Devlin: ‘Retire’ tax on pensions, Social Security

State Rep. Laura Devlin, R-134th, recently unveiled proposed legislation which exempts Social Security benefits and pensions from the state income tax. Devlin represents parts of Trumbull and Fairfield.

Under current law, those receiving Social Security benefits who make more than $50,000 if single and $60,000 if married are taxed for 25% of their total receipts.

The proposal is, HB-6361, An Act Eliminating the Personal Income Tax on Pensions and Social Security Benefits. The bill has been referred to the Finance, Revenue and Bonding committee for review.

Connecticut's state income tax treats income from public and private pensions the same as any other income. The state has no other special exemptions for pension income.

Devlin noted that nearby states including Massachusetts, New York and Maine exempt all Social Security income from taxes and “it’s time for Connecticut to have a conversation” about making changes its pension and social security tax.

“The goal of the proposal is to keep residents in Connecticut by lowering their overall tax burden and making our state more affordable for families. We want people to stay in Connecticut and not leave for lower tax states that don’t tax their pensions, especially our senior citizens. This is an issue of fairness,” Devlin said.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Connecticut has had three consecutive years of outmigration. In 2014, a poll conducted by Gallup this past spring that showed 49% of state residents wanting to leave Connecticut citing high taxes. Rep. Devlin also noted numerous polls that have shown Connecticut as one of the least-preferred states in the U.S. for retirement.

Devlin is member of the tax-writing Finance, Revenue and Bonding committee.