BOHEMIA, NY, May 24 – “Social Security reform needs to be a stand-alone priority, not some afterthought like some on the Hill propose, claiming that a new immigration law would help ease the pressure on this vital retirement program,” Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens said.
SS Administration actuaries came up with the notion recently that the Senate bill to overhaul immigration policy would have a positive impact on Social Security finances, claiming that the law would help create millions of new jobs in coming years and increase funding for retirees. But the Heritage Foundation, which did its own study, said that providing a gateway to citizenship, as proposed in the bill, would instead cost U.S. taxpayers trillions of dollars.
“It is a specious argument at best. It’s like a family with chronic debt waiting for the Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol to knock on the door,” Weber said.
“What we need is a real and dedicated solution for fixing Social Security, not pie-in-the-sky theories,” Weber said. “And that solution is a simple three-part reform that includes fair and balanced age setbacks for future recipients, guaranteed minimum cost of living increases and a provision for a new personal Early Retirement Account (ERA).
The AMAC chief noted that the newly proposed ERA, which is similar to an IRA, might, at first glance, seem controversial, but he said it is a logical way to enhance the funding pool without having to rely on new taxes. In addition, he said, a Gallup Poll released this week confirms that it would be attractive to individuals currently paying into the fund.
Gallup concluded that “401(k) plans and IRAs — at 46% — are the most commonly expected ‘major source’ of retirement funds, followed by Social Security (30%)” among workers currently paying into the system. “Gallup has tracked these expectations since 2001, and self-directed retirement accounts such as 401(k) plans and Social Security have been the leading expected sources [of retirement income] each year.”
This supports the AMAC notion that future retirees would like a way to enhance their Social Security income when they become eligible, Weber said.
“The ERA is not intended to privatize Social Security. The basic benefits from Social Security would remain the same. And, in order to ensure that the funds in the Early Retirement Account will not be lost through investment with extreme risk, half of the moneys in the ERA accounts would have to be invested in guaranteed interest products such as government bonds or annuity contracts. The worker would be free to invest the balance in any other investment that meets certain suitability standards.”
Weber pointed out that workers opting for the supplemental ERA would earn a substantial amount of extra income when they retire, in addition to their regular earned Social Security benefits. “For example a 25-year-old who contributes only $15 a week to an IRA would get $165,407 in additional income by retirement. Increase the amount to $45 a week and the windfall would be $352,389 upon retirement.”
NOTE TO EDITORS: Dan Weber is available for telephone interviews on this issue. Editors/reporters may contact John Grimaldi at 917-846-8485 or email@example.com to set up a call.
The Association of Mature American Citizens [http://www.amac.us] is a vibrant, vital and conservative alternative to those organizations, such as AARP, that dominate the choices for mature Americans who want a say in the future of the nation. Where those other organizations may boast of their power to set the agendas for their memberships, AMAC takes its marching orders from its members. We act and speak on their behalf, protecting their interests, and offering a conservative insight on how to best solve the problems they face today.