September 5, 2018

    An educational forum on Social Security and federal budget policy for Chicago-area community, business, and policy thought leaders

    Policy Preview: The Future of Social Security

    How do we assure that America’s most popular and important domestic program achieves long-term financial balance?

    Join the National Academy of Social Insurance for an educational forum and networking reception for Chicago-area community, business, and policy thought leaders. The event will feature a presentation on Social Security by Henry Aaron, a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, the nation’s top-rated think tank. Aaron is one of the nation’s preeminent experts on Social Security, Medicare, and budget policy.

    What’s at stake? Over the course of the 20th century, government and the private sector jointly fashioned a web of programs that provides most Americans a measure of financial security in retirement. Social Security is the linchpin of this system, providing more than half of the income of more than half of the nation’s elderly. The significant reduction in poverty among older Americans through the Social Security program is one our nation’s most significant accomplishments.

    The challenge we face: For a number of years, it has been clear that currently earmarked revenues will be insufficient to pay all scheduled benefits. The 2018 Report of the Social Security Trustees projects that the program’s revenues will be sufficient to pay all scheduled benefits until 2034, but 75% of scheduled benefits thereafter. If the Trustees’ projections hold, workers retiring 16 years from now could receive only three-quarters of the benefits promised, and all who had retired previously could face a 25% benefit cut. Some polls report that many working Americans, especially Millennials, don’t expect to receive any Social Security benefits at all. In addition, the rest of the federal budget is out of balance and projected to slide deeper into deficit.

    This situation requires Congress to act – both to restore long-term financial balance to Social Security and to prevent overall national debt from rising excessively. What might elected officials do to fix this major challenge facing our nation?

    What are among the options? Henry Aaron will present a plan on how to restore long-term balance to Social Security’s long-term finances and how to modify the program to cope with economic, demographic, and behavioral changes since Congress last enacted major Social Security legislation in 1983.

    Following Aaron’s presentation, several other policy experts will discuss the implications of proposed changes to Social Security. The discussion will be moderated by Harold Pollack, Professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration.

    Additional event speakers include:

    William Arnone, CEO, National Academy of Social Insurance

    Katherine Baicker, Dean, University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy

    Manasi Deshpande, Assistant Professor in Economics, University of Chicago

    Renee Landers, Professor of Law, Suffolk University Law School

    Anna Rappaport, Actuary and President, Anna Rappaport Consulting

    Diane Schanzenbach, Professor of Human Development and Social Policy, and Director, Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University



    3:00 pm – 5:30 pm: Presentation on disability research by Manasi Deshpande; keynote presentation by Henry Aaron on OASI, and policy discussion moderated by Harold Pollack

    5:30 pm – 7:00 pm: Networking reception with remarks by Katherine Baicker and Diane Schanzenbach


    As a concerned community or business leader, you won’t want to miss this unique opportunity to get an inside look at what Congress may do, and what this might mean for workers and beneficiaries, today and tomorrow.


    This educational forum is made possible with support from:

    Chicago Host Committee:

    Kerwin Charles, Edwin A. and Betty L. Bergman Distinguished Service Professor, University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy

    Cecilia Conrad, Managing Director, MacArthur Foundation

    Manasi Deshpande, Assistant Professor in Economics, University of Chicago

    Thomas Geoghegan, Partner, Despres, Schwartz and Geoghegan

    Harold Pollack, Professor, University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration

    Anna Rappaport, President, Anna Rappaport Consulting


    For more information and to learn about event sponsorship opportunities, please contact:

    William Arnone
    Chief Executive Officer

    Kristine Quinio
    Director of Development


    About the National Academy of Social Insurance
    Since its founding in 1986, the Academy has led productive discussions designed to provide rigorous inquiry and insights into the functioning of our nation’s social insurance programs and how they can continue to meet the changing needs of American families, employees, and employers. Participants in Academy events gain valuable takeaways, including leading policy options, the latest research findings in various areas of social insurance, “who’s who” in the field, and which organizations are most engaged in these issues.

    About Henry Aaron

    Henry Aaron is the Bruce and Virginia MacLaury Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, where he directed Economic Studies from 1990 through 1996. He is a member and former chair of the Social Security Advisory Board and Vice Chair of the District of Columbia Health Benefit Exchange Authority. He is a member of the board of directors of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities and the advisory board of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and a former member of the boards of directors of the College Retirement Equities Fund, Abt Associates, and Georgetown University. He is a former Guggenheim Fellow and member of the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2007, he received the Robert M. Ball Award for Outstanding Achievements in Social Insurance from the National Academy of Social Insurance. He is the author, co-author, or editor of numerous publications on a variety of subjects including: Social Security, health policy, tax policy, housing policy, social welfare, and welfare reform. Henry Aaron is a Founding Board Member of the Academy and a former Chair of the Academy’s Board.