November 18, 2015

A convening to discuss the implications of growing income disparities for social insurance programs, and techniques that are effective in mitigating economic disparities.

America’s Changing Income and Wealth Patterns and Social Insurance
Wednesday, November 18th, 2015, 9:00am-1:00pm
National Academy of Social Insurance, 1200 New Hampshire Ave. NW, 5th Floor

Changes in demography, the labor market, family structure, and income and wealth distribution have created new economic risks. Top national experts in social insurance were convenedat the Academy to discuss the implications of these changes for social insurance programs, and potential policy responses.

9:00 – 9:15 am   Welcome and Opening Remarks

Bill Arnone, Board Chair, National Academy of Social Insurance

9:15 -10:15 am  Session I: Implications of Growing Disparities for Social Insurance Programs Moderated by Benjamin Veghte, National Academy of Social Insurance

Topics for consideration:

  • Implications of slow and unequal wage growth for revenue structure
    • Does this undermine solvency?
    • Does investment income need to be incorporated into contribution base?
    • Other revenue sources?
  • Implications for benefit structure
    • How to cope with growing share of workers with low lifetime income and assets?
  • Implications of deterioration of standard employment relationship
  • Implications of deterioration of socio-economic and health status of beneficiaries (e.g. for Medicaid, other programs)

10:15 – 11:30 am   Session II: Which Social Insurance Techniques are Effective in Mitigating Economic Disparities? 
Moderated by Benjamin Veghte, National Academy of Social Insurance

Topics for consideration:

  • Pooling risk
  • Smoothing income horizontally across life course
  • Redistributing income vertically across income groups
  • What kinds of disparities does social insurance address well?
  • Where is social insurance falling short?

11:30 – 12:45 pm   Session III: How Could Social Insurance Better Mitigate Growing Disparities?
Moderated by David Colby, Independent Consultant

Topics for consideration:

  • Better protections for children in low-income families
  • Paid family leave
  • Ways to cope with effects of employment and income volatility
  • Changes to Social Security contribution and benefit structure
  • Disparities in access to long-term care

12:45 -1 pm   Concluding Remarks
Kilolo Kijakazi, Urban Institute