Social Security Spotlight

Social Security is our nation’s bedrock social insurance program. It protects American workers, their families and their children against the risks of poverty as a result of old age, death of a spouse or parent, or a life-changing disability. At a time of escalating inequality and declining retirement savings, the National Committee Foundation examines Social Security’s crucial and often neglected role in the economic life of communities in every state.

The Case for Expanding Medicare

As we age, the ability to communicate becomes an increasingly critical element in maintaining a better quality of life. To remain cognitively and socially engaged with families, friends, and other individuals, seniors with a hearing impairment must have access to effective treatments to help reduce the incidence of social isolation, an important driver of morbidity and mortality in older adults.

Breaking the Social Security Glass Ceiling

The U.S. workforce looked very different in 1946, at the start of the Baby Boom generation, than it does today. A big part of this workforce transformation has been due to the contributions of women. Starting with very low labor-force participation rates in the immediate post-World War II period, women today participate in the labor-force at a much higher rate, although still lower than that of men (See chart 1). While it is true that some women have broken through the glass ceiling and have entered the corporate board rooms of some of our largest and most successful companies, inequities remain.

The Chained CPI: Shackling America’s Economic Recovery

This study calculates the congressional district-level impact of a proposal put forward by the Obama administration to use the chained Consumer Price Index as the basis for annual Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLA), beginning in calendar year 2015. Since the chained consumer price index has consistently shown a lower rate of inflation than the consumer price index for wage and clerical workers (CPI-W), the COLA would be lower if it were based on the chained CPI.  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has calculated that this difference would average 0.25 percentage points annually.

2010 Poll Report: US Attitudes Toward Social Security

The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare Foundation has released a new poll on American’s views on Social Security, proposals for raising the retirement age, and cutting benefits. The national telephone poll, conducted June 24-June 30th by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, shows a growing disconnect between the average American’s economic priorities and those being debated in Washington.

The Gender Gap in Pension Coverage

Older women enter retirement with fewer economic resources than men. Overall, there is a substantial gender gap in all sources of retirement income including pensions, savings and earnings from post-retirement employment. The difference in income from pensions is especially pronounced. Among seniors, women are only about two-thirds as likely to receive income from pensions compared to men. In 2005, 44 percent of men received a pension payment compared with 29 percent of women.