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Christie pushes means test for Social Security in New Hampshire

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(Bloomberg) — Chris Christie will lay out plans to means test Social Security and raise the retirement age during a speech today in early-voting New Hampshire, as he seeks to crack the top tier of the party’s 2016 hopefuls.

Christie, the 52-year-old Republican governor of New Jersey, will call for phasing out retirement payments to those with more than $200,000 a year in other income and smaller reductions for those earning $80,000, according to excerpts released by his political action committee.

Spelling out his plans in detail for the first time, Christie said he’ll also propose:

  • Raising the retirement age for Social Security to 69 from 67, for those born in 1960 or later;
  • Raising the age to qualify for Medicare by one month per year until it reaches 67 from the current 65.
  • Eliminating payroll taxes for seniors who remain in the work force.

“We should and we must ensure that Social Security and Medicare exist to prevent our seniors from falling into poverty,” Christie will say during a speech at St. Anselm College in Manchester. The elderly “have earned the right to live out their later years without the fear of poverty. But I am also here to tell you that the fairness we seek must be broad and must be earned.”

Christie turned down pleas to enter the race four years ago and has struggled to recapture that level of support. His three-day tour of the Granite State, which will hold the first primary of the nominating contest, is also scheduled to feature town hall events in Londonderry and Exeter.

See also: House Republicans seek Medicare cuts