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Women and Social Security Alert No. 41

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.


Super Committee Concedes Defeat

On November 21, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction announced that it had failed to agree on a deficit reduction plan. According to the deal struck between President Obama and Congressional leaders, the Committee's failure means that $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts (from which Social Security is exempt) will be enacted starting in 2013 unless Congressional action supersedes them. President Obama has already announced that he plans to veto any legislation that tries to do so without providing for substitute cuts as revenue increases. Deliberations concerning deficit reduction in Congress are expected to continue.


NWLC: Fact Sheet | New Census report supports NWLC's findings that proposed Social Security cuts would especially hurt elderly women

November 2011

The recent U.S. Census Bureau report, 90+ in the United States: 2006-2008, finds that the 90+ population is dominated by women and that these women are less economically secure and are more likely to have a disability than men. This National Women's Law Center Fact Sheet discusses the implications of these findings for the proposed change to the COLA for Social Security, the chained CPI, which would cause deep cuts to Social Security benefits for those who spend many years in retirement.

WOW: Comparison of the WOW Elder Economic Security Standard Index (Elder Index), the Official Federal Poverty Thresholds/Level and the New Federal Supplemental Poverty Measure

November 2011

This table presents a comparison between these three poverty measures in an accessible and organized fashion.


Demos: Rising Economic Insecurity Among Senior Single Women

October 2011

By Tatjana Meschede, Martha Cronin, Laura Sullivan, and Thomas Shapiro, this paper finds that between 2004-2008 economic insecurity for all seniors rose, but especially for older single women.


EPI: The myth of early retirement

November 2011

By Monique Morrissey, this report refutes the myth that most Americans retire in their early 60s when they are eligible for reduced Social Security benefits. This report shows that older Americans' labor force participation is high, compared to the past. It explains how common estimates of the average retirement age are poor measures because they include people who continue to work for pay, yet identify as retired, disabled people, and/or full-time caregivers. Morrissey argues that a more accurate estimate of the average retirement age would be the age at which half of the workforce has exited the labor force, which would show that most working Americans retire in their mid-60s.


SSSC and Lake Research Partners: Changing the Social Security COLA

November 2011

This piece describes the main findings of a survey of 1,000 people age 18 and older across the continental US. Among other important findings, people across political parties strongly opposed reforming the Social Security COLA formula in a way that would cut benefits.




NCPSSM: Congress Should Support Improved COLA Legislation

Click here to urge your representatives to vote for legislation that would reform Social Security's COLA formula to more accurately reflect older Americans' higher cost of living.


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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