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Social Security

Social Security is a federal program that provides retirement, survivor, and disability income to qualifying individuals and their families. Benefits are dependent on work history and adjusted for inflation each year.

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Enhancing Social Security and Improving Retirement Security: Four Innovative Proposals

Together, these four innovative policy ideas begin to address the income adequacy needs of older workers who must claim Social Security retirement benefits early due to ill health, an inability to continue to perform physically demanding jobs, or other factors.
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Latest in Social Security
Benefit Adequacy for Retirees
Disparities Among Racial & Ethnic Groups
Social Security Disability Insurance

Latest in Social Security

September 1, 2021
The primer is a PowerPoint presentation of approximately 40 slides that provides factual background about Social Security, its benefits and finances, and some policy options to improve the program, updated to reflect data from the 2021 Trustees Report.
First page of fact sheet
July 16, 2021
This fact sheet describes the urgency of updating Supplemental Security Income (SSI) after decades of federal neglect, especially as policymakers work to “build back better” in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes policy options for ensuring that seniors and people with disabilities are able to access basic economic stability and live with dignity.
May 19, 2020
Academy Members and partners participated in a virtual roundtable on Tuesday, May 19th from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. EDT / 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PDT on the pandemic’s impact on retirement prospects for different cohorts.
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Benefit Adequacy for Retirees

December, 2019
The National Academy of Social Insurance, in collaboration with AARP, engaged in a year-long effort to identify innovative strategies to address the income adequacy needs of older workers who must claim Social Security retirement benefits early due to ill health, an inability to continue to perform physically demanding jobs, or other factors.
June, 2018
Independent contractors (ICs) experience many of the same risks as workers in a standard employment relationship, but face them without many of the rights, benefits, and social insurance protections enjoyed by traditional employees.
December, 2016
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.
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Disparities Among Racial & Ethnic Groups

December 2016
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.
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Social Security Disability Insurance

January, 2017
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.
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