• Seniors How Did Two Years Without A Cost Of Living Adjustment Affect You

    Research that I've conducted over more than 20 years indicates that retirees would receive a higher COLA in most years using a "seniors" CPI, rather than by using the current method of indexing which is based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). One of the bigger problems with using the CPI-W is the fact that retirees spend their money very differently than younger working adults. Retirees must spend more on healthcare and housing, and less on gasoline and consumer electronics. .Last week White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows announced that President Trump would soon be signing three executive orders regarding prescription drug prices. While he did not provide any further information the Washington Post published an article about what one of the orders is likely to be. .TSCL is strongly opposed to any cut in the payroll tax and we have lobbied aggressively against one. The 2020 reports from the Social Security and Medicare Trustees projected that the Social Security trust funds will become insolvent in only 15 years. At that time, all Social Security beneficiaries would face a 21% benefit cut in benefits that would eventually go to 27%. … Continued

  • Legislative Update For The Week Ending October 21 2011

    Other members, including Senator Bernie Sanders (VT), backed proposals that would lift the cap on income subject to the payroll tax. The cap currently sits at 8,500, which means that no earnings above that amount are subject to the 6.2 percent payroll tax. Senator Sanders said on Wednesday, "That is patently unfair. If we apply the Social Security payroll tax to income above 0,000, we could immediately bring in enough revenue to the Social Security trust fund to extend it for decades and also be able to increase benefits." .Second, four new cosponsors signed on to the Social Security Fairness Act (S. 915, H.R. 1205), bringing the cosponsor total up to twenty-seven in the Senate and 190 in the House. The new cosponsors are: Senator Patty Murray (WA), Senator Tom Udall (NM), Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), and Representative Vicky Hartzler (MO-4). If adopted, the Social Security Fairness Act would repeal the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) – two provisions that unfairly reduce the earned Social Security benefits of millions of teachers, police officers, and other state and local government employees each year. .One rule, known as "most favored nation," would require Medicare to tie the prices it pays for drugs to those paid by other wealthy countries. The other rule would limit rebates paid to middle men (called "pharmacy benefit managers" or "PBMs") by drug makers in Medicare. … Continued

Supporters of the move claim the chained CPI is "more accurate" because the current inflation measures don't take into account how consumers substitute lower costing items when prices increase. When beef goes up consumers might buy more chicken they argue. "But if accuracy was the real reason for making such a change to the COLA then why aren't policy makers and Congress more interested in what seniors and disabled people really spend their money on?" asks TSCL Chairman Larry Hyland. .There are three factors that affect your final benefit amount: .Medicare supplements tend to have higher premiums than Medicare Advantage plans, but will cover most, or even all of your out-of-pocket costs, depending on which policy "A" –"N" that you choose. Medicare Advantage plans have lower premiums, but you instead pay co-pays for every service. If you get sick or you are hospitalized, your out-of-pocket costs could be thousands of dollars. But unlike Medicare alone, Medicare Advantage plans have annual out-of-pocket maximums to cap what you pay. Those maximums average ,332 in 2017 but can be as high as ,700. .The Senior Citizens League is pleased that lawmakers successfully advanced legislation that will result in lower out-of-pocket costs at pharmacies, but we believe Congress can and must do more to reduce prescription drug prices. In the months ahead, we will continue to advocate for comprehensive legislation like the Improving Access to Affordable Prescription Drug Prices Act (S. 771, H.R. 1776), which would lead to significantly lower costs for seniors if adopted. For progress updates, follow The Senior Citizens League on Twitter or visit the Bill Tracking section of our website. ."If Congress adopts the more slowly-growing ?chained? CPI to calculate COLAs, that would cut the growth in average benefits, about ,100 per month today, by about ,742 over a 25-year retirement," states Larry Hyland, Chairman of TSCL. The benefit reductions compound over time, hitting the oldest the hardest. "By the time age 62 retirees with average benefits today reach age 84, their monthly benefits would be about 8 lower than they would receive using the current COLA methodology," Hyland says. .Did you wind up owing federal income tax last year or this tax season due to the effects of the Making Work Pay Tax Credit? TSCL is concerned that senior taxpayers were disproportionately affected by implementation problems of the Making Work Pay Tax Credit, and is conducting an online to survey to learn how they were affected. .Carefully protect personal information, including your full name, address, bank account, and Social Security numbers. Never give that information out to unsolicited callers. .The study examined the increase in costs of 32 key items between 2000 and January 201The items were chosen because they are typical of the costs seniors must bear. Of the 32 costs analyzed, 20 exceeded the total percentage of increase in the COLA over the same period. .The provision only protects an estimated 70 percent of beneficiaries (almost 43 million beneficiaries) from increases in the Medicare Part B premium that exceed the dollar amount of their COLA. When an individual's Part B premium increases more than the dollar amount of their COLA, the Part B premium is reduced to prevent a reduction in net Social Security benefits from one year to the next.