August 19, 2015
The Honorable Nita M. Lowey
2365 Rayburn House Office Building
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Representative Lowey:
On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, I am writing to express our support of your bill, H.R. 3377, the “Social Security Caregiver Credit Act of 2015.”
Because of the way that Social Security benefits are calculated, temporary interruptions in a person’s participation in the labor force can lead to a significant reduction in the amount of that person’s Social Security benefit. And undeniably, women are called on far more than men to provide caregiver services to family members. Your legislation addresses this inequity by imputing an annual wage of not less than 50 percent of the national average wage as a credit to individuals who leave the workforce or diminish their participation in it to provide care to certain family members.
In its May 2012 report, “Breaking the Social Security Glass Ceiling: A Proposal to Modernize Women’s Benefits,” the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare Foundation, the National Organization for Women Foundation and the Institute for Women’s Policy Research recommended a number of improvements to the Social Security program that would strengthen the economic security of women in retirement. Included in that report was a proposal to grant caregiver credits similar to the proposal you advance in H.R. 3377.
Your legislation addresses one of the principal reasons women have fewer assets and less income in retirement than do men. The National Committee applauds your leadership for working to resolve this significant disparity in the treatment of women in retirement, and we look forward to working with you in advancing this important legislation.
President and CEO