Is a new metric needed that’s more closely tied to retiree costs?

According to a recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, health insurance surged 18.6 percent from August 2018 to August 2019, which is second only to intercity bus fare. The data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) but the numbers exclude one big health-care cost for retirees: Medicare premiums. Surveys have shown that retirees’ total healthcare costs are closer to 25 percent of their overall income. But Social Security’s annual cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, uses another measurement to determine how much benefits will increase or if they go up at all. This index is called the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, or CPI-W; however, a few senior advocacy groups state the CPI-W is not the best measure on which to base those annual benefit increases. The attached article reviews how CPI-W is not the best measure and it’s time to adopt another measure which focuses on households with individuals who are ages 62 and up. Read article here…

The Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC) believes Social Security must be preserved and modernized by making modest changes in cost of living adjustments (including a tiered COLA system) and the retirement age, with no additional taxes on workers.  AMAC advocates for a bipartisan compromise, “The Social Security Guarantee Act,” taking selected portions of bills introduced by former Rep. Johnson (R-TX) and current Rep. Larson (D-CT) and merging them with the Association’s own well researched ideas.  One component is Social Security PLUS, a new, voluntary plan that would allow all earners to have more income available at retirement.  This component is intended to appeal especially to younger workers.  AMAC is resolute in its mission that Social Security be preserved and modernized and has gotten the attention of lawmakers in DC, meeting with a great many congressional offices and their staffs over the past several years.  Read AMAC’s plan here.

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