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There’s new leadership at the Social Security Administration. Here’s why some retirement advocates applaud the move

  • A Trump appointee is no longer at the helm of the Social Security Administration, after President Joe Biden named a new acting commissioner last week.
  • A number of retirement advocates were quick to praise the move, with the hope that the new leadership may better prioritize benefit protections.

A Social Security Administration office in San Francisco.Getty Images

There's new leadership at the Social Security Administration. A number of retirement advocates are applauding the move.

President Joe Biden fired Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul on July 9. Saul, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, locked heads with Democrats earlier this year over the timing of stimulus check payments to Social Security beneficiaries, as well as other issues.

His six-year term was set to expire in 2025. Saul's deputy, David Black, resigned the same day, per a White House request.

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Biden has appointed Kilolo Kijakazi to the role of acting commissioner. Kijakazi was previously named by Biden to serve as deputy commissioner for retirement and disability policy.

"From the beginning of their tenure at the Social Security Administration, Andrew Saul and David Black were anti-beneficiary and anti-employee," Rep. John Larson, a Connecticut Democrat who serves as House Ways and Means Committee Social Security subcommittee chairman, said in a statement.

Among Larson's complaints about Saul's leadership include the pursuit of rules to make it more difficult for some people to access benefits, particularly disability for people who are unable to communicate in English. The administration also moved to put agency lawyers in charge of appeals decisions, reducing due process protections.

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