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Public Policy: Social Security
6/16/2016

The nation’s current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour has not been increased since 2007.  In 2013, President Obama proposed increasing the nation’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.  The Raise the Wage Act of 2015 (S. 1150 and H.R. 2150), introduced by Senator Patty Murray and Representative Bobby Scott, would increase the minimum wage from its current rate of $7.25 per hour in three steps – to $8.00 three months after enactment, $10.00 after two years, $11.00 after three years and $12.00 after four years.  Although many retirees may question what impact an increase in the minimum wage would have on their lives, the increase could make a difference for seniors.
4/25/2016

According to the Social Security Trustees, the Social Security Trust Fund will be able to pay full benefits until 2034, and incoming payroll taxes will be sufficient to pay about 75 percent of benefits thereafter. Some are using this modest gap in long-term funding as a pretext to justify proposals for large cuts in Social Security benefits. One frequently-discussed change to Social Security is to increase the age at which a retiree receives full benefits.
4/20/2016

Social Security protects families in the event that a worker retires, becomes disabled or dies. These guaranteed insurance benefits are especially crucial to people of color who tend to have fewer alternative resources, become disabled at higher rates, and rely on Social Security's family benefit features disproportionately.
4/14/2016

The retirement age for full Social Security benefits has already been increased from 65 to 67 for anyone born in 1960 or later. This increase was enacted in 1983 as part of comprehensive legislation to strengthen Social Security's financing at a time when the program faced an imminent financial crisis. The increase in the full retirement age is being phased in slowly based on a person's year of birth.
4/13/2016

Individuals who receive a pension based on work for a federal, state or local government where Social Security taxes were not withheld may find their Social Security benefits reduced.  This is because in 1977 and 1983, Congress enacted legislation reducing Social Security benefits to such individuals through the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). The GPO applies to those eligible for Social Security spouse’s or widow’s or widower’s benefits.  The WEP applies to those eligible for their own Social Security benefit.
4/11/2016

The Social Security Administration (SSA) advises Americans to keep their Social Security card in a safe place.  At the same time, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) tells their beneficiaries to carry their Medicare card – which includes their Social Security number – with them at all times.  What is a Medicare beneficiary to do?  And what should the government do about this conflict?
4/1/2016

A state by state breakdown of the Social Security Benefits. Figures include the number of beneficiaries, the total Social Security annual benefits, the average retirement age monthly benefit, and the aged SSI population.
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