by Elvis Guzman and Nakia Gladden
Social Security is an essential social insurance program that provides economic security for U.S. workers and their families in retirement, in case of disability or death of a breadwinner. The program protects families from falling into poverty, and is especially important to vulnerable families that do not have the necessary income or savings to get by.
After nearly 77 years, Social Security remains one of the nation’s most successful antipoverty programs. In 2010, Social Security kept over 20 million people out of poverty, including 1.1 million children. Although the rules for determining Social Security benefits are the same for everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity or gender, African Americans uniquely benefit from the family-oriented structure of the program based on certain characteristics. Continue reading
Long-term solvency can be achieved while strengthening benefits for most vulnerable
WASHINGTON – As the United States transitions to a “majority-minority” population over the next three decades, Social Security must be modernized to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse and economically insecure workforce, according to a report released today by the Commission to Modernize Social Security, made up of national policy experts representing African American, Asian American, Latino and Native American communities. Continue reading
Update (01/18/2013): The Commission has recently updated data for the report, specifically “Figure 9.” The updated data is not reflected in the original October 2011 document, but is attached below as an addendum.
As the United States to a “majority-minority” population over the next three decades, Social Security must be modernized to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse and economically insecure workforce. Although Social Security does not contribute to the federal deficit, Social Security benefit cuts are at the center of discussions in Congress to reduce the federal debt.
Plan for a New Future: The Impact of Social Security Reform on People of Color (NOTE: Updated data is available below) argues that changes to the program must consider the impact on workers and families of color who are more vulnerable to economic instability and far less likely to have generational wealth than white families. The report cites U.S. Census Bureau data showing that a majority of babies born in this country are now from minority racial groups. If this trend continues, the overall U.S. population is expected to become “majority-minority” by 2042. Continue reading
Recently, the media has reported that some Washington politicians are prepared to permanently cut the Social Security COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) as part of the debt ceiling negotiations. This is despite the fact that Social Security is an independent, “off-budget” program with its own dedicated revenue source that has never contributed a single penny to the national deficit. This benefit cut is called the chained CPI-U. It is being presented as a minor technical change, but it would slash benefits of all beneficiaries, including current retirees, disabled workers, orphans and others.
This policy brief released by Latinos for a Secure Retirement discusses how the proposed cut is a threat to the financial security of every American who relies, or will rely, on Social Security.
Download the Policy Brief