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Women and Social Security Alert No. 35

The Women and Social SecurityAlert produced by the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) provides women-oriented information on and analysis of proposed changes in Social Security, up-to-date developments in the debate, and current research and statistics. The alert also includes announcements of key activities on Social Security, especially those of special interest to women. This e-mail alert is part of IWPR's mission to keep women's concerns at the center of current policy debates.

ITEMS IN THIS ALERT

Action Alerts

  • Strength Social Security Campaign's "Don't Make Us Work 'Til We Die" Local Events April 27 and 28
  • OWL: "Congressman Ryan's Road Map is a Speedway to Disaster for Older Women"
  • NCPSSM petition: "Social Security Didn't Cause Our Budget Mess"
  • Strengthen Social Security Campaign's Petition to Speak Boehner

New Policy Analysis

  • NCPSSM: The Ryan Roadmap and Social Security -- Laying the Groundwork for Future Benefit Cuts
  • National Women's Law Center: House GOP Budget Takes Trillions from Women and Families, Gives Trillions to Millionaires and Corporations
  • National Women's Law Center: What the FY 2011 Budget Deal Means for Women and Families
  • CBPP: Proposed Cap on Federal Spending Would Force Deep Cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security: Would Likely Require Radical Changes Such As Medicare Privatization, a Medicaid Block Grant, and Repeal of Health Reform
  • CEPR: The Wisconsin Retirement System is One of the Healthiest in the Country
  • CEPR: The Origins and Severity of the Public Pension Crisis
  • EPI: Discounting Public Pensions: Reports of Trillions in Shortfalls Ignore Expected Returns on Assets
  • EPI: CBO Budget Report Shows Little Change to Social Security Outlook
  • Demos: The Failure of the 401(k): How Individual Retirement Plans are a Costly Gamble for American Workers
  • NASI: Social Security Benefits, Finances, and Policy Options: A Primer

Upcoming Events

  • OWL's 2011 Mother's Day Breakfast Briefing
  • WISER Celebrates 15 Year Anniversary!"
  • "NASI at 25: Celebrating Milestones and Envisioning the Future of Social Insurance"

 

ACTION ALERTS

Strength Social Security Campaign's "Don't Make Us Work 'Til We Die" Local Events April 27 and 28


Don't want to work 'til you die? Click here to find an event near you to rally against proposed increases to the retirement age.
Watch this entertaining video clip to learn about the campaign.

 

OWL: "Congressman Ryan's Road Map is a Speedway to Disaster for Older Women"


Click here to read OWL's statement on the threat to Social Security in Paul Ryan's budget proposal and to write your representative with your views.

 

NCPSSM petition: "Social Security Didn't Cause Our Budget Mess"


Urge your representative to protect Social Security in the battles over the budget by clicking here.
Alternatively, send this letter to the editor to your local newspaper by clicking here.

 

Strengthen Social Security Campaign's Petition to Speak Boehner


Click here to tell Speak Boehner that you oppose cuts to Social Security.

NEW POLICY ANALYSIS

NCPSSM: The Ryan Roadmap and Social Security -- Laying the Groundwork for Future Benefit Cuts

April 2011


Quick Take:
Representative Paul Ryan, House Budget Committee Chairman, proposed a budget that would amend the Social Security Act to include a "fast track" plan, that would encourage the development of proposals to cut Social Security benefits and go through congress with a "fast track" legislative procedure.

 

National Women's Law Center: House GOP Budget Takes Trillions from Women and Families, Gives Trillions to Millionaires and Corporations

April 2011


Quick Take:
Two-thirds of spending cuts from the House GOP budget would come from programs that help low- and middle-income Americans. At the same time, tax breaks are given to the wealthy and to corporations.

 

National Women's Law Center: What the FY 2011 Budget Deal Means for Women and Families

April 2011


Quick Take:
The FY 2011 Budget that was signed by the President on April 15 cuts funding for domestic and international programs, but will not be nearly as harmful as the cuts that were proposed in HR 1. The continued resolution saves funding for many vital programs, like Head Start and Pell Grants, but also reduces funding for programs such as Youthbuild and the Senior Community Service Employment Program. In addition, while funding for reproductive health care has been maintained, D.C is not allowed to use funds to pay for abortions for low-income women.

