"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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Tell Congress: Don't Raise Retirement Age!
September 03, 2010
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) plans to introduce a resolution expressing the sense of Congress against raising the retirement age when Congress reconvenes this month. "This resolution, especially with a large number of cosponsors, can be a good counterweight to proposals at the Fiscal Commission to raise the retirement age,” said Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the
“For 75 years, Social Security has been a bedrock promise. Seniors have earned it with a lifetime of hard work and depend on it to live independently and with dignity in their retirement. That's why I unequivocally oppose proposals to cut Social Security benefits and balance the budget on the backs of seniors by raising the Social Security retirement age,” Giffords wrote in her letter. Rep. Giffords listed several reasons for not raising the retirement age: the surplus within the Social Security trust fund is estimated to grow to more than $4 trillion by 2023; also, the normal retirement age, currently 66, was already increased by two months each year in 1983 until it reaches 67 in 2022. In addition, she wrote that raising the retirement age will place a greater burden on older, blue-collar workers in physically demanding occupations, like nurses, auto workers and teachers, who may not be able to continue to work in their jobs into their mid-to-late 60s; that the burden of raising the retirement age will fall most heavily on older workers with limited employment opportunities; and that life expectancy numbers are skewed in favor of men, higher income earners, and the more educated.
Members of the Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans, the
New Health Care Benefits Kick in, Address Early Retirees and the Doughnut Hole
This week, The Washington Post reported that 2,000 groups have now been approved for early-retiree health care funds [http://bit.ly/9MSAyV]. One of the provisions of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Law is a $5 billion program to reimburse employers for health claims of early retirees (retired workers over 55 but too young to receive Medicare), encouraging employers to cover early retirees. Many companies and state governments involved in a lawsuit contesting the constitutionality of the health law applied successfully for the early retiree health care funds. The provision aims to curb the rapid decline of employers who offer health coverage to early retirees.
Also this week, the Department of Health and Human Resources announced that the millionth $250 “doughnut hole” rebate check was mailed to a senior who falls in the Medicare doughnut hole. Many
Seniors and baby-boomers are the most rapidly-growing group of social networking internet users. A new report by
Ms. Easterling was in
Intergenerational Economic Trouble Ensues as Kids Go to College
According to Reuters, a growing number of families are tapping retirement accounts to fund soaring tuition bills in the midst of the toughest economic climate since the Great Depression. The number of families raiding retirement accounts for college this year has doubled, according to a new study by Gallup and student lending giant Sallie Mae [http://bit.ly/a1WXmm]. The study of more than 1,600 families with college-age children found that 7 percent withdrew or borrowed funds from a 401(k) or IRA for the 2009-2010 academic year, up from 3 percent in the previous year. And the amounts withdrawn or borrowed increased to $8,554, up from $5,318 in the previous year. The reliance on retirement accounts mirrors a broader trend of cracked retirement nest eggs due to economic stress. Fidelity Investments reported recently that customers borrowing or withdrawing from a 401(k) account rose to 11 percent of active plan participants, up from 9 percent a year ago.