Where We Stand ; Your AARP
By A. Barry Rand, CEO
Protect Social Security
Contrary to recent media reports,
AARP has not changed
its position on Social
Security. We continue
to be deeply committed to strengthening
it for our children and
protecting current beneficiaries.
Let’s be clear: Social Security has nothing to
do with the debate over reducing the deficit or
raising the debt ceiling. It does, however, face
a long-term solvency problem that must be
solved in order to protect current and future
beneficiaries. Those are separate
issues and should be dealt with
as such. Social Security is not in
crisis. It has not caused a crisis.
Let’s not let it become a crisis.
Social Security is without question the country’s most important and successful retirement
program. It is the foundation of
financial security for all of us. Social Security
is strong and can pay Americans the benefits
they’ve earned for the next 25 years without
making any changes. But we want to make sure
that people 75 years from now will still enjoy the
peace of mind Social Security provides today.
We will lead the fight toward that goal.
Our objective must be making retirement
more secure, not hitting arbitrary budget targets. Retirement security has been undermined
by the recession, the erosion of defined benefit
pensions, rising health care costs and a decline
in home values. That makes Social Security’s
guaranteed benefits more essential than ever.
At AARP, we are prepared to lead a national
discussion on strengthening Social Security for
21st-century beneficiaries. We believe reform
should be guided by some basic principles:
; Social Security should continue to be a lifetime family protection program for all workers
that can compensate for lost wages in the event
of disability, death or retirement.
; Any changes to Social Security should be
discussed as part of a broader conversation
about how to help Americans prepare for a
; If you pay into Social Security, you should
receive the benefits you’ve earned over a lifetime of hard work. It should continue to be
progressive and should not be means-tested.
We will provide educational support and advocate for policies to help people save. And we will encourage
better pensions and more private savings in addition to—not
at the expense of—Social Security. In the worst economic
crisis in decades, jeopardizing
any part of Social Security with
risky private accounts is the
last thing we should do.
Over the next several months, we will be
engaging all of you—our members and people
50+—in a serious conversation about the future
of Social Security. We want to hear from you
about the solvency options, the trade-offs and
what they will mean to you and your families.
Our goal is simple even if the solution is not:
Strengthen Social Security so that current and
future beneficiaries receive the benefits they’ve
earned over a lifetime. Changes to Social Security should be considered only if they make
retirement more secure, not less. ;
AARP has not
position. We are
Tell A. Barry Rand what you think. Send him an
email at CEO@aarp.org.
Who Gets Social Security: 54 million people
RAND: AARP; CHAR T: ISTOCKPHOTO ( 3)
64 Retired workers
8 5 8%
Source: Social Security Administration