What Project 2025 could mean for Social Security

Project 2025 continues to draw interest from conservatives and liberals alike as the November presidential election gets closer. 

After actress Taraji P. Henson mentioned the initiative during the 2024 BET Awards, the matter even elicited responses from both former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden. 

The initiative, also known as the Presidential Transition Project, is a collection of conservative policy proposals and a "playbook" that offers recommendations for Donald Trump to follow if he is reelected as president in November. 

"The 2025 Presidential Transition Project paves the way for an effective conservative administration based on four pillars: a policy agenda, presidential personnel database, presidential administration academy, and playbook for the first 180 days of the next administration," explained the project's organizers, The Heritage Foundation.

Project 2025 and Social Security

FILE - In this photo illustration, a Social Security card sits alongside checks from the U.S. Treasury on Oct. 14, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Project 2025’s ‘Mandate for Leadership’ calls for a number of changes to the federal government, but it does not specifically address any changes to the Social Security program. 

"Mandate for Leadership does not advocate cutting Social Security," Project 2025 posted via X on July 9

That said, it has long been a GOP-backed ideal to raise the retirement age for U.S. citizens. 

An article published on the Heritage Foundation’s website last month titled "Should the Social Security Age Be Raised? Yes.", author Rachel Greszler, who is also a senior research fellow at the Roe Institute, suggested that the retirement age be raised to 69 or 70. 

"To restore Social Security’s intent, policymakers should gradually increase the normal retirement age from 67 to 69 or 70—moving the age up by one or two months per year—and index it to life expectancy," Greszler wrote. 

Separately, in March, the Republican Study Committee, the largest group of conservatives in the House, proposed raising the retirement age and a restructuring of Medicare. 

Under the RSC plan for Social Security, it would make "modest changes" to the retirement age for future retirees to account for increases in life expectancy while calling for lower benefits for the highest-earning beneficiaries. 

According to the budget proposal, the RSC argues that "with insolvency approaching in the 10-year budget window, Congress has a moral and practical obligation to address the problems with Social Security." 

RELATED: Social Security has a 'billionaire problem,' advocate warns 

Specific to federal employees, Project 2025 does call for reforming retirement benefits. 

The initiative suggests lowering the amount given in government pensions, "it still remains much more generous, and other means might be considered in the future to move it even closer to private plans." 

What else is in Project 2025?

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative nonprofit that organized the plan in 2022, is "guided by the conservative cause to address and reform the failings of big government and an undemocratic administrative state," according to the website. 

The nearly 1,000-page plan involves having civic infrastructure in place in 2025 to take over and discard what Republicans claim is a "deep state" bureaucracy, in part by firing as many as 50,000 federal workers, the Associated Press reported last year.

RELATED: Project 2025: What Biden and Trump have said about the proposal for a new government

Some conservatives are pushing to remove federal employees they consider an obstacle to a president’s agenda and want to replace them with individuals whose beliefs are aligned with a Republican president and are willing to undertake a new approach to governing.

According to the AP, if Trump is reelected as president, the plan would also restore Schedule F, an executive order during Trump's first term in office that reclassifies thousands of federal employees as at-will workers who can be fired. 

The plan also calls for installing top allies in acting administrative roles to push past senators who attempt to block presidential cabinet nominees. 

RELATED: What does Project 2025 say about veterans benefits?

What did Taraji P. Henson say about Project 2025?

During the BET Awards, Henson, who hosted the show, implored people to research the term to learn more, FOX 5 Atlanta reported

"I'm telling y'all, you better show up and show out. I'm being serious now," Henson said as she looked directly into the camera in the middle of the show on June 30. "It's not just about the presidential election, you guys. It's time for us to play chess, not checkers." 

"I'm not trying to scare us, I'm trying to inform us," Henson continued. "I'm talking to the mad people who don't want to vote. You're gonna be mad about a lot of things if you don't vote."

Does Trump support Project 2025?

Since some of the people involved in Project 2025 are former senior Trump administration officials, many are wondering if the former president himself supports the movement. 

"I have no idea who is behind it. I disagree with some of the things they’re saying and some of the things they’re saying are absolutely ridiculous and abysmal. Anything they do, I wish them luck, but I have nothing to do with them," Trump wrote. 

The project’s director is Paul Dans, who served as chief of staff at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under Trump. Trump campaign spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt was featured in one of Project 2025's videos. John McEntee, a former director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office in the Trump administration, is a senior adviser. The chapter on the Department of Homeland Security was written by a team led by former assistant acting DHS Secretary Ken Cuccinelli. 

Project 2025 said in a statement it is not tied to a specific candidate or campaign. 

"We are a coalition of more than 110 conservative groups advocating policy and personnel recommendations for the next conservative president," it said. "But it is ultimately up to that president, who we believe will be President Trump, to decide which recommendations to implement."

Biden’s response to Project 2025

Biden continues to attempt to link Trump to Project 2025. 

"He’s trying to hide his connections to his allies’ extreme Project 2025 agenda," Biden said of Trump in a statement released by his campaign. "The only problem? It was written for him, by those closest to him. Project 2025 should scare every single American." 

The Associated Press, Daniel Miller, Chris Williams and FOX 5 Atlanta contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.