Over the last several years, support for expanding Social Security benefits has moved from the political fringe to the mainstream, with 79 percent of likely voters—a majority of Democrats, Republicans, and independents—supporting expansion. Last year, almost the entire Democratic caucus voted for a Senate budget amendment in support of expansion.
2015 offers a major opportunity to discuss the future of our earned benefits. Not only is Medicare celebrating its 50th anniversary and Social Security its 80th, next month on July 13 the White House will hold its once-a-decade White House Conference on Aging. This is an opportunity to discuss ways to address the retirement income crisis looming over future retirees. Unfortunately, the conference’s recently released draft policy brief has a glaring omission—there is no discussion of Social Security expansion.
The Economic Policy Institute is working on this issue, but they need the help from the UBC.
Join EPI and our partners in calling on the White House Conference on Aging to include Social Security expansion in any discussion about retirement security. We must protect and expand Social Security!
In recent years, members of Congress have introduced legislation to expand Social Security through modest across-the-board benefit increases; cost-of-living adjustments that better reflect costs faced by seniors; and provisions targeted at vulnerable groups, such as a higher minimum benefit and a restored student benefit for older children of disabled and deceased workers. Importantly, these bills—eight introduced in the 113th Congress alone—would also raise revenue and strengthen the system’s finances.
With one-third of seniors relying on Social Security for virtually all of their income and an average annual benefit of just $16,000, it is critical that the White House Conference on Aging go beyond a simple discussion of protecting earned benefits.