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Friday, November 18, 2016

Reflections on the Election and What it Means for Social Insurance and the United States

William J. Arnone

What does the outcome of last Tuesday’s election mean for the future of social insurance in the United States? 

Although the core elements of our nation’s social insurance structure – Social Security, Medicare, Workers’ Compensation, and Unemployment Insurance – were given little attention during the debates, a new Administration and Congress will no doubt take a hard look at the strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities confronting these essential programs. Vital protections provided by other key programs within the scope of the National Academy of Social Insurance – such as Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, and especially the Affordable Care Act – are facing serious challenges.

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Posted on November 18, 2016  |  Write the first comment
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Monday, October 17, 2016

What You Need to Know about Social Security’s 2017 Cost-of-Living Adjustment

 

Tomorrow's announcement by the Social Security Administration about the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security benefits, effective January 2017, is likely to be met with questioning and concerns by many current beneficiaries, particularly in an election year and after no COLA was received in 2016. (That marked only the third year without a COLA in four decades.)

Social Security’s annual COLA is intended to protect the purchasing power of benefits against erosion by price inflation. It is important to many beneficiaries that benefits keep up with the cost of living, because other sources of income typically decline with age. As individuals grow older, their pensions are eroded by inflation, employment options end, spouses cope with widowhood, and savings are depleted - and they rely even more on Social Security.

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Friday, August 26, 2016

A Longevity Insurance Benefit for Social Security: An Innovation from the Past

John Turner, Pension Policy Center

In the United States, poverty rates for seniors increase at older ages.  The rates are higher for persons age 75 and older than for persons age 65 to 74.   Poverty rates increase at older ages because relatively more people fall into poverty as they age than exit poverty due to death. Persons who live longer may fall into poverty because of various life events -- their spouse dies, they have higher medical or long-term care expenses than expected, or their investment returns are worse than projected. As Americans live longer, they face an increased risk of outliving their savings.

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Posted on August 26, 2016  |  Write the first comment
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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Role of Paid Family Leave in Reducing Workforce Disparities

Alexandra Bradley, Health Policy Analyst

In recent decades, women have entered the work force in droves, making substantial contributions to families’ financial stability. As a result, however, the once common figure of a stay-at-home caregiver is rapidly diminishing, and families are left to fill in the gaps. Despite increasing responsibilities outside the home, women still also shoulder the primary responsibility of both caregiving for children and for ill or aging adult family members. Increasing pressure to make ends meet with less time and stagnant wages is taking both a financial and emotional toll on working families.

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Posted on August 16, 2016  |  1 comment  |  Add your comment
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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Social Security at 81: A Wise Program Fit for New Challenges

Elliot Schreur, National Academy of Social Insurance


Sunday, August 14 is the 81st anniversary of our Social Security system.  While few of us were alive to celebrate the system’s first anniversary in 1936, even fewer have living memories of the social problems that gave rise to it. At the time, half of all seniors were living in poverty, individual retirement savings plans like 401(k)s were 40 years away, and depression-era workers were having a hard enough time providing for themselves and their children, let alone supporting their parents and grandparents. What are we to make today of a program that was created in an almost unrecognizable industrial economy?

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