President Obama Promises "A Dignified Retirement For Everyone," and Update of "Raising The Social Security Retirement Age"
To a wildly cheering crowd on the campaign trail earlier today (in Nevada), President Obama crooned that he will strive to ensure "a dignified retirement for everyone." Disgusting.
After all, this is the individual who publicly agreed with Romney's Social Security policy stance in the first debate. And then, the day after the final debate, told The Des Moines Register's editor and publisher that he intends to enact "austerity measures." [After about 10 minutes of this hooey, I had to turn off the radio.]
But, so much for that. That's just an aside.
I decided to post this short blog because I failed to make one of the most pertinent points--raising the Social Security full retirement age (FRA) will greatly diminish a beneficiary's monthly Social Security benefit check.
The following material reflects the opinions of advocates for NOT RAISING the Social Security retirement age.
[All "blockquoted" material consists of verbatim excerpts. I provide a link to the original piece after each article excerpt, not topic.]
Alex Lawson of Social Security Works.
Has calculated that a raise in the age of social security eligibility for full benefits will result in benefit cuts of 28.6% for those in the age range of 65 to 70.
Mark Weisbrot (CEPR) On Disproportionate Harm.
Raising the retirement age, over time, from 67 to 70 will disproportionately harm African-American male retirees, whose life expectancy is considerably shorter than that of their white male counterparts. Low-income and blue-collar workers would also bear a disproportionate share of the burden.
Under current law, a 40 year-old Black male worker can expect about 3.6 years of Social Security benefits, as opposed to 9.1 years for a white male worker. This discrepancy was widened by the most recent increase in the retirement age, from 65 to 67. The proposed further increases in the retirement age would effectively prevent progress toward a decent retirement span, both in absolute terms or relative to whites, for African-American males over nearly an entire century.
The typical African-American man born in 1973 would lose 19.2% of his expected retirement years solely as a result of increasing the retirement age to 68. A white male of the same age would lose 9.3% of his retirement.
Differences in life expectancy by income and occupation are similar to those across racial lines. Low-income and blue-collar workers would therefore suffer a similarly disproportionate impact from this proposal.
Dean Baker On Democracy Now!
AMY GOODMAN: Dean Baker (CEPR), what about lifting the retirement age to seventy? What would be the effect?
DEAN BAKER: Well, this is a cut in benefits. And, of course, this disproportionately hits those who are at the bottom, who have shorter life expectancies, and also who don’t have the ability to make this up by working longer because they don’t have the health or they have harder jobs. It really is infuriating.
Dean Baker On Retirement Age and Physically Demanding Jobs.
Many policymakers are able to still work into their late 70s. This leads many deficit hawk types to think all workers should be expected to work until age 70 or even older.
However, this is not likely to be as easy for most workers as it is for them. Forty five percent of workers over age 58 work at jobs that are physically demanding or have difficult work conditions.
Here's the link to the excerpted material above.
The Proposed Increase in the Retirement Age (Written in 1997)
The PSA and IA plans propose to increase the retirement age - the age at which people become eligible for full benefits - over time, to 70, and to speed up the implementation of the increase to 67 that has already been enacted into law.
Increasing the retirement age is an extremely regressive way to trim the outlays of the Social Security system. It also hits African-Americans much harder than whites. The main reason for both of these differential impacts is straightforward: African-Americans, and lower-income workers generally, have a considerably lower life expectancy as compared to the general population. Each year that the retirement age is raised a much larger bite is taken out of these groups' retirement.
This effect is most pronounced for African-American men. The life expectancy of an African-American man who is currently 40 years old is about 70.6 years, compared with 76.1 years for white men. A typical 40 year-old Black male worker can thus expect about 5.6 years of benefits if he retires at 65, about half of the 11.1 years his white counterpart will enjoy.
This means that the first two years that have already been added to the retirement age reduce a Black male's expected lifetime benefits by 36%, or twice the reduction suffered by the white male worker (18%). These changes, enacted in 1983 and phased in beginning with retirees who reach age 62 in the year 2000, raised the age of eligibility for full retirement age to 67.
Most policy experts cite a reduction of Social Security monthly benefits of between 6-7% per year, for each year that the FRA is raised. [Link to "Expected time in retirement at age 65 is more than 40 percent longer than in 1940, Job Market Monitor, April 23, 2012.]
I have never heard a member of the MSM mention that Social Security beneficiaries actually lose monetary benefits when the FRA is raised. Please make sure that you "get the word out" regarding this highly regressive Social Security benefit cut.
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BTW, I'm not one who would ever take offense if "typos" are pointed out to me. I try, but I've been known to make a few. ;)