2014 Featured Fact Sheet

On March 14, 2013, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced the Strengthening Social Security Act, S. 567, in the Senate.  Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D-CA) filed a companion bill, H.R. 3118, in the House of Representatives on September 17, 2013. This legislation will strengthen Social Security while improving the economic and retirement security of millions of Americans.
Strengthening Social Security Act Fact Sheet

November 2013

Social Security Administration Releases Facts and Figures for 2014:
The Social Security Administration recently released its Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Program (OASDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) rates and limits for 2014, available at http://tinyurl.com/lqqrpx7. One statistic the site shows is that Americans will pay Social Security taxes on only the first $117,000 they earn next year. “Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Program” is the official name for Social Security. Supplemental Security Income is a Federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues (not Social Security taxes). It is designed to help aged, blind, and disabled people, who have little or no income, and it provides cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.

2014 COLA:
Social Security beneficiaries will get a 1.5% increase in their monthly payments in 2014, the Social Security Administration announced last week. However, the program’s COLA will be below 2% for the fourth time in the last 5 years. Following that news, House Ways and Means Committee Republicans were misleading when they released a statement on Monday, saying, “If the more accurate chained CPI was used to determine the 2014 cost of living increase, seniors would see a 1.7% increase as opposed to this year’s increase of 1.5%.” (http://tinyurl.com/l2k2s5m).
Alliance Letter to Ways and Means Committee

July 2013

Chained CPI Fact Sheet
Find out the dangers of proposals to re-work the Cost of Living Adjustments for Social Security via a "Chained" Consumer Price Index.
Chained CPI Fact Sheet (Oct 28 2014) en español

May 2013

Click here to support a bill Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) introduced, called “The Strengthening Social Security Act of 2013” (S.567), which would put as much as an extra $800 in seniors’ pockets every year.

April 2013

Learn about the most recent potential threats to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid: What's at Stake in 2013  en español

Analysis from the group Social Security Works: A fact sheet with graph showing the effects that adoption of the chained CPI formula would have.
CPI Fact Sheet April 2013

Letter to Senators urging cosponsorship of Senators Harkin's, Sanders' and Whitehouse’s resolution expressing clear opposition to using the Chained Consumer Price Index (chained CPI) to calculate cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) for Social Security benefits.
Letter Supporting Harkin-Sanders-Whitehouse Resolution

Letter to U.S. Representatives urging cosponsorship of Rep. David Cicilline's (D-RI) resolution, which expresses clear opposition to using the Chained Consumer Price Index (chained CPI) to calculate cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) for Social Security benefits.
Letter Supporting Cicilline Resolution


March 2013

The Strengthening Social Security Act
Sen. Tom Harkin’s (D-IA) Strengthening Social Security Act of 2013 is similar to Senator Harkin’s Rebuild America Act though NOT identical. It extends Social Security Trust Fund through 2049; Lifts the cap on earnings subject to the Social Security tax over a 5 year period beginning in 2014 the previous legislation removed it over 10 years); and immediately applies the CPI-E. As before, the changes would increase average benefits by about $65 per month or $800 per year. Also as before, for those now contributing beyond the 2013 cap, they would get an increase in benefits - though that formula has changed.
Letter Supporting Sen. Tom Harkin's Strengthening Social Security Act

Letter from Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Social Security Administration Commissioner
Due to the failure of Congress to reach a deal on balanced deficit reduction to avoid sequestration, on March 1 the President was required by law to issue a sequestration order canceling approximately $85 billion in budgetary resources across the Federal Government for the remainder of the Federal fiscal year. Here is how those cuts would affect the Social Security Administration.
What Sequestration Means for Social Security

Letters to Senators, Representatives Supporting the "Keeping Our Social Security Promises Act"

Introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), the legislation will strengthen Social Security by ensuring its solvency for the next 50 years – all without cutting Social Security benefits. Rep. DeFazio (D-OR) introduced similar legislation in the House.
Letter to Senate

Letter to House


January 2013


Letters to Rep. Ted Deutch and Mark Begich
The Alliance sent letters to Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK), endorsing the “Protecting and Preserving Social Security Act” that they introduced in the House and Senate, respectively. The legislation ensures long-term solvency for Social Security by gradually lifting the cap on wages for high income earners.  At the same time, the plan enhances benefits by applying a more accurate cost-of-living adjustment, guaranteeing that seniors’ benefits keep up with their daily needs.
Ted Deutch Letter
Mark Begich Letter

Letter to Congressional Leaders About Chained CPI: October 2012
Letter from Social Security Works coalition, to House and Senate leaders, describing why future Cost-of-Living Adjustments should not be lowered. The Alliance signed on to the letter.
Social Security Works Chained CPI Sign-on Letter

The Ryan Roadmap: A Transfer of Resources to the Wealthiest Americans
Prior to being named Mitt Romney's running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) released "The Roadmap for America’s Future," which would radically alter our nation’s social insurance programs and tax policies.  According to an analysis by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, a non-partisan think tank, the plan would result in a massive transfer of resources from working and middle class Americans to the nation’s wealthiest individuals.  Here is how seniors would be affected by the Ryan Roadmap: 
Ryan Roadmap        en español

Fact Sheet: June 2012
How various deficit reduction programs would affect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid
Effect of Various Deficiit Reduction Proposals on Programs for Seniors

P
etition to Alan Simpson: June 2012
Read what former Senator Alan Simpson, co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, said to California Alliance for Retired Americans seniors here.  Then express your outrage by signing a petition here!

