendations as to the most effective methods of providing economic security through social insurance and supplemental security income, and as to legislation and matters of administrative policy.

Establishes in the Administration: (1) an Executive Director; (2) a Deputy Director of Social Security; (3) a General Counsel; (4) an Inspector General; and (5) an Office of the Beneficiary Ombudsman, to be headed by a Beneficiary Ombudsman who shall represent the interests of beneficiaries under the OASDI and SSI programs within the Administration. Requires the annual report of the Board to include a description of the activities of the Beneficiary Ombudsman.

Requires the Board to make annual budgetary recommendations relating to the Administration. Requires that appropriations requests by the Administration for staffing and personnel be based upon a comprehensive workforce plan as established by the Board. Provides for the apportionment of administrative costs. Requires the annual report of the Board to include a section reflecting the use of budget authority provided to the Administration. Requires that authority for automated data processing procurement and facilities construction be provided in the form of contract authority covering the total cost of such acquisitions. Makes amounts needed for the liquidation of contract authority so provided available from the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund to the extent that such amounts are not needed to meet current obligations for benefit payments. Requires the Board to cause a seal of office to be made and judicial notice taken thereof.

Requires the establishment of demonstration projects involving the delegation of authority from the Office of Personnel Management and the General Services Administration to the Board.

Provides for the transfer to the Administration of all functions carried out by the Secretary of Health and Human Services with respect to the programs and activities to be carried out by the Administration under this Act.

Abolishes the position of Commissioner of Social Security in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Title III: Conforming Amendments and Rules of Construction - Requires the Secretary and the Board to report to the Congress within 120 days after the beginning of each regular session on their administration under this Act.

Requires the Secretary to study and make recommendations on the most effective methods of providing economic security and on the administrative policy for the programs.

Directs the Board to appoint, quadrennially, an Advisory Council on the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Program and an Advisory Council on Health and Supplementary Medical Insurance to review the relation of the trust funds supporting the OASDI program and the Medicare program and the long-term commitments of those programs. Requires each council to submit a report to the Board for transmittal to the Congress and the Board of Trustees of each Trust Fund.

Title IV: Additional Provisions Relating to Social Security - Amends the OASDI program to permit the payment of lump-sum death benefits for burial expenses in the case of an insured individual who has no surviving spouse living in the same household at the time of his or her death. (Currently, the payment of lump-sum death benefits in such a case is restricted to a widow or widower entitled to benefits on the basis of the insured's wages and self-employment income or a child so entitled.) Raises the ceiling on such payments.

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to repeal the taxation of OASDI and tier 1 railroad retirement benefits.

Amends the OASDI program to remove the limitation on the amount of outside income which a beneficiary may earn without incurring a reduction in benefits.