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Women and Social Security Alert No. 36

The Women and Social Security Email Alert 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

News

  • House Budget Proposal Fails to Pass Senate
  • OWES Task Force of the National Council of Women's Organizations Demands that President Obama Consider Women in Budget Discussions

New Research

  • National Women's Law Center: State-by-State Factsheets: Social Security Vital to Women and Families
  • CBPP: "What the 2011 Trustees' Report Shows About Social Security"
  • NASI: "Should Social Security's Cost-of-Living Adjustment be Changed?"
  • IWPR: Two New Fact Sheets on the Importance of Social Security to Black Women and Latinas

Upcoming Events

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

Action Alerts

  • NOW: "Social Security: Tell Your Senators to Oppose Benefit Cuts"

 

NEWS

House Budget Proposal Fails to Pass Senate


On May 25, the U.S. Senate voted on and ultimately defeated the budget that had passed the U.S. House of Representatives a few weeks earlier. The House's budget would have changed Medicare into a voucher program that would provide older Americans a fixed government contribution to purchase health care in the private market. According to an analysis by Social Security Works and the Strengthen Social Security Campaign, getting the same kind of coverage provided by the current Medicare system under this reform would cost an average older American about half the value of their Social Security benefit in the first year and 90 percent over 16 years.

 

OWES Task Force of the National Council of Women's Organizations Demands that President Obama Consider Women in Budget Discussions


In a May 24 press conference, members of the Older Women's Economic Security (OWES) Task Force of the National Council of Women's Organizations presented a letter urging President Obama to include in discussions of the federal budget women and how women are affected by the budget, and called for a meeting with the President and Vice President to discuss ways to do so. According to the media, these budget discussions consist entirely of men. Yet, women rely disproportionately on many federal programs. The letter to the President explains the importance of considering women's particular stake in these discussions and having women's viewpoints present in them.

NEW RESEARCH

National Women's Law Center: State-by-State Factsheets: Social Security Vital to Women and Families

May 2011


These factsheets show how many women and children rely on Social Security in each state.

 

CBPP: "What the 2011 Trustees' Report Shows About Social Security"

May 2011


This report, by Kathy A. Ruffing, presents the main findings from the Social Security Board of Trustees' annual report on the program's finances. The Trustees' report showed a minor weakening of Social Security's short- and long-term financial outlook, "a finding that was widely expected and well within the range of past revisions."

 

NASI: "Should Social Security's Cost-of-Living Adjustment be Changed?"

April 2011


In this fact sheet, Benjamin W. Veghte, Virginia P. Reno, Thomas N. Bethell and Elisa A. Walker explain how Social Security's current cost-of-living adjustment undercompensates older Americans for inflation and analyze other cost-of-living adjustments that are being proposed.

 

IWPR: Two New Fact Sheets on the Importance of Social Security to Black Women and Latinas

April and May 2011


According two new fact sheets from the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR), Social Security can be a lifeline out of poverty for older black women and Latinas. While the program is crucial to many older Americans, it is especially important to black women and Latinas, because they tend to have fewer alternative sources of income, experience higher poverty rates, and earn less on average throughout their working years.

Black women account for 5.7 million and Latinas account for 1.7 million of the 52.5 million Social Security beneficiaries in the U.S. Without Social Security, the poverty rate among Latinas aged 62-64 would be 34 percent, compared with its current rate of 15 percent. Among black women, the poverty rate for the same age group would be even higher at 36 percent, compared with its current rate of 16 percent.

On average, black women experience higher rates of disability at older ages: 26 percent of black women who receive Social Security benefits receive disability benefits, compared with 12 percent of white women and 14 percent of adult women from all races combined.

Latinas have a longer average life expectancy and are dependent on Social Security for more time. Latinas who were age 65 in 2010 have an average life expectancy of 89 years, compared with 85 years for all women and Hispanic men and 82 years for all men.

Above age 64 few Latinas report income from sources other than Social Security. Only 27 percent of this group report any income from assets which is their second most common source of income. Social Security is also the most common source of income for black women age 62 and older.

The fact sheets are based on data from the 2010 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement Survey and the report from the Institute for Women's Policy Research, Social Security: Especially Vital to Women and People of Color, Men Increasingly Reliant. The fact sheet on Social Security and black women was produced in partnership with the Black Women's Health Imperative.

UPCOMING EVENTS

"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


It begins with a free policy seminar: Envisioning the Future of Social Insurance in a Competitive Economy
.


Lisa Mensah, NASI and The Aspen Institute
Jacob Hacker, Yale University (keynote speaker)
William Rodgers III, Rutgers University
James Roosevelt, Jr., Tufts Health Plan
Securing our Health: Constraints and Possibilities
Thomas Geoghegan, Despres, Schwartz & Geoghegan, Ltd
Social Security Plus: Making Retirement Less Daunting and More Secure
Heather Boushey, Center for American Progress
Children at Risk: How Can Social Insurance Do More?
Kathleen Connell, University of California Retirement Security Institute
Trudy Lieberman, Columbia Journalism Review
Maya Rockeymoore, Global Policy Solutions

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

ACTION ALERTS

NOW: "Social Security: Tell Your Senators to Oppose Benefit Cuts"

Some in Congress are using the ongoing discussions of the federal deficit to try to cut Social Security. Click here to urge your Senator to oppose benefit cuts to Social Security.

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
web:womenandsocialsecurity.org http://womenandsocialsecurity.org
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