We stand together in support of Social Security, a promise made to Americans of all generations. Social Security represents the best of American values – reward for hard work, honoring our parents and caring for our neighbors.
Our coalition is made up of over 300 national and state organizations representing over 50 million Americans. We are here to make sure that real people’s voices are heard. We stand united behind seven commonsense principles.
- Social Security has a surplus of $2.6 trillion, which it has loaned to the federal government. Social Security did not cause the federal deficit. Its benefits should not be cut to reduce the deficit.
- Social Security, which has stood the test of time, should not be privatized in whole or in part.
- Social Security is insurance and should not be means-tested. Because workers pay for it, they should receive it regardless of their income or savings.
- Social Security is fully funded for more than 25 years; thereafter it has sufficient funds to meet 75 percent of promised benefits. To reassure Americans that Social Security will be there for them, Congress should act in the coming few years outside the context of deficit reduction to close this funding gap by requiring those who are most able to afford it to pay somewhat more.
- Social Security’s retirement age, already scheduled to increase from 65 to 67, should not be raised further. That would be a benefit cut that places the greatest hardship on older Americans who are in physically demanding jobs, or are otherwise unable to find or keep employment.
- Social Security, whose average benefit is $13,000 in 2010, provides vital protection against the loss of wages as the result of disability, death, or old age. Those benefits should not be reduced, including by changes to the cost of living adjustment or the benefit formula.
- Social Security’s benefits should be increased for those who are most disadvantaged. The benefits, which are very important to virtually all workers and their families, are particularly crucial to those who are disadvantaged.
Nancy J. Altman, Chair
Nancy J. Altman has a forty-five year background in the areas of Social Security and private pensions. She is president of Social Security Works and chair of the Strengthen Social Security coalition.
Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi appointed Ms. Altman to a six-year term, starting October 1, 2017, on the Social Security Advisory Board. The seven-person Board is a bipartisan, independent federal government agency established in 1994 to advise the President, Congress, and the Commissioner of Social Security.
Ms. Altman is the author of The Battle for Social Security: From FDR’s Vision to Bush’s Gamble (John Wiley & Sons, 2005) and The Truth About Social Security: The Founders’ Words Refute Revisionist History, Zombie Lies, and Common Misunderstandings (Strong Arm Press, 2018). She is also co-author of Social Security Works! Why Social Security Isn’t Going Broke and How Expanding It Will Help Us All (The New Press, 2015). She has shared her Social Security expertise on numerous television and radio shows, including PBS NewsHour, MSNBC, and FOX News. She has published op-eds in dozens of newspapers including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today.
From 1983 to 1989, Ms. Altman was on the faculty of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and taught courses on private pensions and Social Security at the Harvard Law School. In 1982, she was Alan Greenspan’s assistant in his position as chairman of the bipartisan commission that developed the 1983 Social Security amendments.
From 1977 to 1981, she was a legislative assistant to Senator John C. Danforth (R-Mo) and advised the Senator with respect to Social Security issues. From 1974 to 1977, she was a tax lawyer with Covington & Burling, where she handled a variety of private pension matters.
Ms. Altman chairs the Board of Directors of the Pension Rights Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection of beneficiary rights. She is a member of the Boards of Directors of the Alliance for Retired Americans Educational Fund, the Economic Opportunity Institute, Latinos for the Secure Retirement, and the Institute for America’s Future. In the mid-1980’s, she was on the organizing committee and the first board of directors of the National Academy of Social Insurance.
Ms. Altman has an A.B. from Harvard University and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
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