"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, 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, 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
95,000 Petition Signatures Gathered to Stop Social Security Administration Offices from Closing
June 18, 2014
For Immediate Release
Petitions Signed as Senate Special Committee on Aging Holds Hearing
Washington, DC – On Wednesday, June 18, the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging is holding a hearing to examine the impact of recent Social Security field office closures and service cuts. In conjunction with the hearing, the Alliance for Retired Americans and its coalition partner Social Security Works have gathered 95,000 petition signatures (http://tinyurl.com/qe9nfl6 and http://tinyurl.com/kqdltmf) directing Congress to provide full funding to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and keep Social Security offices open.
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) is the Chairman of the Committee, and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) is the Ranking Member. The hearing, the culmination of a bipartisan investigation into service reductions at the SSA, comes as baby boomers are filing record numbers of retirement, disability and survivor claims with the agency. Despite the rising demand, the SSA is in the midst of the largest five-year decline in field offices in its 79-year history. Budget cuts have, in part, led the agency to close 64 field offices and 533 temporary mobile offices since 2010. The SSA has also shed some 11,000 workers over the last three years and continues to reduce or eliminate a variety of in-person services.
“Americans came together to create the Social Security system to provide a basic, reliable foundation for retirement and disability,” said Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans. “Closing field offices and making it more difficult to access benefits information is an attempt to dismantle that foundation. It’s time to stop it.”
“The Social Security Administration is funded the same way Social Security benefits are—with payroll taxes that all workers pay,” Mr. Fiesta continued. “Its expenses have no impact on the federal debt, and represent less than 1% of Social Security’s annual expenditures. But Congress has still cut fourteen of the last sixteen SSA budget requests! And now, these cuts are being felt, as the Social Security Administration is forced to shutter dozens of field offices around the country.”
Contact: David Blank – 202/637-5275 or firstname.lastname@example.org