An Argument for Age 70 Full Retirement Age -; AMAC

As the rhetoric heats up in advance of the 118th Congress and the potential heightening of interest in finally taking a serious look at resolving the long-known financial crisis facing Social Security, we’re beginning to see more and more news lines hypothesize on strategies to fix the problem. In an opinion piece posted yesterday on, for example, contributor Joseph Chamie advances the suggestion that moving the full retirement to age (FRA) 70–a change that would center “…on the increasing life expectancies of Americans that have occurred over the recent past.” Chamie’s rationale is supported with an analysis of longevity trends contrasted to those in effect when Social Security was originally conceived and includes perspective on the benefits that would accrue from remaining in the workforce longer. Read Mr. Chamie’s article here

Chamie also recommends eliminating the age 62 early retirement age, citing the permanently reduced monthly benefit as a likely significant contributor to financial challenges later in life. What’s not clear in his reasoning, though, is whether there would be any early retirement option at all, since his closing paragraph suggests “…lawmakers should remember that an increase in the retirement age to 70 with no early retirement option would address Social Security’s expected insolvency.”

The position taken by Chamie in his post is but one of many that we expect to see in the early months of the new Congress. The Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC) is an organization that is–and has been for decades–lobbying for attention to this long-term problem. AMAC, for example, believes Social Security must be preserved and modernized.  This can be achieved with no tax increases by changing cost of living adjustments, the retirement age, and delayed credits. Contrary to Chmie’s position on early retirement, though, AMAC is recommending retention of the age 62 early retirement provision to accommodate many who, due to the nature of the work that they do, find themselves needing to exit the workforce years before their FRA. To compensate, AMAC recommends a component labeled Social Security PLUS, a voluntary plan to allow all earners to have more income at retirement. 

AMAC advocates for a bipartisan compromise, “The Social Security Guarantee Act,” taking selected portions of bills introduced by the late Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) and current Rep. John Larson (D-CT) and merging them with the Association’s own research. AMAC is resolute in its mission and has gotten the attention of lawmakers in DC, meeting with a great many congressional offices and their staff over the past several years.  Read AMAC’s plan here.

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