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Workforce Issues & Employee Benefits

Friday, September 11, 2020

How do today’s injured workers fare, compared to yesterday’s pirates?

Elaine Weiss, Lead Policy Analyst for Income Security; Jay Patel, Research Assistant

Workers’ compensation experts have expressed concern in recent years about the impact of decades of state cost-cutting measures and resulting uneven and increasingly inadequate benefits for injured workers.[1] Indeed, a ProPublica investigation reveals the steep decline in compensation for disabling injuries, including cutting off benefits long before many workers have recovered and refusing coverage for necessary aspects of care: “Over the past decade, state after state has been dismantling America’s workers’ comp system with disastrous consequences for many of the hundreds of thousands of people who suffer serious injuries at work each year.”[2]

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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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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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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Taxes, Contributions, and Social Insurance

Bill Arnone, CEO, National Academy of Social Insurance

 

With most Americans focused on taxes this month, it’s a good time to take a look at the relationship between federal income taxes and social insurance contributions.

Overview of Federal Taxes and Distributional Effects

The latest report by the Joint Committee on Taxation, Overview of the Federal Tax System As In Effect for 2019, provides a comprehensive starting point. This report breaks out the current federal tax system into four elements:

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Friday, January 18, 2019

Furloughed Federal Workers and Unemployment Insurance

William Arnone, CEO National Academy of Social Insurance

Stephen Wandner, PhD, Research Fellow, Upjohn Institute for Employment Research and Senior Fellow, National Academy of Social Insurance

 

Among the many headlines in coverage of the government shutdown: “The government shutdown spotlights a bigger issue: 78% of U.S. workers live paycheck to paycheck.”

For the roughly 800,000 furloughed federal workers, the partial shutdown began on December 22, 2018. These federal workers missed their first biweekly paycheck on January 11, 2019. If the shutdown continues, they will miss a second paycheck on January 25 and possibly future paychecks until the shutdown ends. Until January 16, when legislation was enacted guaranteeing that federal workers would receive back-pay upon the government’s reopening, these workers also faced over three weeks of uncertainty as to whether they would ever be paid for the shutdown period.

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Posted on January 18, 2019  |  Write the first comment
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