I would oppose measures to replace any part of Social Security’s guaranteed benefits with individual investment accounts.
SS benefits are already being eroded, and current projections with Part B deductions show SS replacement rates will have fallen by 31%.
In only two generations, the ability to provide replacement income has fallen 25%. Replacing these guaranteed benefits with risk-bearing investment accounts will further place the people of the 15th at risk.
I would oppose efforts to reduce Social Security benefits.
The graduated increase in retirement age from 65 to 67 reduces the benefits for those who choose to retire at age 65.
Medicare premiums are also increasing more rapidly than benefit increases.
It is important that any restructure or recalculation of benefits does not reduce benefits, as more people owe personal income tax on their benefits.
Due to the insufficiencies throughout the 15th District rural health care network, any increase in the retirement age would do great harm to our people.
Too many seniors have to choose between medications and food, and the COLA isn’t keeping up with monthly bills.
The benefit formulas are complex and include many factors, including length of time working, earning history, inflation, and age at which one begins receiving benefits.
Changing these formulas must be backed by proper actuarial studies and done to strengthen benefits, not to weaken them.
Lastly, means testing is not appropriate considering that benefits are earned and are not an entitlement.
I support measures to strengthen Social Security benefits.
Traditional sources of retirement income are providing less and less support for retirees.
Social Security income replacement rates have been falling steadily since 1985, a trend that is projected to continue and even accelerate.
Employer-sponsored retirement plans have mostly transitioned from defined benefit plans to 401(k)s, shifting risk from employers to employees.
Participation rates in 401(k) plans among eligible employees remain at about 80 percent, with about 20 percent of eligible employees electing not to participate.
Access to these plans is an issue—less than half of all private sector workers, ages 25–64, participate in an employer-sponsored pension plan.
The need to strengthen retirement income security exists. Any plan to strengthen benefits must include an appropriate, long-term plan for funding the benefits.
Many options to increase retirement savings are worthy of further consideration.
Examples include raising the cap on taxable payroll, better informing future beneficiaries about their retirement income options, and using opt-out instead of opt-in enrollment for employer 401(k) plans.