A Message from the Alliance for Retired Americans

2015 represents a major milestone in our fight for retirement security. As America prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Medicare and the 80th anniversary of Social Security, we are reminded that these critically important social programs are here today because of the hard work of those who came before us.
We are also reminded that there are powerful voices in Washington and on Wall Street who want to dismantle and privatize our earned benefits for their own profit.
Next month, on July 13, the White House will hold its once-a-decade White House Conference on Aging. This is an opportunity to discuss the future of retirement security in America and the future of our earned benefits. But, one glaring omission we’ve found from the conference’s draft policy brief is the need to expand Social Security benefits.
At a time when employers are phasing out traditional pensions in favor of a do-it-yourself retirement savings society, we need to ensure that policymakers in Washington understand that Social Security is the most successful social program in the history of the United States. It has a $2.8 trillion surplus, and can pay out 100 percent of benefits owed for the next 18 years.
The White House Conference on Aging is an opportunity to shape the policy around our earned benefits today and for decades to come. And with Americans facing a $7.7 trillion retirement savings crisis – meaning that for the first time in our country’s history, current and future retirees may face a lower standard of living in retirement than their parents – and with many in Congress intent on cutting Social Security and Medicare, we must make sure expanding Social Security is a key part of the conversation.
Today, two-thirds of retirees depend on Social Security for the majority of their income. As we continue to fight for policies that protect retirees, disabled workers, children and veterans, we need to make sure that lawmakers understand that opposing cuts and privatization isn’t enough.  Right now, 79% of likely voters – Democrats, Republicans and Independents – support expanding Social Security benefits and paying for it by asking the wealthy to pay their fair share. It is time for our country’s policies to catch-up with our priorities.
If we want to truly strengthen Social Security for generations to come, it is time for bold leadership out of Washington and it is time to expand Social Security!
Thank you,
Richard Fiesta
Alliance for Retired Americans