"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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Social Security to Give Small 1.5% Increase in 2014
October 30, 2013
For Immediate Release
Some want the chained CPI, which would mean even smaller increases
Washington, DC - The year 2014 will bring another small raise for millions of people in earned Social Security, veterans' and federal pension benefits. Next year's cost-of -living adjustment (COLA) increase will be 1.5%, the U.S. Department of Labor and the Social Security Administration announced today. The increase is based on the current CPI (Consumer Price Index) calculation, calibrated specifically for working Americans. Several proposals exist to change this formula – for the better and the worse. The “chained CPI,” which would lower future increases, was proposed by the 2011 deficit commission, included in the President’s budget proposal and included in the Republican Study Committee budget proposal in the House.
Just this month, 51 Republican members of the House, led by Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI) signed a letter to Speaker Boehner supporting COLA cuts. On the other hand, S. 567 sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and HR 3118 sponsored by Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) would help seniors by switching to the CPI-E: a formula that takes into account the items on which seniors typically spend their money.
“I hope this news about next year’s Social Security COLA will cause politicians in Washington to reconsider their support for the chained CPI,” said Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance. “How can anyone look at an increase of around 1.5% and think ‘That’s too big?’ Clearly, these politicians need to spend more time talking to seniors who are struggling.”
“Next year’s increase will be 1.5%. Imagine if it were even less,” added Mr. Coyle. “Then imagine if that smaller increase were to be compounded over time. That is the chained CPI.”
A study showed that, if the chained CPI were to take effect, a worker retiring this year at age 65 would lose more than $6,000 in benefits by age 80 (http://tinyurl.com/kxywnow). In 2013, the increase was 1.7 percent. There was no COLA in 2010 or 2011 because inflation was too low.
“Retirees spend those increases in our communities,” said Coyle. “Everyone benefits from a generous COLA formula. That’s why the Alliance supports the Harkin/Sanchez legislation that would improve the formula for seniors as well as improve Social Security’s solvency. It would lift the cap on earnings subject to FICA, so that all Americans pay the same rate. We need a better COLA formula, not a worse one.”
Contact: David Blank – 202/637-5275 or firstname.lastname@example.org