government

Social Security Halts Refund Grab to Recover Old Debts

Posted on 04/11/2014 by | Senior Editor, Money Team | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsUpdate: The Social Security Administration says it will immediately stop collecting old debts by grabbing taxpayers’ refunds. In a statement, Carolyn W. Colvin, the acting commissioner of the agency, says: “I have directed an immediate halt to further referrals under the Treasury Offset Program to recover debts owed to the agency that are 10 years old and older pending a thorough review of our responsibility and discretion under the current law to refer debt to the Treasury Department. “If any Social Security …

New IRS Message to Taxpayers: We’ve Got Your Back

Posted on 04/4/2014 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsThe recently installed head of the Internal Revenue Service, John Koskinen, dropped in on members of the media the other day at the National Press Club in Washington. His message: The tax collection agency is out to restore public trust amid accusations the IRS acted inappropriately in reviewing tax-exempt status for certain public welfare groups, known as 501(c)(4) organizations. “Taxpayers need to be confident that the IRS will treat them fairly. It doesn’t make any difference who they are, what …

The Cost of Not Expanding Medicaid

Posted on 03/7/2014 by | Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsStates have divided almost evenly on whether to expand Medicaid to millions more low-income Americans, many of them uninsured. Many Republican governors or state legislatures have rejected expansion, saying that although the federal government will pick up most of the tab now, states could be left on the hook in the future. Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter And although expansion aims for low-income people, “you’re expanding coverage for graduate students and Starbucks baristas,” says Edmund Haislmaier, senior research fellow at the Heritage …

What the New Spending Bill Means for You

Posted on 01/17/2014 by | Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsThe $1.1 trillion bipartisan spending bill passed by Congress funds federal agencies through the rest of the fiscal year, eases the sharp budget cuts known as the sequester and ends the lingering threat of another government shutdown. It also affects a number of programs especially important to older Americans. Here’s how, according to an AARP analysis: Increases spending by $41 million on nutrition programs for older Americans, including Meals on Wheels. This replaces across-the-board spending cuts, called sequestration, that took hold …

What’s the Nation’s No. 1 Problem?

Posted on 01/16/2014 by | Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsIt’s the government, stupid. Bill Clinton won a presidential campaign with the motto, “It’s the economy, stupid.” But these days the top issue to most Americans is the government, according to a new Gallup poll.   Some 21 percent of Americans polled in the Jan. 5-8 survey said that the most important problem facing the country today is the government itself — including poor leadership, corruption, abuse of power and general dissatisfaction with Congress and politicians in general. The second most important …

Timing of Fiduciary Rule for Retirement Plans Questioned

Posted on 01/15/2014 by | Money and Work | Comments

Bulletin Today | WorkIf you have a 401(k) or other retirement plan, you may be waiting even longer before new government standards are imposed that require your financial adviser to act in your best interest. The U.S. Department of Labor was in the final stages of preparing a proposal that would establish a so-called fiduciary standard for retirement plan advisers, which means they’d be required to put their clients’ financial interests ahead of their own when offering investment advice. A number of consumer groups …