The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare will participate in a special Social Security symposium hosted by former U.S. Senator Tom Harkin and the Harkin Institute of Drake University. Featuring NCPSSM President Max Richtman and other prominent leaders from the national advocacy community, the summit will take place on September 13th (8:00am to 4:00pm) at the National Education Association headquarters in Washington, DC.  The focus of the event is “preserving and enhancing Social Security for future generations.” 

The Harkin Institute’s Director of Retirement Security, Rayna Stoycheva, says the symposium, Preserving and Enhancing Social Security for All, comes at a crucial time for Social Security. “In the last couple of years, there has been an uptick in legislative proposals focused on balancing the trust fund and enhancing the Social Security program,” says Stoycheva.  “We thought that a symposium that focuses on the program in more detail was timely — and would serve our mission to connect citizens with the policy making process.”

For the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, the exchange of ideas with other advocates is crucial to its mission. “Senator Harkin is the chair of our advisory board and a true champion of Social Security, so we are especially honored to have a role in this symposium,” says Richtman.  

“We applaud the Harkin Institute for bringing together so many thought leaders in this field at a time when Social Security faces considerable financial and political challenges. Events like this are crucial to ensure that the program is protected and expanded rather than cut and privatized, as some in Washington have proposed.” – Max Richtman, NCPSSM President and CEO 

The keynote speakers for the symposium are Stephen Goss, Chief Actuary at the Social Security Administration and Rep. John Larson (D-CT), author of the Social Security 2100 Act to protect and expand the program. 

Social Security Chief Actuary Stephen Goss & Rep. John Larson are keynote speakers

Registration is now open for up to 200 attendees. The intended audience for the symposium is:  policymakers, researchers, practitioners, and retirement security professionals.  “Anyone dedicated to improving retirement security and reducing poverty and inequality will find value in this symposium,” says Stoycheva. “The event will lay out what options we can consider in the coming years to achieve the mission of preserving Social Security.”

Specifically, the symposium will shed light on some important questions, including:

How has the Social Security program evolved over the years?

What role does it play for retirement security in the current retirement system?  

What are the distributional effects of different proposals?

What is the outlook for specific legislative action in the next 10 years?

NCPSSM President Richtman will lead a panel entitled, “Public Opinion on Social Security Reform and Legislative Agenda,” featuring several speakers including Nancy LeaMond, Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer at AARP. 

Other VIP panelists at the symposium include:  William Arnone (NASI), Rich Fiesta (Alliance for Retirement Americans), Monique Morrissey (Economic Policy Institute), Kathleen Romig (CBPP), Teresa Ghilarducci (New School for Social Research), Jeff Cruz (AFGE), Rebecca Vallas (Century Foundation), and Nancy Altman (Social Security Works). 

“This is an amazing group of policy leaders in this space!” says Stoycheva.  “Putting together the program has truly been a collaborative effort involving many different people.”  Stoycheva credits, in particular, Alicia Munnell of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College and William Arnone (Executive Director at the National Academy of Social Insurance) for helping put the program together, with additional input from Richtman and Social Security Works president, Nancy Altman. 

There still is time to register for the symposium at:

“There are still some spaces left,” says Stoycheva. “We encourage anyone in this field with a stake in the future of Social Security to avail themselves of this opportunity.”