 

CBPP: Proposed Cap on Federal Spending Would Force Deep Cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security: Would Likely Require Radical Changes Such As Medicare Privatization, a Medicaid Block Grant, and Repeal of Health Reform

Edwin Park, Kathy Ruffing, and Paul N. Van de Water
Revised April 2011


Quick Take:
Senators Bob Corker and Claire McCaskill recently introduced a proposal that would limit federal spending to no more than 20.6 percent of GDP. This proposed legislation, the Corker-McCaskill bill, would require large cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. They propose for across-the-board cuts to take place from 2013 through 2021, and these cuts would grow in the following years. Other proposals, such as the Senate Republican leaders' proposed constitutional amendment, would also cap spending and cause deep cuts to these programs.

 

CEPR: The Wisconsin Retirement System is One of the Healthiest in the Country

March 2011


Quick Take:
According to new reports by COWS and CEPR, the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) is financially stable and doing well, but Governor Walker and other conservatives continue to argue that the fund is in trouble. CEPR writes that the WRS requires little or no reform. Public sector workers do not have pension benefits that are too high, as conservatives argue. Walker's proposal to increase their pension contributions will actually only cut their pay.

 

CEPR: The Origins and Severity of the Public Pension Crisis

Dean Baker
February 2011


Quick Take:
State and local pension funds are facing shortfalls, but, as CEPR notes, it is manageable. The downturn in the stock market was the root cause of this shortfall and pension funds.

 

EPI: Discounting Public Pensions: Reports of Trillions in Shortfalls Ignore Expected Returns on Assets

Monique Morrissey April 2011


Quick Take:
Last year, public pensions had about 78percent of what they needed set aside to pay for pension benefits. For most state and local governments, however, the necessary increase to pension contributions is sustainable.

 

EPI: CBO Budget Report Shows Little Change to Social Security Outlook

Robert Hiltonsmith
March 2011


Quick Take:
Only 59 percent of full-time workers have access to retirement plans at work, so a large portion of the workforce relies solely on Social Security benefits. Minorities, young people and low-income workers have the lowest access rates to work-based retirement plans. In addition, individual retirement plans are risky for workers. This report looks at various proposals for private retirement reform and promotes Guaranteed Retirement Accounts as a way to ensure a safer retirement plan for all working Americans.

 

NASI: Social Security Benefits, Finances, and Policy Options: A Primer

April 2011


Quick Take:
Social Security benefits are modest, but are the main source of income for most beneficiaries. In the future, benefits are going to replace a smaller share of earnings, due to the on-going increase in the full-retirement age. In order to secure Social Security's long-term funding, revenue increases or benefit cuts are needed. Social Security should continue to be funded at current benefit levels, since the program is strongly supported by Americans, who respond in survey after survey that they do not want their benefits cut.

UPCOMING EVENTS

OWL's 2011 Mother's Day Breakfast Briefing

Thursday, May 5th
9:30- 10:30am
Room H-137 in the US Capitol


At this event, the Older Women's League (OWL) will be releasing its 2011 Mother's Day report "The Affordable Care Act: America's Version of Health Care for All."


Speakers include:
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)
Kathy Greenlee, Assistant Secretary for Aging, HHS (invited)
Margaret Hellie Huyck, OWL Board Chair


Click here to rsvp.

 

"WISER Celebrates 15 Year Anniversary!"

Come celebrate 15 years of Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER).


Wednesday, May 25
Capitol View Conference Center
101 Consititution Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20001
4:00-5:30pm Forum
5:30- 7:30pm Reception & Awards


Learn more about the festivities here.

 

"NASI at 25: Celebrating Milestones and Envisioning the Future of Social Insurance"

Wednesday, June 8, 2011
5:30-8:30pm
Washington Court Hotel
525 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Atrium Ballroom
Washington, DC 20001
United States


Click here to register for NASI's 25th anniversary celebration!

In January 2005, just as the debate on Social Security reform was getting underway, we launched the IWPR Women and Social Security Alert (WomenSSA). According to the positive feedback we received from you – our colleagues, our members, and advocates on this issue – this special alert system has proven to be a comprehensive resource in helping you to stay at the forefront of this topic and its effect on women. Please help us continue to produce this beneficial resource by contributing to our special Women and Social Security Alert Fund today! With your help, we will ensure the continued distribution of this important information on Social Security reform and those most affected – women. PLEASE CONTRIBUTE NOW!


Women and Social Security Alert
Institute for Women's Policy Research

phone: (202) 785-5100
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