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Social Security

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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Friday, November 21, 2014

25 Million Reasons to Give Thanks for Social Insurance

Elisa Walker, National Academy of Social Insurance

Did you know that this Thanksgiving, there are more than 25 million reasons to give thanks for social insurance? According to Census Bureau data released this fall, more than 45 million people in the U.S., or 14.5% of the nation, lived in poverty in 2013.[1] The good news? Three vitally important social insurance programs – Social Security, unemployment insurance (UI), and workers’ compensation – and a related program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), kept the poverty rate from being much higher. Together, these four programs kept more than 25 million people out of poverty.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Yes, Americans Do Favor a Revenue-Only Approach to Social Security Reform

William (Bill) J. Arnone, NASI Board Chair

In a blog post on the National Academy of Social Insurance’s new public opinion study, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CFRB) asks, “Do Americans really favor a revenue-only approach to Social Security reform?”

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Posted on November 4, 2014  |  1 comment  |  Add your comment
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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Big Tax Increase Nobody Noticed

Dean Baker and Nicole Woo, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR)

The 2011-12 Social Security payroll tax holiday ended in January 2013, which meant that the vast majority of working Americans faced a two percent cut in their take-home pay. 

Compared to past payroll tax increases, this was an extraordinarily large and sudden one. For example, from 1980 to 1990 the rate was increased gradually by a total of 2.24 percentage points; in no year did the rate rise by more than 0.72 percentage points, or just over one-third of the 2013 increase. (This combines the employer and employee side tax increases. In 2013, the whole tax increase was on the employee side.)

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Posted on September 30, 2014  |  6 comments  |  Add your comment
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