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Pensions Under Attack, AARP Fights Back

cash billsThe financial security of many older Americans could be at risk under a proposed law that was the focus of a hearing this week on Capitol Hill.

Under the proposed plan, millions of retirees could see cuts to the benefits they’ve earned through a lifetime of hard work.

At issue is a proposal by multi-employer pension plans (plans in which many employers contribute to a common fund to cover their mobile workforce) devised to save the plans from insolvency.  That proposal urges Congress to change the pension laws to allow severely underfunded plans to significantly cut the benefits of people already retired and relying on their pensions. In testimony at the hearing, AARP strongly objected to the plan to cut the benefits of current retirees.

There has long been a consensus that any proposed changes to retirement income plans – whether public or private – should only be for future retirees, and those in and near retirement should not have any reductions in benefits. The rationale is that retirees are already living on a fixed income and cannot return to the workforce, while near-retirees have relied upon promises made and are too close to retirement to make career or retirement-preparation changes.

Unfortunately, retiree benefit promises are increasingly on the chopping block in Washington D.C., in states across the country and in the private sector.


With the average senior living on $20,000 per year, AARP is fighting for responsible solutions to keep the retirement promises older Americans have worked for and count on.

Photo: Tracy O via Flickr


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