• Ask The Advisor February 2014

    However, it differs from the House version which means it must go back to the House to see if it will agree with the changes that were made. .Sources: Options For Reducing The Deficit: 2014 to 2023, Congressional Budget Office, November 2013. .For years, workers were told to rely on a combination of Social Security, workplace pensions and their personal retirement savings. However, over the past 30 years or so the landscape of retirement savings has dramatically shifted. Traditional workplace pensions have shifted to 401(k) plans while some have been eliminated altogether, and the recent financial and housing collapse left many households with dramatically less value in homes and retirement funds. Partly as a result of these changes, many baby boomers and other future retirees are facing greater "risks" of not having enough to live on in their retirements. According to the Center for Retirement Research, 51 percent of households are "at risk" of not being able to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living. … Continued

  • Category Legislative News Page 61

    This week, President Obama released his fiscal 2015 budget blueprint. In addition, The Senior Citizens League's (TSCL's) Board of Trustees traveled to Capitol Hill to meet with four lawmakers and their top aides, and TSCL saw . .TSCL believes this type of mathematical gimmickry shortchanges the measurement of real cost increases, thereby shortchanging the COLAs of almost 58 million beneficiaries. Yet this is just one of many such changes since 198TSCL believes that the strongest protection Social Security recipients have against such machinations of benefits is legislation that would guarantee that COLAs would be no less than 3%. This could be paid for by lifting the Social Security taxable maximum so that high-income earners making more than 8,500 pay their fair share of taxes. This not only is fair, but would ensure more adequate benefits for all retirees. .The Social Security Trustees estimated last year that SS payroll taxes in 2020 would be about 3.8 billion under average economic conditions. Thus the 6 billion cost of the payroll tax provision in the CARES Act appears to be as much as 42% of all anticipated Social Security revenues for 2020. … Continued

It remains to be seen how long the impasse will last, and whether or not Congressional leaders will lend their support to the bipartisan group's plan. Currently, no clear end to the shutdown is in sight. The Senate will remain in session over the weekend, and Members of the House have been told to stay in Washington for possible votes. The government shutdown should not have any effect on the daily lives of seniors, but TSCL will closely monitor the discussions for any developments, and we will continue to post updates here in the Legislative News section of our website. .The Senior Citizens League enthusiastically supports H.R. 3302 and H.R. 1114, and we will continue to advocate for them tirelessly in months ahead. For more information, visit the Bill Tracking section of our website. .This week, one new cosponsor – Rep. Robert Scott (VA-3) – signed on to Rep. Peter DeFazio's (OR-4) Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers (CPI-E) Act (H.R. 1030). The cosponsor total is now up to ten. If signed into law, Rep. DeFazio's bill would base the Social Security COLA upon the spending patterns of seniors. Currently, it is based upon the way young, urban workers spend their money – a method that underestimates the spending inflation that seniors experience. A study conducted by TSCL in 2012 found that seniors have lost 34 percent of their purchasing power since 2000 – a clear sign that the current COLA is growing too slowly. .The following Members of Congress, among many others, will be holding town hall meetings in the final days of this week's recess: Sen. Charles Grassley (IA), Rep. Lynn Jenkins (KS-2), Rep. Tom MacArthur (NJ-3), Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-2), Rep. Bruce Westerman (AR-4), Rep. Will Hurd (TX-23), Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (OR-1), Rep. Jim Langevin (RI-2), and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-5). .Finally, the Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act (H.R. 711) also gained one new cosponsor this week. Rep. Jared Nadler (NY-10) signed on to it, bringing the cosponsor total up to 10That bill, if signed into law, would repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) while establishing a new formula for the non-covered earnings of future retirees. It would also create a separate formula for retirees who are currently affected by the WEP. TSCL believes H.R. 711 is a sensible step forward, and we hope it continues to gain strong support in the months ahead. .One of the most important results of this change is that the Senate Majority Leader controls what legislation moves through the Senate. That is crucial in determining what happens in terms of President Biden's agenda in the next two years. .The Senior Citizens League is pleased that key Social Security bills like the four mentioned above will be re-introduced early in the 116th Congress, and we look forward to building momentum for them on Capitol Hill in the months ahead. For progress updates or for more information on these important bills, visit our website at . .During the pandemic, non-emergency elective hospital procedures were temporarily stopped to lower the risk of COVID-19 transmission, to preserve scarce personal protective equipment and to keep hospital beds available for COVID care. According to JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, hospitals across the country have taken a major hit to their normal operating income. The American Hospital Association recently reported the average loss of revenues to U.S. hospitals of .7 billion per month from March 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020. We don't yet know how much more hospitals have lost through the end of 2020. .This is not the end of the story, however. More legislation will be needed to stop additional Medicare payment cuts that are scheduled in 2022.