‘Staggering’ Amounts of Federal Funds Improperly Distributed

By Stephen Ohlemacher, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) – Tax credits for families that don’t qualify. Medicare payments for treatments that might not be necessary. Unemployment benefits for people who are secretly working. Federal agencies reported making $100 billion in payments last year to people who may not have been entitled to receive them. Congressional investigators say the figure could be even higher. “The amounts here are absolutely staggering,” said Rep. John Mica, R-Fla. “It’s over $100 billion each of the last …

Obama to Nominate Colvin as Commissioner of Social Security Administration

President Barack Obama will nominate Carolyn Watts Colvin as commissioner of the Social Security Administration, the White House announced June 20. Colvin has experience within the retirement and disability benefit program, as acting commissioner since Michael Astrue, who was nominated by President George W. Bush, left the post in February 2013 and before that as deputy commissioner beginning in January 2011. Joyce Rogers, AARP senior vice president of government affairs, says Colvin would have an opportunity “to add an important …

Honey, I Took Social Security Too Early

Deciding when to take Social Security is one of the most important retirement planning decisions people make – and many retirees say they got it wrong. As many as 38 percent of 573 retirees surveyed by the Nationwide Financial Retirement Institute, a unit of Nationwide Mutual Insurance, say they regret taking their benefit early, which locked in their lower monthly payment for life, and wish they had waited. When you look at the differences in their monthly payout, you can understand their remorse. Those …

Not Everyone Is Living Longer

When it is unveiled in the coming weeks, the Social Security Trustees report will no doubt prompt the program’s critics to call for change, as it does each year. And one of their suggestions will likely be to raise the age of eligibility for Social Security and Medicare benefits. It sounds so reasonable. Isn’t everybody living longer? Unfortunately, the answer is no. >> Sign up for the AARP Advocacy Newsletter The truth is that gains in life expectancy are not …

Was Fired New York Times Editor Paid Less Than a Man?

It’s not just women toiling away in middle management or other low-profile positions who apparently are paid less than men. Jill Abramson, fired yesterday as executive editor of the New York Times – a position she had held since 2011 and the first woman ever in that spot – reportedly just weeks ago found out that her pay and pension benefits were much less than her male predecessor’s. She balked, and, according to the New Yorker, the pay gap was …

Lynn Williams: He Fought for Retired Steelworkers

When Lynn Williams took the helm of the United Steelworkers union in 1983, the domestic steel industry seemed to be in a death spiral. From 1981 to 1985 – a period Williams later called a “frightful time” for the union, its members and its retirees – the basic steel industry shed some 350,000 jobs in the United States, triggering a wave of early retirements and, in many cases, putting retiree health benefits and pensions in jeopardy. >> Sign up for …