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Monday, June 02, 2014

Raising the Social Security age—screwed again

In this modern political climate, any government program is in the cross hairs of the Tea Party Republicans and the new libertarians who are taking over our government, Social Security is headed for the chopping block, the same as other safety net programs. Complaining both about the rising cost of SS and the argument that people are living longer, many politicians are trying to extend up the age up for those who want to retire and collect it. As with many of these grand ideas, the results will mean major hardships for future SS recipients, including pushing the next generation of elderly into deep poverty and neglect.
There have already been changes, the last being in 1983. That resulted in two provisions, including an increase in the retirement age that can first affect individuals retiring in 2000 and an increase in the delayed retirement credit for those who work beyond full retirement age. That amendment allowed for a gradual increase from 65 to 67 for full SS benefits. Tea Party members have been pushing for raising the retirement age up higher to as high as 70 years.
Typical of the arguments are those of The Heritage Foundation:

Americans are living longer, which means they are spending a higher proportion of their lives in retirement, receiving Social Security payments. Yet the government program is a mere five years away from being unable to pay out all of the claims it has promised. Because today’s retirees enjoy longer lives and better health, both Social Security retirement ages (“normal” and “early eligibility”) must be increased. It is common sense, and it is fair.

There are two strong reasons to ignore this advice. First, it is true that retirees are living longer. But they are not living healthy lives. Yahoo News had an article “Five myths about retirement.” The article warns that many people expected to retire at 70, but found they couldn’t do that:

“EBRI(Employee Benefit Research Institute) has found that a sizable number of retirees leave the workforce earlier than planned for negative reasons. In the group's 2014 survey, 49% retired early, but 61% of them said it was because of a health problem or disability.”

There is also one other important fact; It is harder for older workers to find and keep jobs.
For PBS, Teresa Ghilarducci:

“The ever-present, but very unpopular, policy proposal to raise the age to collect full Social Security benefits from to 67 to 69 or 70 — which cuts lifetime benefits for all recipients, especially for those who have shorter life expectancies and collect Social Security well before age 67 — needs to be based on evidence. Unfortunately, there is a commonly-held belief that the physical and mental demands of older workers’ jobs have improved. The evidence, however shows that belief to be wrong. The truth is the exact opposite; the physical and mental demands of older workers’ jobs have increased since 1992.
Anthony Bonen, a graduate research assistant in our Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at The New School, recently presented numbers from the University of Michigan’s Health and Retirement Study to show the degradation in job quality for older Americans from 1992-2008. The shocking fact is that jobs for older Americans have gotten more mentally and physically difficult. This is actually quite consistent, however, with a gradual decline in older workers’ bargaining power, as evidenced by falling older worker pay and increasing long-term unemployment rates.”

For Yahoo New’s "five myths"; It is not easy to get back into the workplace:

“Meanwhile, retirees often find it hard to find new work. Roughly two-thirds of retirees say they plan to work in retirement, but just 27% report actually doing so, EBRI says. In part, the same dynamics that make it harder for older workers in general to find jobs also hinder retirees.
"Forced unemployment typically means they will seek re-employment comparative to the same job skills," says Catherine Seeber, senior financial adviser at Wescott Financial Advisory Group in Philadelphia. "The problem is, they aren't equipped to compete with the younger, more socially savvy job seeker, and employers aren't eager to 'pay the price' for the experience."

So there it is: another attempt to screw lower income people out of their well earned government benefits. By raising the age of retirement they are throwing tomorrow’s retirees “under the bus.” It will save the government a lot of money—especially when considering how fewer benefits they will be paying out to senior citizens who lose homes and end up with nothing in their so called “golden years.” I’m too old to be affected by this change but the next generation is getting fucked royal. We pay into this system all our lives and it won’t be there when a lot of people need it. They better start paying attention to what this government does to them or they may experience a real eye opening surprise when they try to retire.
- សតិវ​ អតុ.

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