"Raising the retirement age would inflict further hardship among a group of workers who are likely to face health and economic problems in their 60s." –Doug Hart, President, Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans
"Of all the lies and confusion that still surround the Affordable Care Act, perhaps the greatest is that it is bad for seniors." - Dave Meinell, President, Missouri Alliance for Retired Americans
"My father died when I was three. Because of Social Security (survivors) benefits, my Mom, my younger sister and I survived." – Diane Fleming, DC Alliance Member
"We fear that Congress will balance the budget on the backs of the 98 percent, which is working Montanans and retired Montanans. We simply cannot afford these devastating cuts to vital services such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid," –John Forkan, President, Montana Alliance for Retired Americans
"Along with national parks and Social Security, Medicare is one of the best ideas we Americans have ever devised." -Tim Cunningham, New Mexico Alliance Member
"Seniors have earned and deserve their Social Security checks, and they shouldn't have to go to Congress every 10 years and beg for the program to be renewed." –James Parent, Alliance for Retired Americans Regional Board Member
"Today's retirees paid Medicare and Social Security taxes in every paycheck we ever earned. Now that we are retired, these programs help us to be able to stay healthy and pay our bills. They are the promise we make to people who worked hard all their lives, and we need to keep that promise for today’s workers." –Tony Fransetta, former President, Florida Alliance for Retired Americans
"Today's seniors want to lower the budget deficit. We do not want a large debt to be the legacy we leave to future generations, but we should not punish people who have paid Social Security taxes all their lives." –Jim Moore, former President, North Carolina Alliance for Retired Americans
"Social Security should remain what it has been for 77 years – a solid, reliable way that generations of workers have been able to retire with dignity, economic security, and peace of mind." –Barbara J. Easterling, President, Alliance for Retired Americans
"The fight for Social Security and Medicare is part of a larger fight for justice and fairness"—Barbara J. Easterling, President, Alliance for Retired Americans
"The health insurance reform helps not just seniors, but also middle-class families and young Americans, who are just starting to see the benefits. Don’t let Republicans take all that away." –Don Rowen, President Emeritus, Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans
"Honoring the promise of Social Security and Medicare should not be a partisan issue. Honoring the contributions that we make throughout our working years so that we may feed and clothe ourselves, keep a roof over our heads and those of our family, there is no reason for that to be a hotly contested partisan issue." –Edward Coyle, former Executive Director, Alliance for Retired Americans
"We need to make sure that people who need Social Security to make ends meet will have it, and not fall victim to ill-informed and unnecessary cuts to these vital programs."
–Barbara J. Easterling, President, Alliance for Retired Americans
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There are several bills that would expand Social Security. Here are the details for each.
Fact Sheet Social Security Expansion Bills July 2015
The Alliance sent a letter to all members of the U.S. Senate opposing the use of Social Security benefits as a way to pay for the highway funding bill. The letter stresses that the use of Social Security funds robs seniors and disabled beneficiaries of their promised earned benefits to pay for unrelated programs: Letter to Senate in Opposition to Social Security Benefits to Pay for Highway Bill
Higher wages would allow for more retirement savings and improve retirees’ Social Security earnings. Since Social Security benefits are directly related to career average earnings, more earnings would yield higher benefits. See our fact sheet here: Restoring the Minimum Wage Would Strengthen Social Security.
Letter to Democratic Leader Pelosi - Read the reasoning behind the Alliance's attempt to prevent a U.S. House budget rule from changing. The provision will critically damage efforts to keep all of Social Security solvent, and it changes what has been a routine reallocation of Social Security payroll tax income from the old-age program to the disability program.
Schakowsky - Matsui Letter to President Obama - Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Doris Matsui (D-CA), co-chairs of the Congressional Task Force on Seniors, wrote to President Obama on January 7, asking him to reject any proposals that would cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid or shift costs to those who use the programs.
Fact Sheet: Social Security and Medicare Facts and Figures for 2015 - See what's changed in the new year!
2014 Featured Fact Sheets
There have been numerous emails circulating that provide misinformation about Social Security. To dispel any misinformation, please refer to our fact sheet.
Social Security Myth Buster - October, 2014
On June 11, 2014, Senators Mark Begich (D-AK) and Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the Retirement and Income Security Enhancements (RAISE) Act. The RAISE Act would enhance Social Security benefits for widows, widowers, and divorced spouses while extending benefit eligibility for children of retired, disabled, and deceased workers. The RAISE Act is not the only proposal to expand Social Security. Last year, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced the Strengthening Social Security Act (S. 567) in the Senate, with Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) introducing a companion bill in the House (H.R. 3118).
RAISE Act Fact Sheet
On April 10, 2014, the U.S. House passed the House Republican (Ryan) budget for Fiscal Year 2015 by a vote of 219-205. As feared, it is a plan that would harm the middle class while providing a windfall for millionaires.
Paul Ryan Budget for FY 2015
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Petition 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.
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, 2010: Co-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
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.