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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Delaying Retirement: Should Average Life Expectancy Determine Retirement Age?

Tatsuko Go Hollo

These days many Americans, whether political or not, are tuned into discussions about social insurance programs. Retirees and younger generations, alike, are questioning whether Social Security benefits will be ample enough to carry them through their retirement years. Despite solvency for the next two decades, a number of options are being explored to ensure Social Security benefits are available for generations to come. Potential solutions range from those that cut benefits for the long-term to those that increase federal revenues to maintain or boost retiree benefits. A consideration that regularly discussed is the full retirement age and how it relates to the average life expectancy of Americans.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Educating Americans on How to Save for Retirement

James Chan

Before attending the National Academy of Social Insurance's 25th annual policy conference, Medicare and Social Security in a Time of Budget Austerity, I had very little knowledge of the details of the Social Security system. Throughout the conference, I couldn't help but think that the U.S. education system failed me by not preparing me for how to save for retirement.

Two presentations struck me at in particular:

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Experts Present Options for Redesigning and Financing America’s Long-Term Care System

by National Academy of Social Insurance

Social Insurance is a Critical Base for Achieving Universality and Efficiency

Hundreds of long-term care (LTC) experts gathered in Washington, D.C. today at The SCAN Foundation briefing to discuss private and public options for delivering and financing long-term care to the 12 million Americans who currently need it and the 27 million people expected to need it by 2050.

The discussion comes at a critical time. Congress recently approved the formation of a bipartisan commission on long-term care, tasked with making recommendations on meeting the nation’s needs for affordable long-term care services and support. Direct spending in the United States for long-term care services was $211 billion in 2011, with Medicaid picking up more than 62 percent of the tab. 

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Social Security’s Cost-of-Living Adjustment: What Do Americans Want?

Jasmine V. Tucker, National Academy of Social Insurance

The purpose of Social Security’s cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is to automatically adjust benefits to keep up with rising prices. Experts have long disagreed about how the COLA should be calculated and the rate at which it should grow to fully protect beneficiaries against loss of purchasing power due to inflation.

Some experts say the current COLA does not keep up with the inflation that seniors face because seniors spend more on out-of-pocket health care costs, which generally rise faster than average inflation. Other experts say that the current COLA actually overstates inflation because it does not sufficiently factor in substitution between different categories of goods. A recent survey that asked Americans whether they favor or oppose 14 different policy changes finds that Americans would prefer to increase, rather than reduce, Social Security’s COLA (see table below).

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Posted on March 11, 2013  |  4 comments  |  Add your comment
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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Time to Help States Make Lemonade on Issue of Long-Term Care?

The nation has no viable strategy to help people finance their long-term care

Lee Goldberg, National Academy of Social Insurance

A version of this article originally appeared in Roll Call on February 4, 2013.

The enactment of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 averted the so-called fiscal cliff, but it also repealed the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act that was intended to create a public mechanism to help people pay for long-term services and supports if they become disabled.

The repeal was not a surprise. More than a year ago the administration abandoned plans to implement CLASS after it became clear that premiums for the program as designed — with participation to be voluntary rather than mandatory — would be too high to attract more than a tiny percentage of the population.

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Posted on February 6, 2013  |  2 comments  |  Add your comment
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