Obama's retirement proposal is a start,
but more needs to be done
In his State of the Union address, President Obama announced his plan to create a savings program, called "myRA," to help millions of Americans start building a nest egg for retirement. Although the president remains committed to working with Congress to help secure a dignified retirement for Americans, there are some who say his plan doesn't do enough. The proposal is a good start, but the focus should be on expanding Social Security, says the AFT and its partners.
"We are relieved that the president did not mention support for the chained CPI cut to earned Social Security benefits or any cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid," says Richard Fiesta, executive director of the Alliance for Retired Americans. "Retirees let out a collective sigh of relief when the address was over. Now, we must work to increase Social Security benefits."
Read the AFT's statement on President Obama's speech
Check out the Los Angeles Times' "Obama's myRA: A good start, but not enough for retirement security"
Read the Washington Post's "Obama's 'myRA' plan is a start, but it won't save retirement"
Retirees celebrate the removal of chained CPI from budget
Retirees are celebrating a decision by the Obama administration to drop chained CPI from the 2015 fiscal budget. A switch to the chained CPI formula would have limited cost-of-living increases in Social Security and other programs. AFT retirees, along with the Alliance for Retired Americans, worked hard to persuade President Obama and lawmakers not to reduce Social Security cost-of-living increases. Over the summer, thousands of retirees across the nation rallied and created human chains in front of key congressional offices and federal buildings as part of a "Human Chain Against the Chained CPI" event. The AFT and its partners will continue to educate, advocate and mobilize for retirement security for all Americans.
Read more here
Ask 'Dear Marci'
In this month's "Dear Marci," Miriam says, "I've had the same Medicare prescription drug plan for two years now. However, I recently found out that my Medicare drug plan will no longer cover a drug that I need to take every day. What are transition refills?"
See what Marci has to say
A hand up is not a handout
AFT President Randi Weingarten's latest New York Times column, "A Hand Up Is Not a Handout," which was published on Feb. 16, calls attention to the fact that we must strengthen the rungs on America's ladder of opportunity. Weingarten lays out a glossary of programs that many lawmakers love to hate—including unemployment insurance, food stamps, Medicaid, pre-K, the minimum wage, paid sick leave, retirement benefits and union membership—and examines whether they are a benefit to individuals, their families and our communities.
Read the column
Inspirational story about survival and the importance of music
"The Lady in Number 6" is one of the most inspirational stories ever told. The documentary film tells the story of 109-year-old Alice Herz-Sommer, who was the world's oldest-known pianist and Holocaust survivor at the time. She passed away on Feb. 23. In the film, Herz-Sommer shares her views on how to live a long, happy life. She discusses the vital importance of music, laughter and having an optimistic outlook on life. This inspirational video tells her story of survival and how she managed to use her time in a Nazi concentration camp to empower herself and others with music. The film has been nominated for an Academy Award in the documentary short subject category.
Watch the video
Share your ideas to strengthen your retiree chapter
Do you have an idea to help your retiree chapter get involved in community engagement, increase the number of chapter members, or more? Be sure to share your ideas with your chapter leader so that they can be included in the AFT's Retiree Idea Book.
Share your ideas here
Social Security field offices to end certain services
Beginning August 2014, Social Security field offices will no longer issue Social Security number printouts. In addition, beginning October 2014, field offices will stop providing benefit verification letters, except in emergency situations. The end of these services is the result of cuts to the Social Security Administration's operational budget. The cuts have been protested by numerous organizations, including the Alliance for Retired Americans, because of the limited assistance now offered to seniors, the disabled and families.
Individuals who need proof of their Social Security number but cannot find their card will need to apply for a replacement card online. Benefit verifications are also available online, and can be obtained any time by registering for a "my Social Security" account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount or by calling 800-772-1213.
Learn more at SSA.gov
In This Issue
Obama's "myRA" won't save retirement security
Chained CPI removed from the 2015 budget
A hand up is not a handout
Help strengthen your retiree chapter
Social Security offices ending certain services