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Social Security

Thursday, December 2, 2010

What does the Report of the Fiscal Commission's Co-Chairs Mean for Social Security?

Ben Veghte
Income Security Research Associate, National Academy of Social Insurance

Social Security changes recommended by the co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (NCFRR) on December 1, 2010  include: extending coverage (to uncovered state and local employees); three benefit reductions (affecting the benefit formula, cost of living adjustments, and retirement age); two benefit increases (a new special minimum and a 5 percent boost for longtime recipients); and a revenue increase (lifting the cap on taxable wages). In addition, the recommendation to lower personal income tax rates would reduce revenues to Social Security funds from the taxation of benefits.

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Posted on December 2, 2010  |  Write the first comment
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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Why No Social Security COLA for 2011?

Ben Veghte
Income Security Research Associate, National Academy of Social Insurance

In January 2010, for the first time since 1975, when Social Security benefits were first indexed to the Consumer Price Index, Social Security benefits were not inflation-adjusted with a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), because the CPI-W had not increased from the third quarter of 2008 to that of 2009. Today, the Social Security Administration announced that 2011 will be the second consecutive year without a COLA.

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Posted on October 14, 2010  |  1 comment  |  Add your comment
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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Social Security and Budget Deficits: Don’t Lose Sight of the Facts

Janice Gregory
President, National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI)

With the release of the new Social Security Trustees annual report, we can expect to hear sharp debates on Social Security’s financial picture. We must ensure these discussions do not lose sight of some important facts. Despite concerns about Social Security’s long-term stability, the truth is that the program is in good financial shape and, with some sensible improvements, will continue to provide security to millions of American’s for generations to come

As in previous recessions, Social Security income and outgo today are performing as they were designed, as a counter-cyclical insurance program. That is, with more people out of work, contributions from wages decrease and more program participants retire sooner than they had planned. These facts are not a cause for alarm. Rather, they demonstrate the insurance function of Social Security and how critical it is to the economic security of American workers and their families.

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

AmericaSpeaks: Our Budget, Our Economy

Janice Gregory
President, National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI)

You might have heard about AmericaSpeaks: Our Budget, Our Economy, a national non-partisan conversation on June 26, 2010 on the federal budget. Thousands of people will weigh the options available, including options that affect our national social insurance programs, and will voice their priorities in 19 facilitated discussions in cities that are linked from location to location by satellite and webcast.

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Posted on June 9, 2010  |  1 comment  |  Add your comment
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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Calling All Champions of Social Security

Harry C. Ballantyne
Cheif Actuary, Retired, Social Security Administration

In going to the Baltimore Museum of Art recently, I saw a painting that had, as an artist's name "Circle of Rembrandt." When I asked one of the docents at the museum what that meant, I found that originally, it was thought to be a painting by Rembrandt, but found later not to be. The painting turned out to be by one of Rembrandt's students, so they decided to credit the artwork to the name "Circle of Rembrandt."

Consequently, in honor of Bob Ball and his legacy, I think it would be fitting that future good (and, they would have to be good) ideas for improvements in the financing and adequacy of Social Security benefits may merit the name "Circle of Bob Ball."

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