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Social Security

Friday, August 14, 2020

COVID-19 has Weakened Key Elements of Retirement Security, but We Can Strengthen Them

Tyler Bond, Research Manager, National Institute on Retirement Security

Elaine Weiss, Lead Policy Analyst for Income Security, National Academy of Social Insurance

Many Americans had reason to be concerned about their retirement prospects long before 2020. For decades, the racial wealth gap between Whites and African-Americans has increased, while the gap between Whites and Latinos has not diminished. Workers of color and low-income workers have long had less stable jobs, which provided fewer supports and exposed them to higher risks.

Now, communities that were already the most vulnerable to being insecure in retirement have been hit hardest by COVID-19. This is especially concerning for women of color, who tend to have low-wage, front-line jobs.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2020

The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Social Security's Financing and Benefits

William Arnone, Chief Executive Officer

The 2020 Report of the Social Security Trustees, released on April 22nd, notes that, using its best-estimate assumptions, the reserves of the combined Old Age Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds along with projected program income are sufficient to cover projected program cost over the next 10 years. By 2035, however, these combined reserves are projected to be depleted. Unless Congress acts, the projected revenues will be sufficient to pay only 79% of scheduled benefits.

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Posted on May 12, 2020  |  1 comment  |  Add your comment
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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Recession Readiness: The Role of Social Insurance

William Arnone, Chief Executive Officer

Recession Watch

A defining trait of severe recessions is the staggering levels of long-term unemployment that follow. During the last recession, between 2008 and 2009, 8.4 million jobs, or 6.1% of all payroll employment at the time, were lost. Prior to the last recession, the largest share of the unemployed experiencing long-term unemployment was 26.0% in the early 1980s. The same long-term unemployment rate exceeded 40% into the early 2010s, amounting to over 4%of the entire labor force, and is only now falling to pre-recessionary levels.

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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Addressing Social Security's Long-Range Financial Stability

Bill Arnone, CEO, National Academy of Social Insurance

Significant proposals to enhance Social Security’s long-range financial stability are emerging from a variety of sources. Although there was only one mention of Social Security during the first round of Democratic Presidential debates in June, it is likely to get much more attention from candidates in the coming months.

Recently, I attended the annual Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s Fiscal Summit in DC. (The Peterson Foundation has been a long-time supporter of the Academy’s work.)

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Posted on July 16, 2019  |  1 comment  |  Add your comment
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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Socialism or Social Insurance?

Bill Arnone, CEO, National Academy of Social Insurance

The political air is charged these days with claims that various policy ideas, like Medicare-For-All and the Green New Deal, are “socialistic.” Such charges have been made in American history since the late 19th century, often in response to bold new policy concepts put forward to address gaps in income and health care security. This leads us to revisit a fundamental question – what differentiates Socialism from Social Insurance?

Social Insurance as Collective Action

In the words of Robert M. Ball, Founding Chair of our Academy: “Social insurance derives its unique strength from the principle that the best form of self-protection is mutual aid on a universal scale; when everyone contributes, everyone can be protected.” Academy Member and historian Edward D. Berkowitz also quotes Bob Ball:

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