Fact Sheet: May 2012
The Rebuild America Act includes a number of provisions that strengthen Social Security by improving the solvency of the Social Security Trust Funds and, at the same time, improve the benefit calculations and annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) for all Social Security programs.
Tom Harkin's Rebuild America Act


Talking Points: May 2012
Do you want to be active in protecting Social Security and Medicare, but aren’t always sure what to say? The Alliance has created a concise 2-page document with suggestions on what questions to ask. For instance, see if your elected officials support raising Social Security's normal retirement age!
What to Say at Town Halls

Fact Sheet: March 2012

See how House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's proposed FY 2013 budget would affect Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
The Paul Ryan Budget: Implications for Seniors

Letter: March 2012

Letter to all Members of the U.S. the House, urging them to vote against the Ryan Republican budget for FY 2013.  The House vote on this budget is scheduled for March 29, 2012.
Alliance Letter to House Members on the Paul Ryan FY 2013 Budget

Fact Sheet: February 2012
Dispel the many myths you’re going to hear about Social Security during this campaign season!
Social Security Myth Buster        en español

Will across the board cuts go into effect in 2013? If so, will Social Security be protected?
Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid: What's at Stake in 2012         en español

Fact Sheets: November 2011
Letter from national organizations explaining why the Balanced Budget Amendment would be harmful.
National_Organizations_Oppose_Balanced Budget Amendment

Alliance fact sheet with the 2012 numbers for various Social Security and Medicare thresholds.
Social Security and Medicare 2012 Facts and Figures   en español

On November 16, Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced S. 1876, the Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers Act. It is a bill to change the Social Security COLA to what is called the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E) formula. See why the Alliance supports this legislation.
Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers Act Letter


Fact Sheets: October 2011
Useful information from the Social Security Administration for 2012, including the new maximum taxable earnings figures and earnings limits for Social Security recipients.
2012 Social Security Data from SSA


A Balanced Budget Amendment has been gaining momentum in Congress. Learn what it could mean for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Balanced Budget Amendment & Social Security

How to improve the economy without making cuts to key programs like Social Security.
Improve the Economy - Protect Social Security

See how the Super Committee might affect Social Security, and what to watch for.
Super Committee Summary

Fact Sheet: August 2011
Did you know? Social Security is an extremely efficient program, with administrative costs of only 0.9% of total expenditures!
Social Security: Facts and Figures, 2011

Fact Sheets: May - July, 2011
A comprehensive analysis of what the Social Security payroll tax cut means for beneficiaries   Social Security payroll_tax cut  

Social Security is a critical lifeline for people from all walks of life. Almost 6 million African Americans receive Social Security benefits.
Social Security and African-Americans  

Letters: July, 2011
The Alliance has sent a letter to all Members of the U.S House stressing that the "Cut, Cap, and Balance" bill would require devastating budget cuts that would disproportionately harm seniors and the middle class. Alliance's 'Cut, Cap, and Balance' Letter

A group of senior advocacy organizations, including the Alliance, sent a passionate letter to members of Congress calling for a halt to the assault on retirement security. Alliance Sign On Letter to Congress   

Social Security's 76th Anniversary
This summer Social Security celebrates its 76th anniversary. Seniors across the nation will celebrate with birthday cake, actions and town hall meetings. Download the Senior_Summer_Toolkit_2011.pdf for details and materials for hosting an event.

Paul Ryan Budget and Social Security
Fact Sheet on Paul Ryan Republican Budget   Learn how House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's April 5, 2011 Budget Plan Would Adversely Affect Seniors who rely on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

Paul Ryan Letter  Letter from the Alliance to all Members of the U.S House, urging them to vote against the Ryan Budget.

