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Women and Social Security Alert No. 38

 

IWPR's Women and Social Security Alert (WomenSSA)

ALERT ON WOMEN AND SOCIAL SECURITY (No. 37)

August 2011


 

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

In the News

  • Bernie Sanders Announces Social Security Plan
  • Supercommittee Formed
  • Standard & Poor's Downgrades US Long-Term Credit Rating

Research

  • The Century Foundation: "Targeted Tax Rebate More Effective Than Payroll Tax Cut"
  • EPI: "A Protection, Not a Windfall: Proposed Change to Social Security COLA Would Further Erode Retirees' Financial Security"
  • EPI: "Understanding Social Security: A Comprehensive Guide"
  • NCPSSM: "Social Security's 76th Anniversary"

Upcoming Events

  • NWLC Webinars

Action Alerts

  • NWLC: "Tell Your Members of Congress to Urge the Super-committee to Support a Fair and Responsible Deficit Reduction Plan"

 

 

IN THE NEWS

Bernie Sanders Announces Social Security Plan

Last Thursday Senator Bernie Sanders announced his plans to introduce a bill to strengthen Social Security. His bill would apply the payroll tax to all income over $250,000, thus enabling Social Security to pay the full amount of benefits for at least 75 years, according to the Social Security Administration's Chief Actuary.

 

Supercommittee Formed

The members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, often called the "supercommittee," have been chosen. They include John Kerry (S-D), Max Baucus (S-D), Patty Murry (co-chair, S-D), Jon Kyl (S-R), Rob Portman(S-R), Pat Toomey (S-R), Dave Camp (H-R), Fred Upton (H-R), Jeb Hensarling (co-chair, H-R), Xavier Becerra (H-D), James Clyburn (H-D), Chris Van Hollen (H-D). This committee is tasked with proposing a plan to reduce deficits by $1.5 trillion over the next ten years, as part of the debt ceiling deal made between President Obama and leaders in Congress. An additional $900 billion worth of spending cuts were already decided upon during these negotiations.

 

Standard & Poor's Downgrades US Long-Term Credit Rating

On August 5, Standard and Poor's downgraded the United States' long-term credit rating from AAA to AA+, spurring much criticism, including that from President Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Meanwhile, the other major credit rating firms maintained their top ratings of the US. Nonetheless, the downgrade contributed to the worst drop in American stocks in three years and volatile stock prices lasting several weeks after.

 

 

RESEARCH

The Century Foundation: "Targeted Tax Rebate More Effective Than Payroll Tax Cut"

July 2011

This Issue Brief explains how an extension of the payroll tax cut endorsed by President Obama would be less effective than a targeted and refundable tax rebate. A tax rebate would also pose less risk to Social Security, because it would not require the contribution to the Social Security Trust fund to be supplied from general revenues.

 

EPI: "A Protection, Not a Windfall: Proposed Change to Social Security COLA Would Further Erode Retirees' Financial Security"

June 2011

A recently released briefing paper by the Economic Policy Institute examines different reforms to Social Security's cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). Despite their bipartisan popularity, many of the currently proposed reforms to the COLA would decrease benefits sooner than expected, lowering annual benefits by around $1800 by 2031. Additionally, these COLA reduction plans fail to properly account for projected medical inflation and retirees' higher proportional health care spending. A more accurate COLA reflecting seniors' true costs would be an increased, not a decreased, COLA.

 

EPI: "Understanding Social Security: A Comprehensive Guide"

July 2011

The Economic Policy Institute released a short book (56 pages) laying out Social Security's history, current condition, and possible future reforms.

 

NCPSSM: "Social Security's 76th Anniversary"

August 2011

The NCPSSM released a statement celebrating the 76th anniversary of Social Security and highlighting key statistics of the program.

 

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

NWLC Webinars

"Planning for the Future: What Women Need to Know about Social Security"
September 7 at 2:00 pm

"Planning for the Future: What Women Need to Know About Pensions and Savings"
September 12 at 1:00pm


Clickhere to register for these webinars.

 

 

ACTION ALERT

NWLC: "Tell Your Members of Congress to Urge the Super-committee to Support a Fair and Responsible Deficit Reduction Plan":

Your representatives can encourage the super-committee to enact a socially and fiscally responsible debt reduction plan that protects funding for women and children. Click here to send a message to your members of Congress.

 

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