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Report to the New Leadership and the American People on Social Insurance and Inequality

Our nation’s social insurance infrastructure forms the foundation of economic and health security for American workers and their families. Like all infrastructure, it must be periodically strengthened and modernized if it is to continue to meet the needs of a changing economy and society. This Report presents the new Administration and Congress with a range of evidence-based policy options, developed by the nation’s top social insurance experts, for doing so.

The first part of the Report takes stock of the policy challenges facing existing social insurance programs: Social Security, the major health insurance programs, and Unemployment Insurance. The second part discusses potential new directions for social insurance in coping with emerging needs in the areas of long-term services and supports, caregiving supports, and nonstandard work.

January 23rd, 2017|

Overcoming Barriers to Retirement Security for Women: The Role of Social Security

Summary: The share of women working today is near an all-time high. While their earnings and projected retirement incomes have grown compared to previous generations of women, a significant gender gap still exists. At the same time, women continue to bear most of the responsibility of caregiving, and many have to juggle the demands of work and taking care of a child or adult loved one. To compound this struggle, more women are handling these duties on their own, as more are either never married or divorced. These challenges put a strain on women’s ability to work and earn a decent living, making it difficult to achieve economic security in old age.

December 13th, 2016|

Social Security and the Racial Wealth Gap

SUMMARY: Racial and ethnic gaps in wealth are substantial and persistent.  The wealth of a the typical white household in 2013 was 13 times that of the typical black household and 10 times that of the typical Hispanic household. Social Security is a crucial component of most Americans’ financial security in retirement and makes up the vast majority of retirement wealth for most households of color. The gap in Social Security wealth between white households and households of color is substantially less than the gap in holdings of pension and IRA wealth. As a result, Social Security has a unique advantage to reduce the gap in retirement wealth for households of color. It provides universal coverage, requires mandatory contributions, and provides greater assets to those who need them most. A range of Social Security reform options are available to further reduce the gap in retirement wealth. Download the brief.

December 8th, 2016|

BRIEF: One System, Two Funds, Three Insurance Protections

Summary: Social Security is one system. It consists of two funds that provide three forms of insurance. Its disability, retirement, and survivors protections work together to cover many of the economic risks families face every day. Social Security provides this insurance through two trust funds: the Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund and the Old Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund. OASI protects against the loss of family earnings due to old age or the loss of a breadwinner. DI protects workers against loss of earnings due to a significant, work-limiting impairment. The OASI fund can cover scheduled benefits through 2035, and around three-quarters of benefits through 2090. The DI fund can pay full benefits through 2023, and around four-fifths of benefits through 2090.

November 22nd, 2016|

INFOGRAPHIC: Social Security: One System, Two Funds, Three Insurance Protections

This infographic is based on a brief, which explains how Social Security is one system, consisting of two funds, that provides three forms of insurance. Its disability, retirement, and survivor protections work together to cover many of the economic risks families face every day. From the young child whose working parent is disabled or deceased, to the worker who is worried about how his family would make ends meet if something happened to him, to the 80-year-old who does not want to have to turn to her children for financial support…Social Security is there for them.

November 22nd, 2016|

INFOGRAPHIC: It Pays to Talk

Deciding when to take Social Security benefits is one of the most important financial decisions your parents will make. This infographic outlines thre things they should keep in mind to make smart claiming decisions. Depending on your parent's financial situation, it may pay to wait, but definitely pays to talk.

The infographic is part of a toolkit of resources designed to educate workers approaching retirement, and their families and friends, about their options for taking Social Security benefits, and about why it can pay to wait

Download a PDF.

November 3rd, 2016|

MEDIA ALERT: 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.

October 17th, 2016|

PRESS RELEASE: Workers’ Compensation Benefits as a Share of Payroll Continue to Decline Even as Employer Costs Rise

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Workers’ compensation benefits as a share of payroll are reaching historically low levels, even as employers shoulder more costs, according to a new report from the National Academy of Social Insurance (the Academy).

Workers’ Compensation Amounts
per $100 of Covered Payroll

2014

Dollar Change
2010-14

Total Benefits Paid

$0.91

October 4th, 2016|
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