Fact Sheets - February, 2011
Social Security benefits are based on a worker’s earnings; the more a worker makes, the higher the benefit amount will be.
Low Wage Earners and Social Security     en español

For 75 years, Social Security has operated as a family insurance program that serves Americans of all ages.
Social Security and Children      en español

Social Security is an essential program to millions of Americans, and is especially important to minorities, many of whom have no other source of retirement income.
Social Security and Communities of Color     en español   

According to the Social Security Administration, about 3 in 10 men and 1 in 4 women will become seriously disabled prior to reaching their Social Security retirement age.
Social Security and SSDI     en español

Social Security is a critical lifeline for people from all walks of life, and many older women enter retirement with fewer economic resources than men.
Social Security and Women      en español

Today more than 70 million Americans work in private sector firms.  Of that number, more than 10 million work in firms with fewer than 100 employees.  Generally, the smaller the firm size, the less likely the firm will offer a defined benefit or defined contribution retirement plan to workers.
Social Security and Workers in Small Businesses        en español

Social Security Works for Your State
State-by-State statistics broken out by state and Congressional District. From Social Security Works, a coalition that includes the Alliance for Retired Americans.
State Reports

Letter to President Obama January 20, 2011
- Thirty state Alliance Presidents told President Obama that he has “the opportunity to renew the nation’s commitment to the Social Security program during the State of the Union Address” and urged him to reject false claims that Social Security increases the federal budget deficit.
Thirty State Presidents' Letter to Obama January 20 2011

Payroll Tax Holiday Jeopardizes Social Security
The Strengthen Social Security Campaign, comprised of 250 organizations and representing more than 50 million members from many of the nation’s leading aging, labor, and civil rights organizations - including the Alliance - recently sent a letter to Congress regarding a proposed Social Security payroll tax cut.  The letter urges Congress to oppose the payroll tax “holiday” in the President’s tax agreement with Republican leaders. It highlights how a payroll holiday will make Social Security and those who rely on it extremely vulnerable.
Strengthen Social Security Letter To Congress December 10, 2010: Oppose Payroll Tax Holiday

In a letter to Sen. Reid on December 10, 2010, a group led by Senators Jeff Merkley (OR) and Mary Landrieu (LA) pushed for an alternative tax cut agreement that strengthens Social Security rather than providing bonus tax cuts on income over $1 million. Other senators signing the letter include Senators Mark Begich (AK), Daniel Akaka (HI), Sherrod Brown (OH), Al Franken (MN), Mark Udall (CO), and Barbara Boxer (CA).
Letter to Majority Leader Reid from Democratic Senators

Recommendations of the Co-Chairs of the President's Fiscal Commission:
On December 3, 2010, the full Commission met to vote on the co-chairs’ proposal.  Under the Executive Order that created the Commission, 14 votes of the 18 members were necessary to make the proposal an official recommendation of the Commission.  The Commission voted 11 to 7 in favor of the proposal, which means the Commission did not adopt the proposals to change Social Security.  Issue brief on the final actions of the Fiscal Commission       en español 

From Social Security Works, which includes the Alliance as a member of the Steering Committee: Ten Reasons the Fiscal Commission Proposal Should Be DOA (Dead on Arrival)

Recommendations from Fiscal Commission Co-Chairs Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, November 10, 2010Co-Chairs' Proposal

75th Birthday Events:
Social Security turned 75 years old on Saturday, August 14th! The Alliance hosted numerous celebrations and actions around the country (pinpointed on map below). Wrap-up here.

Check out the new American Stories Project - discover real Social Security stories from Alliance members here.

Social Security comprises about 40 percent of older Americans’ income, making it the primary component to ensuring a secure retirement.  It is worth noting that in its 75 years of existence, Social Security has not added a cent to our country’s budget deficit.  Nevertheless, even as the baby boomers begin to retire, some fiscal conservatives have labeled Social Security as “unsustainable” and in need of “serious cuts.” This year, the president established a Fiscal Commission, comprised in part of individuals who seek to reduce the funding to Social Security as a means to fixing America’s budget deficit.  While dealing with America’s financial troubles must be a top priority, cutting Social Security is not a viable or sustainable solution.  Now more than ever, we must work to preserve this critical program from being subjected to cuts by deficit hawks.  To learn more about the importance of Social Security and how best to advocate on its behalf, please see the fact sheets and issue briefs below.  Join the fight and ensure a secure retirement for future generations!

Other Key Social Security Documents from the Alliance:

Testimony for September 30 Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Hearing  "Protecting and Preserving Social Security for Generations" - testimony and facts, including one New Hampshire Alliance member's story.

Testimony for July 15 2010 Ways and Means Committee Social Security Subcommittee Hearing  "Social Security at 75 Years:  More Necessary Now Than Ever" - testimony, including facts about Social Security and recent statistics on retirement security, related to Social Security's 75th anniversary.

Social Security Facts and Figures 2010 A snapshot that answers: When can I receive benefits?  Who is eligible?  How do I apply?

Issue Brief: Social Security - A Promise to All Generations  A comprehensive overview on the importance of Social Security and its benefits.

Fact Sheet Social Security Executive Commission April 2010  en espanol A detailed synopsis of what is going on with the Fiscal Commission and why it affects Social Security.