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Women and Social Security Alert No. 40

ITEMS IN THIS ALERT

Updates

  • Changes to Social Security Benefits for 2012
  • Super Committee Update
  • Senate HELP Committee Hearing, "The Recession and Older American's: Where Do We Go from Here?"

New Research

  • Commission to Modernize Social Security: Plan for a New Future: The Impact of Social Security Reform on People of Color
  • IWPR: Retirement on the Edge: Women, Men, and Economic Insecurity After the Great Recession

Upcoming Events

  • NASI's 24th Annual Conference: Social Insurance in a Market Economy: Obstacles and Opportunities

Action Alerts

  • National Women's Law Center: "Tell Your Members of Congress to Urge the Super-committee to Support a Fair and Responsible Deficit Reduction Plan"
  • Strengthen Social Security Campaign: Send the Super Committee Your Thoughts

 

UPDATES

Changes to Social Security Benefits for 2012

On October 19, it was announced that Social Security monthly benefits will be increased by 3.6% in 2012 to accommodate the rising cost of living. The average monthly benefit will increase by $43. This increase will be somewhat offset by increased monthly Medicare premiums, which most Medicare beneficiaries have withheld from their Social Security checks. These premiums will rise in 2012 by $3.50 for most beneficiaries, which is smaller than the Obama Administration had expected.

Super Committee Update

There have been many reports that the Super Committee is considering changes to Social Security's cost-of-living adjustment formula which would result in a cut in benefits that would affect those who live the longest (click here to read the NWLC paper on the effect of the chained CPI on women's Social Security benefits). Also click here to read this Politico article about discussions among leaders on Capitol Hill about including changes to Social Security a deficit reduction plan.

Senate HELP Committee Hearing, "The Recession and Older American's: Where Do We Go from Here?"

Dr. Heidi Hartmann testified on Tuesday, October 18 at the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Subcommittee hearing, "The Recession and Older Americans: Where Do We Go from Here." Panelists from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, Social Security Works, and the National Council on Aging, and a former participant of the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) discussed the importance of support programs to older Americans -- and to helping them stay out of poverty.

"The severe loss in assets as a result of the recession should increase policymakers' concern that those 45-59 years old, who are beginning to enter retirement now and will continue to do so for the next 20 years, will need Social Security benefits even more than the current generation of retirees," wrote Dr. Hartmann in her official written testimony. "Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that Social Security benefits, including the COLA, not be a target of budget cutting, either through direct cuts or an increase in the retirement age."

Click here to view a taping of the entire hearing and to read the other written testimonies presented.

NEW RESEARCH

Commission to Modernize Social Security: Plan for a New Future: The Impact of Social Security Reform on People of Color

October 2011
Written by Maya Rockeymore and Meizhu Lui, this report considers future reforms to Social Security with regard to the increasingly diverse racial and ethnic makeup of the US, and the lack of economic security and wealth of our growing populations of color.

IWPR: Retirement on the Edge: Women, Men, and Economic Insecurity After the Great Recession

October 2011
The Great Recession of 2007-2009 has severely affected Americans' economic wellbeing and confidence in securing a good retirement. In this time of economic uncertainty, support for the Social Security system remains strong across lines of gender, age, race/ethnicity, and political affiliation, according to an IWPR/Rockefeller Survey of Economic Security from the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR).

The survey finds that most Americans support the Social Security system and do not believe the program is in crisis-a perspective that is out of line with the current political debate. Very few Americans think that we spend too much on Social Security (only 12 percent of women and 16 percent of men). A majority of men and women would like to see benefits increased. A companion report on the survey, Women and Men Living on the Edge: Economic Insecurity After the Great Recession, is available here.

UPCOMING EVENTS

NASI's 24th Annual Conference: Social Insurance in a Market Economy: Obstacles and Opportunities

January 26, 2012, 10:00 am - January 27, 2012, 3:30pm
National Press Club
529 14th Street, NW
13th Floor Ballroom
Washington, DC 20045

ACTION ALERTS

National Women's Law Center: "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.

Strengthen Social Security Campaign: Send the Super Committee Your Thoughts

Click here to tell the Super Committee to protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid during its deliberations.

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